"A refreshingly honest and personal account, this book is a model for the analysis of religion and contemporary culture and contains important clues as to why many mainline churches are declining while others churches grow."--Wade Clark Roof, author of "A Generation of Seekers" "Everyone interested in the changing face of religion and society ...
"A refreshingly honest and personal account, this book is a model for the analysis of religion and contemporary culture and contains important clues as to why many mainline churches are declining while others churches grow."--Wade Clark Roof, author of "A Generation of Seekers" "Everyone interested in the changing face of religion and society will want to read this engaging, empirically grounded, persuasively argued book."--Robert Wuthnow, author of "The Restructuring of American Religion" "[This is] a masterful study of American Protestantism. . . . A serious piece of scholarship offering an engaging story about religious upstarts."--Roger Finke, author of "The Churching of America, 1776-1996"
Publishers Weekly, 1997-08-18 Since the 1960s, American Protestantism has undergone significant changes, as mainline churches have experienced declines in membership. However, the new face of American Protestantism may be seen, according to Miller, in the "new paradigm churches," mega-organizations that transcend denominational polity and structure to bring Christianity to larger numbers of people in both conventional and nonconventional ways. Miller, professor of Religion at the University of Southern California, focuses his study on three such groupsæCalvary Chapel, Vineyard Christian Fellowship and Hope Chapelæto show the ways in which American Protestantism is being reinvented. He begins his study with a brief history of these new movements that traces their origins to the "hippies and beach baptisms" of the '60s, a time when, he notes, Christians were seeking ways to spread their message successfully to social groups for whom traditional worship and religious structure were irrelevant. These non-mainline groups were successful primarily, according to Miller, because they combined an emphasis on the simple message and organizational structure of first-century Christianity with contemporary "methods of worship, rock music, and a variety of support and interest groups." Miller examines the ways in which these groups "democratized the sacred," handing the organizational authority and interpretation of the Bible over to the congregations. Miller's evenhanded and balanced interpretation provides important insights into the character of contemporary American religion. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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