Dec. 13 – Katelyn Beaty – Celebrities for Jesus [Advent Calendar]

The Englewood Review of Books
Best Books of 2022
Advent Calendar
December 13


*** Our 2022 Book of the Year (Co-winner!)

Celebrities for Jesus:
How Personas, Platforms, and Profits Are Hurting the Church

Katelyn Beaty

Hardback: Brazos, 2022
Buy Now: [ IndieBound ] [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ] [ Audible ]
“Beaty brings knowledge and insights that will help anyone wanting to disentangle their faith from celebrity culture. But, even more than this, she offers an honest, humble self-examination that is a model many of us in the church need to follow.”
– Karen Swallow Prior
The central chapters focus on the abuses of “power, platform and persona.” Beaty’s exposition on the theology of power is outstanding—scriptural, careful, and wise (while only five pages long, this alone is worth the price of the book). She poignantly asks, “How could someone who preached the gospel publicly be capable of such harm behind closed doors?” (69) Platforms, one’s presence (and following) on social media such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, have become how we measure people. We no longer look at their work or the integrity of their lifestyle; we gauge how many followers they have. …
If readers want solutions to these problems (and I will call them “sins”), Beaty refuses to offer simple ones. She laments, “If we are looking to address celebrity with a solution that can be packaged, sold and implemented across various channels…. we are back to where we started” (164). She repeatedly commends accountability and transparency as crucial safeguards, but is quick to acknowledge that these attributes are also vulnerable to abuse. “There is no program for addressing the problem of celebrity,” she writes. “There is only a person. And he, thankfully, knew exactly what it was like to wrestle with the temptations of worldly powers” (165).
– from our review by Julie Lane-Gay,
[ READ the full review ]


*** WATCH a brief interview with Katelyn Beaty about this book …



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