So What?

John Fischer writes:

The fact that “Christian entertainment,” as writer Lorraine Ali put it, had its own Newsweek cover story speaks volumes. The magazine called Christian entertainment–Christian music, books, movies, and videos lumped together–a $3 billion industry, including $747 million this year for Christian music alone.

This report begs some sort of explanation. What does it mean? There was no conclusion about what impact these products might have on culture. There was no discussion on the spiritual implications of these sales, nothing much beyond how we as Christians have spent $3 billion entertaining ourselves this year. What do we know from all this commercial success ? Does it mean the gospel is getting out? Does it mean the kingdom of God is being expanded? Does it mean God’s will is being done on Earth as it is in heaven? These are more difficult questions to answer.

From the standpoint of Newsweek, the following are certain: 1) Business is great for Christian products; 2) Books and movies about end times are very popular; 3) Christians have a vote in culture by what they buy; 4) The world is paying attention to all this because it wants a piece of the economic action; and 5) Christian music is now among the hottest genres in the music industry. Bottom line? We now have “ours” which is safer than “theirs” and more importantly, just as good and almost as popular.

Ali, who has also written on grunge and Lilith Fair, wrote, “The largely evangelical industry has created its own parallel world anyway, a place where popular art and culture are filtered through a conservative Christian lens and infused with messages of faith.”

All of this begs a very big question: So what?

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