Hot Best Seller

Salvation on the Small Screen: 24 Hours of Christian Television

Availability: Ready to download

A book for every person who's ever flipped past the religious channel on cable and thought, -I haven't the faintest clue what's going on there, - or -that church doesn't seem like my church at all, - or even, -wow, so that's what happened to Kirk Cameron.- With the personalities of Christian broadcasting constantly in the news talking about every major issue from abortion A book for every person who's ever flipped past the religious channel on cable and thought, -I haven't the faintest clue what's going on there, - or -that church doesn't seem like my church at all, - or even, -wow, so that's what happened to Kirk Cameron.- With the personalities of Christian broadcasting constantly in the news talking about every major issue from abortion to culture to war and with the amount of influence their movements have on the the political discourse in this country, to under stand more about the stop on the television dail is to understand more about American and America's religious landscape. On an average day, the largest religious broadcast channel in the country reaches millions of viewers and features programming from figures such as Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes, Pat Robertson, Paul and Jan Crouch, Jess Duplantis, Joel Osteen, and others, yet despite it's presence in well over 50 million household many have little conception of what kind of faith happens there. Nadia Bolz-Weber, a Lutheran seminarian and former stand-up comic who's never before watched religious broadcasting, spends 24 hours in front of the TV immersing herself in the messages and culture to be found on the part of the dial. Bolstered by visits from guest such as rabbi, her 8-year-old daughter, Unitarian friend, and others, Salvation on the Small Screen? is Bolz-Weber's chronicle, augmented by after-the-fact research, of a huge, but unknown or mysterious to many, branch of religious culture.


Compare

A book for every person who's ever flipped past the religious channel on cable and thought, -I haven't the faintest clue what's going on there, - or -that church doesn't seem like my church at all, - or even, -wow, so that's what happened to Kirk Cameron.- With the personalities of Christian broadcasting constantly in the news talking about every major issue from abortion A book for every person who's ever flipped past the religious channel on cable and thought, -I haven't the faintest clue what's going on there, - or -that church doesn't seem like my church at all, - or even, -wow, so that's what happened to Kirk Cameron.- With the personalities of Christian broadcasting constantly in the news talking about every major issue from abortion to culture to war and with the amount of influence their movements have on the the political discourse in this country, to under stand more about the stop on the television dail is to understand more about American and America's religious landscape. On an average day, the largest religious broadcast channel in the country reaches millions of viewers and features programming from figures such as Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes, Pat Robertson, Paul and Jan Crouch, Jess Duplantis, Joel Osteen, and others, yet despite it's presence in well over 50 million household many have little conception of what kind of faith happens there. Nadia Bolz-Weber, a Lutheran seminarian and former stand-up comic who's never before watched religious broadcasting, spends 24 hours in front of the TV immersing herself in the messages and culture to be found on the part of the dial. Bolstered by visits from guest such as rabbi, her 8-year-old daughter, Unitarian friend, and others, Salvation on the Small Screen? is Bolz-Weber's chronicle, augmented by after-the-fact research, of a huge, but unknown or mysterious to many, branch of religious culture.

30 review for Salvation on the Small Screen: 24 Hours of Christian Television

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I need to reveal my own bias up front - I'm an evangelical protestant with Baptist leanings, though I have no strong denominational ties. My college classmates and I (at a private Baptist (read also: evangelical and conservative) liberal arts college) jokingly called TBN - The Blasphemy Network. And, like Nadia, I'm tattooed and wasn't much interested in church in my early-mid twenties. Which reveals my first problem with this book - the lumping of all evangelicals together with the views represe I need to reveal my own bias up front - I'm an evangelical protestant with Baptist leanings, though I have no strong denominational ties. My college classmates and I (at a private Baptist (read also: evangelical and conservative) liberal arts college) jokingly called TBN - The Blasphemy Network. And, like Nadia, I'm tattooed and wasn't much interested in church in my early-mid twenties. Which reveals my first problem with this book - the lumping of all evangelicals together with the views represented on TBN. This, in my own experience could not be further from the truth and yet the author often does it within the book. It may be expedient to just say "evangelical" but it creates and perpetuates negative stereotypes that are untrue and which, I'm certain, the author would shudder at if they were similarly applied to a group with which she feels a greater affinity. My other problem with this book is her denigration of "biblicism" - which, in context, seems to be an issue with sola scriptura and/or prima scriptura doctrines. Which is, to me, a real shame. I'm not a fundamentalist or Bible literalist - but to pretend you can have the gospel without having the full context of scripture seems a bit sacrilegious to me. After all, Christ's story is firmly grounded in the law of the Old Testament (which reveals our need for grace), and the Jewish culture created by it. A Jesus without a Biblical foundation or where that foundation has been replaced by progressive theology based on anthropology and politics rather than the word is, to me, no Jesus at all. It's disconcerting to me that a woman who admits to not even knowing the book of Jonah or the armor of Christ, though she has a seminary education, would pick on the honorary doctorates of the TBN presenters. Mostly because it seems anti-reformation (and therefore anti-Lutheran) to me to believe that only those with high degrees deserve to read and interpret the Bible. I'm not defending the TBN presenter's use of pretend degrees to validate their teachings - but I'm not okay with Nadia's use of her own education to prop up her theological pride either. All that said - I did enjoy this book overall, I waffled with giving it 3 or 4 stars. Nadia has an easy to read and relateable style with a good sense of humor and self-awareness of her own cynicism. She might be shocked to know that I agree with her observations in many regards - especially with the teachings of the "prosperity gospel" and the idea that either prayer or financial "seeds" will somehow "earn" you blessings. I appreciated her willingness to acknowledge most of the flaws I've pointed out, even the fact that she picks and chooses which parts of the Bible to follow. Most of all, I appreciated her focus on grace throughout the book. I would probably recommend this book to friends interested in learning more about different religious perspectives.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Doreen Fritz

    Irreverant fun and games from a respected (by many) contemporary voice in the church. Heavily tattooed and casually dressed, Bolzano-Weber nevertheless holds pretty much mainline views towards the worship experience and the role of the church. In this little book, she has challenged herself to sit and watch 24 hours of the various TV shows billed as "Christian." She has invited different people to stop in and watch with her at different times throughout the day (and night.). Many of these people Irreverant fun and games from a respected (by many) contemporary voice in the church. Heavily tattooed and casually dressed, Bolzano-Weber nevertheless holds pretty much mainline views towards the worship experience and the role of the church. In this little book, she has challenged herself to sit and watch 24 hours of the various TV shows billed as "Christian." She has invited different people to stop in and watch with her at different times throughout the day (and night.). Many of these people have been fellow-students, pastors, teachers, or just people whose opinions she respects, so we get the benefit of their opinions as well. Bolzano-Weber had anticipated that there would be many things to mock or criticize, but she also looked for the good, and she was surprised to find some value where she hadn't expected to. She summarizes each show with some totals: Old Testament passages cited by the TV personality; New Testament passages cited; cost of products offered; # of mentions of God and/or Jesus. And she ends each with a pithy comment, some positive, some critical, and some thoughtful. Our Wednesday night class took this book on after one of our members visited Bolz-Weber's church in Colorado and another one heard B-W speak at the National Youth Gathering in New Orleans in 2012.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tina Simmons

    To say I thoroughly enjoyed this book is an understatement. I am an evangelical, though not the TBN variety. I approached this text with the hope of gleaning a little of what the more liturgical denominations believe. I was not disappointed. Nadia is both snarky, and well studied. This combination makes her commentary both enlightening, and sometimes hysterical. I found myself actually laughing out loud during some of the commentary (even waking up my sleeping child with my hearty laughter). I co To say I thoroughly enjoyed this book is an understatement. I am an evangelical, though not the TBN variety. I approached this text with the hope of gleaning a little of what the more liturgical denominations believe. I was not disappointed. Nadia is both snarky, and well studied. This combination makes her commentary both enlightening, and sometimes hysterical. I found myself actually laughing out loud during some of the commentary (even waking up my sleeping child with my hearty laughter). I completely adored this quick, easy read. I hope she writes more!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Art

    Funny and sad at the same time to read, with all too much cringing from the Fundyland days of my life when yes, I watched TBN too and sometimes took it seriously, and she describes a lot of the same goofiness I saw with some wonderful insight. I only wish she would have caught the Ray Comfort convert or burn show with Kirk Cameron. I loved this book. Lots of things to think about from all over the board, from where does the money go to scratch and sniff bibles and the last bit is true, even when Funny and sad at the same time to read, with all too much cringing from the Fundyland days of my life when yes, I watched TBN too and sometimes took it seriously, and she describes a lot of the same goofiness I saw with some wonderful insight. I only wish she would have caught the Ray Comfort convert or burn show with Kirk Cameron. I loved this book. Lots of things to think about from all over the board, from where does the money go to scratch and sniff bibles and the last bit is true, even when you can't stand it sometimes you have go back just to check out what's on.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I loved this book. I thought the author was just going to bash TBN while I gleefully agreed with her. Instead she offered insight on how there were holes in her own tradition and how she could better them. It helped me realize I need to be less snooty when it come to other denominations.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I very strange read, one that I think might have made a better blog than a book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    As a pastor myself, I found this book to be both hilariously intriguing and spiritually poignant. Throughout my reading of Bolz-Weber's book I became grossly fascinated by TBN and similar Christian-Industrial media outlets, and by grossly fascinated I mean that I sort of wanted to experience for myself some of the reactions Bolz-Weber had without actively torturing myself for 24 hours straight. While she is snarky (which I appreciate), Bolz-Weber is very open about her faults without being self- As a pastor myself, I found this book to be both hilariously intriguing and spiritually poignant. Throughout my reading of Bolz-Weber's book I became grossly fascinated by TBN and similar Christian-Industrial media outlets, and by grossly fascinated I mean that I sort of wanted to experience for myself some of the reactions Bolz-Weber had without actively torturing myself for 24 hours straight. While she is snarky (which I appreciate), Bolz-Weber is very open about her faults without being self-deprecating; rather, in many cases she chooses to look within herself and her church/theological tradition and ask why she might have such reactions to some of the debatable "Christian" programming found on TBN and the like. In the end, one of my favorite strains of thought that winds throughout the book is the question, "What makes something Christian (i.e. music, comedy, etc.)?"

  8. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Warning! Do not drink diet Coke or any other liquid while reading this book or you're liable to end up with wet book/nook/Kindle! There are parts that are that funny! So what happens when a progressive, liberal Lutheran pastor agrees to watch 24 hours of Trinity Broadcast Network? This book, that's what. And yet, it's not just poking fun (though there is plenty of that - understandably so in my mind) - the realization occurs that perhaps, indeed in all likelihood, there is room for the strengths Warning! Do not drink diet Coke or any other liquid while reading this book or you're liable to end up with wet book/nook/Kindle! There are parts that are that funny! So what happens when a progressive, liberal Lutheran pastor agrees to watch 24 hours of Trinity Broadcast Network? This book, that's what. And yet, it's not just poking fun (though there is plenty of that - understandably so in my mind) - the realization occurs that perhaps, indeed in all likelihood, there is room for the strengths of both sides of the religion (conservative/progressive) coin at the table. Neither side really has it all, and in some cases, the strengths of one make up for the weaknesses of the other. That's not to say I'm going to start watching TBN. But it gives me something to consider.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I read this in one night and laughed my ass off. Basically, the author, a sarcastic and highly tattooed Lutheran pastor and blogger, was invited by her publisher to watch 24 hours of Christian television, specifically TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network, home of the The 700 Club), and then write about it. She asked if she could invite friends--they said okay, and she did. She and her friends are all hilarious, but if it was just them poking fun at TBN, the book would pretty shallow (although proba I read this in one night and laughed my ass off. Basically, the author, a sarcastic and highly tattooed Lutheran pastor and blogger, was invited by her publisher to watch 24 hours of Christian television, specifically TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network, home of the The 700 Club), and then write about it. She asked if she could invite friends--they said okay, and she did. She and her friends are all hilarious, but if it was just them poking fun at TBN, the book would pretty shallow (although probably still funny). Instead, she makes a sincere effort to see the good in TBN and also critique her own denomination/experience at the same time.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Nadia dares to take on a task that only a few might ever want to venture: watching 24 hours of Christian Television. What results is an insightful and witty look at the world of popular evangelical television as seen through the eyes of a mainline Christian minister. Nadia's critique at times is funny, biting, and sarcastic. We'd expect that from her since she is better known by her online moniker: "The Sarcastic Lutheran." At other times she is highly reflective about how Christian television ch Nadia dares to take on a task that only a few might ever want to venture: watching 24 hours of Christian Television. What results is an insightful and witty look at the world of popular evangelical television as seen through the eyes of a mainline Christian minister. Nadia's critique at times is funny, biting, and sarcastic. We'd expect that from her since she is better known by her online moniker: "The Sarcastic Lutheran." At other times she is highly reflective about how Christian television challenges her own theology and practice of ministry.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Long

    Very enjoyable; made me laugh and at the same time think about my own beliefs.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Cynamon-murphy

    More than just snark but the snark is also particularly good.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Meghan Davis strader

    I thought this book was way too important to be quite so sarcastic. I have more religious issues than the next guy (or at least so I’ve been told) so I’m not particularly sympathetic to televangelists and I think some of the bigger points (ie Can we indeed buy our salvation through donating to tv stations? Does God owe us a return on our tithe investment 100 fold? Will you end up incredibly cynical and disillusioned if you answer ‘yes’ to either of the previous?) were missed in her guilt in bein I thought this book was way too important to be quite so sarcastic. I have more religious issues than the next guy (or at least so I’ve been told) so I’m not particularly sympathetic to televangelists and I think some of the bigger points (ie Can we indeed buy our salvation through donating to tv stations? Does God owe us a return on our tithe investment 100 fold? Will you end up incredibly cynical and disillusioned if you answer ‘yes’ to either of the previous?) were missed in her guilt in being mocking of these predatory messages. This was her first book, and I’d like to read more. But, I’d like to read one where the premise is a serious study and not a Mystery Science 3000 commentary. She’s smart and she knows her stuff, but in her effort to be relational to the basest instincts I think missed the mark and diluted her otherwise worthy message.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    A Lutheran pastor (raised in the Church of Christ) is challenged to write a book about watching Trinity Broadcasting Network for 24 hours straight. She invites various friends and acquaintances from a variety of backgrounds to join her for segments of time watching with her. While giving impressions of what she is watching and what her friends are seeing can be sort of serious but laughter ensues as well. An awareness happens, that the brand of Christianity she is witnessing seems to be from anot A Lutheran pastor (raised in the Church of Christ) is challenged to write a book about watching Trinity Broadcasting Network for 24 hours straight. She invites various friends and acquaintances from a variety of backgrounds to join her for segments of time watching with her. While giving impressions of what she is watching and what her friends are seeing can be sort of serious but laughter ensues as well. An awareness happens, that the brand of Christianity she is witnessing seems to be from another planet, that there are holes in her theology. Every version of Christianity has holes in it. Concluding thoughts that the running total for goods and merchandise on a network that claims to be commercial free is a little over $7900 during the 24 hour period she watched. She still thinks Paula White is a nut job. I agree.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alex Adams

    First I want it stated that I am not a Christian and that you don’t need to be to find this book to be a good read. I had this recommended to me by my Jewish sister. It brings to light sooo many problems with evangelicalism and how harmful such philosophies can be. Seed faith being one of those examples. My father is a Pentecostal preacher and my mom had me and my sister confirmed Lutheran at a church close to the trailer park we lived in. So needless to say tv evangelism was very present in our First I want it stated that I am not a Christian and that you don’t need to be to find this book to be a good read. I had this recommended to me by my Jewish sister. It brings to light sooo many problems with evangelicalism and how harmful such philosophies can be. Seed faith being one of those examples. My father is a Pentecostal preacher and my mom had me and my sister confirmed Lutheran at a church close to the trailer park we lived in. So needless to say tv evangelism was very present in our lives. It was nice getting to see all the things I witnessed as a kid be put out in front of me and discussed. Good read

  16. 5 out of 5

    Allan Carpenter

    Funny, Irreverent, and Surprising. If you’re familiar with Nadia Bolz-Weber, you will likely begin this book, chronicling her 24 hour bingewatch of TBN, expecting a salty and sardonic disassembling of the Christian TV behemoth. And you’ll find it. But you’ll also find frank and fresh insights on what is off the mark with these programs, and what is off the mark in how we “more educated” Christians react to them. Nadia’s trademark laser self-analysis is in full force here, and for every laugh at T Funny, Irreverent, and Surprising. If you’re familiar with Nadia Bolz-Weber, you will likely begin this book, chronicling her 24 hour bingewatch of TBN, expecting a salty and sardonic disassembling of the Christian TV behemoth. And you’ll find it. But you’ll also find frank and fresh insights on what is off the mark with these programs, and what is off the mark in how we “more educated” Christians react to them. Nadia’s trademark laser self-analysis is in full force here, and for every laugh at TBN (and there are many) there is something to make us look at ourselves. Immense fun to read, and rewarding too.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gwen

    I enjoyed this book. It isn't going to change anyone's world, but it's a fun little book to curl up with. In the long run what I came away with was that I miss those 24 hour days I used to have with friends watching bad tv and talking theology and literature. The book reads more like someone's blogger, just in printed form. I just liked it. I know what that television channel is like. I came from a pretty conservative state, I've seen my share of the things talked about. Maybe it's just me, but I enjoyed this book. It isn't going to change anyone's world, but it's a fun little book to curl up with. In the long run what I came away with was that I miss those 24 hour days I used to have with friends watching bad tv and talking theology and literature. The book reads more like someone's blogger, just in printed form. I just liked it. I know what that television channel is like. I came from a pretty conservative state, I've seen my share of the things talked about. Maybe it's just me, but I walk away from the book caring less about TBN and caring more about hanging out with friends and enjoying some bad tv. Good times.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    I found this book conceptually unique and think it'd be great as a RiffTrax sort of thing. The takeaways​are the most important part of the book for me. Reading about TBN programming made me grateful for my theological framework, as it is today, but this book also made me realize that I'm on the outside looking in when it comes to the TBN brand of theology and I'm okay with that. It was nice to read about Evangelical Christianity without animosity. Thanks Pastor Nadia.

  19. 5 out of 5

    mary ❀

    4 stars. Funny and thought-provoking, this book was an absolute joy to read, and I was sad when I finished it. She has biases, but she usually admits that right up front. My only problem was that the kindle version that I read had some punctuation and formatting errors. Hey, if you ever wanna give it another try, I'd be up for reading more!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Huw Evans

    I have enjoyed previous books by Nadia Bolz-Weber and so started this book to ‘complete the set’. As ever she makes pithy, inciteful and thoughtful comments from a very liberal theological perspective but I feel I may have lost something in the translation as the type of TV she is reviewing does not exist in the UK. A good book nonetheless.

  21. 4 out of 5

    David M.

    What impressed me in this book was that Nadia didn’t just tear apart televangelists and the excesses of Christian television - which would be easy. Instead, where she was inclined to judge what she saw on the television, she also went introspective and saw how similar judgments or lessons applied to her own life and traditions. Humorous and honest.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Denlinger

    Profoundly funny Really, it is both. But I wish the e book edition didn’t make such a mess of the “ marks and the ‘s. The apostrophes were mostly missing and the quotation marks were sprinkled randomly about.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I love Nadia! And this book is everything I have come to expect from her. It's funny and insightful. And I am so thankful I have never watched TBN, because even my crazy evangelical background isn't that crazy!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Dyer

    I really liked it! I picked up this book, already holding preconceived ideas about televangelist. This was thought provoking as it made me question some of my own prejudices regarding evangelism. Good book!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    My project-in-a-year loving heart was very endeared by her project of watching 24 hours of The Bible Network. I ended up liking the interludes best and felt a bit of fatigue towards the end of the 24 hours.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matt Diaz

    I'm glad she did this little experiment in my place. Thanks, Nadia!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ron Hoffman

    Classic.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I love Nadia Bolz-Weber. This was fun, funny, and an original idea. Love how she had friends and family with her as it was NOT a task to undertake alone!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Collie

    Love this Great synopsis of what the “Christian” tv world has become. Open your eyes and you will see the lack of actual gospel teaching .

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bernadette

    Funny and interesting.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.