Type to search


Ep. 115: Warren Smith and Paul Glader discuss the Decline of the Mainline, Preachers and Plagiarism, and “The Chosen”

On today’s MinistryWatch EXTRA episode I’m pleased to welcome back to the program Paul Glader.  Paul is the editor-in-chief at Religion Unplugged and the director of the journalism program at The King’s College in New York City.  His journalism experience includes a long tenure with the Wall Street Journal.

We begin with a story by Ryan Burge on the Decline of the Mainline.  It was a response to a story by PRRI, the Public Religion Research Institute.  That survey said that the mainline churches were experiencing a resurgence, and their members may now actually outnumber evangelicals.  But that can’t possibly be right.  We explain why.

Next, we turn our attention to “The Chosen,” which is the streaming series by Dallas Jenkins that portrays the life of Jesus.  You have a review of the second season, by Joseph Holmes.  He says the second season is not as good as the first season, but it is still the gold standard for Christian television.

Finally, we talk “Pastors and Plagiarism.”  We’ve covered a number of stories involving celebrity preachers and plagiarism over the years.  Everyone from Mark Driscoll to David Barton.  Lately, the issue came up when the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Ed Litton, was accused of plagiarizing sermons from the outgoing president J.D. Greear.

To find out more about Religion Unplugged and the stories we discussed today, go to Religion Unplugged.com.  If you’d like to give to its International Reporting Fund, there’s a link at the top of the page.

To find out more about MinistryWatch, go to MinistryWatch.com.  And I’d like to share with you a couple of quick notes before we go.

Secondly, if you’re in a spot where you can’t contribute – hey, I get it.  Been there a time or two myself.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t help.  First of all, we covet your prayers.  We write a lot here at MinistryWatch about people who started out strong, but finished poorly.  Pray for us that what God has begun here will continue faithfully.  And, secondly, if you’re listening to this podcast on a podcast app, give us a rating.  The more ratings we get, the better the program performs with search engines.  It’s an important way you can help us, and it doesn’t cost you a dime.

The producers for today’s program are Rich Roszel and Steve Gandy.   Here at MinistryWatch we get database, technical, and editorial support from Cathy Goddard, Stephen DuBarry, Christina Darnell, and Casey Sudduth.  Thanks to Bobby Ross, Clementi Lisi, Joseph Holmes, and entire Religion Unplugged team for providing content for our conversation today.