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Ep. 86: Phil Cooke and Warren Smith Discuss Ravi Zacharias – and Character for Christian Leaders

Here at MinistryWatch we bring you news about Christian ministries, as well as the latest in charity and philanthropy, all designed to help us become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.

Regular listeners to the program know that these “MinistryWatch Extra” episodes are a chance for us to “go deep” with some of our editorial partners.  But today, I’m bringing you something a bit different, because the guest today is not one of our editorial partners, but someone who has become a “go-to-guy” for me when I want to talk about issues of leadership, branding, and the general state of the evangelical church, and that is Phil Cooke.

Phil Cooke got his start in media working on the television program of Oral Roberts while he was still a student at Oral Roberts University.  Over the years Cooke has become one of the nation’s experts on the use of media in a Christian context.  He has also been outspoken on the need for men and women of integrity in Christian ministries.  He has been critical of televangelists.  And even though he is a media and marketing expert, he says that evangelical Christianity doesn’t have a marketing problem.  It has a character problem.

I think he’s right. And in the light of the recent scandal involving Christian leaders such as Ravi Zacharias, James MacDonald, Bill Hybels, and Jerry Falwell Jr., not to mention the way evangelical leaders have glibly dismissed the character questions that have dogged President Trump and other political leaders, I thought it was time to have him back on the program to have a heart-to-heart discussion about some of these matters.

Phil Cooke is a working producer in Hollywood who also has a Ph. D. in theology.  He’s the author of a half-dozen books on media and marketing and has been a contributor to Fast Company, Forbes, and The Huffington Post.  He is also a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences as well as the Producer’s Guild of America.

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The producers for today’s program are Rich Roszel and Steve Gandy.   We get database, technical, and editorial support from Cathy Goddard, Stephen DuBarry, Christina Darnell, and Casey Sudduth.

Until next time, may God bless you.