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JesuiticalSeptember 09, 2022

What do Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Britney Spears and Shia LaBeouf have in common (besides being famous)? All four of these celebrities made waves by announcing they had become Christian in recent years. Rightly or wrongly, we ordinary Christians often celebrate when a high-profile figure joins our “team.” But what should we think when our church leaders become celebrities?

It’s a question Katelyn Beaty explores in her new book Celebrities for Jesus: How Personas, Platforms, and Profits Are Hurting the Church. Katelyn looks at the phenomenon of “celebrity Christians” in the evangelical church, but the trend of priests and pastors gaining massive followings—online and IRL—exists across many denominations and in the Catholic Church. (After all, who’s a bigger celebrity than the pope?) We ask her the dangers of having a faith that is centered on charismatic individuals, how social media is changing the ways we relate to church leaders and how people in the pews can build real community in our celebrity-obsessed era.

In Signs of the Times, Zac and Ashley break down some of the top Catholic news stories you might have missed while on summer vacation.

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