Faith-Based Media Hitting The Main Stream - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/13/05 - Lufkin

Faith-Based Media Hitting The Main Stream

by Stuart Burson

More religious-themed television shows are now popping up in mainstream media, including a growing number of faith based television shows. But, it's not only television where God is making a showing.

Books are moving quickly off the shelves... self-help books written to help us find purpose in our lives. But these books aren't written by nationally renowned psychologists or self-help gurus. These books are written by pastors.

"We have seen the Joel Osteen book especially, has sold tremendously well. We've ordered several different rounds of it, we get anywhere from 10 to 15 every time. And 'The Purpose Driven Life', the churches are using them in study groups now, and we've sold a whole lot of them. We can't keep them in the store at all." says Marile Hackney, book department manager at Hastings in Nacogdoches.

The "Purpose Driven Life" and "Your Best Life Now" are both number one and number two on the New York Times bestseller list for self-help.

So, does that mean more of us than ever before are turning to God for our answers?

"This whole thing is hitting at what's at the heart of so many people. We all wonder what life's about and what our own reason for being here is, what our own purpose is in life. And so I think the reason you're seeing it in secular media is because it strikes a chord in the hearts of all people." says Andy Salagaj, pastor of First Assembly of God in Lufkin.

Christian books are not alone in becoming more mainstream.

KSWP radio personality Billy Baldwin says Christian music is also making an impression into the secular market.

"It's interesting to me because 'Mercy Me' is a group that we play quite prominently here at the radio station... they came out with a song, 'I Can Only Imagine', and it amazed me because it caught hold so much, not that people would want to hear it on main stream venues, but because but that the lyrics were so explicit and so much about God-centered values."

So, are we as a society thirsty for religion, God, and spirituality or is this a passing fad that will eventually fade away?

Only time will tell for sure.

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