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Publisher's Summary

Founder of the phenomenon social media account PreachersNSneakers tackles how faith, capitalism, consumerism, and (wannabe) celebrity have collided and asks both believers and nonbelievers alike: How much is too much?

What started as a joke account on Instagram has turned into a movement. Through this provocative project, the founder of PreachersNSneakers is helping thousands of Jesus followers wrestle with the inevitable dilemmas created by our Western culture obsessed with image and entertainment.

In PreachersNSneakers: Authenticity in an Age of For-Profit Faith and (Wannabe) Celebrities, Ben Kirby approaches many of the difficult questions plaguing countless Christians’ minds, presenting experiences and input from both sides of difficult questions, such as:

  • Should pastors grow wealthy off of religion, and can their churches ever be too large?
  • Do we really believe that divine blessings are monetary, or is that just religious wallpaper to hide our own greed?
  • Is there space in Christendom for celebrities like Kanye and Bieber to exist without distorting the good news?
  • What about this: Is it wrong for someone - even wrong for author Ben Kirby - to call out faith leaders online and leverage “cancel culture” to affect change?

PreachersNSneakers will navigate these challenging questions and many more with humor, wit, candor, and a few never-before-published hijinks. Each chapter will explore the various sides of the debate, holding space for us to make up our own minds. This book is not about finding the perfect, “right” way to do something, but instead learning how to articulate what we believe, why we believe it, and what to do when we want to stand up against cultural norms.

This book will doubtlessly become a staple for church small groups, college ministries, and book clubs, emboldening struggling believers who want to live a more genuine faith. After all, the Lord works in mysterious colorways.

  • Includes an audiobook-exclusive conversation with Judah Smith
©2021 PreachersNSneakers (P)2021 Thomas Nelson

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Solid Introduction on a Difficult Topic

While I may not agree with every single conclusion the author makes, I will absolutely be buying this book in bulk and giving it to the students in my college ministry who want to know more about the complex and nuanced topic of wealth, culture, and Christianity. Great read!

1 person found this helpful

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“Women” is a word!

Every referral to a woman in ministry is a “girl” or a “gal.” Mysteriously no men are referred to as “boys.” Otherwise good insights.

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If you are _ this book is for you.

As Ben puts it if you are a variety of different people who maybe grew up in Christian culture, from secular culture looking at Christian culture, to the person who grew up in secular culture but is now a Christian, this book is for you. Ben lays out the world of high fashion/sneaker head world and how it has now intersected celebrity pastors. But he also points out that greed, materialism, and questionable lifestyles of vocational pastors is not new to the church. This book helped facilate thought provoking questions for myself about what "Master" do I serve (God or Money). Do some of the things I own/desire to own cloud my view of the gospel and my eternal reward in heaven? How do I live in a world of things but faithfully only serve God? How has God blessed me with money/things, and how is he asking me to use those for his good and not my own?

Overall, this book will not only give you some good laughs, but it will make you think, and hopefully convict you to rethink some of the ways you are living or want to live.

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Thanks For Sharing, Ben

a well thought-out reflection on the phenomenon that took place on the internet. Ben does a great job sharing his side of the story and asks questions every one of us should think about especially in the world of social media.

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Honest appraisal of modern Christianity

Ben does a great job highlighting the struggles of modern Christianity.

As someone who hasn't been in a church more than a handful of times since going to college (grew up in the Bible belt like Ben did), I am not a modern Christian.

To be honest, I am positive Jesus and the disciples wouldn't be considered good modern Christians either, maybe Paul would be...

The straightforward and (somewhat) brash approach of calling out American Christians is beautifully accomplished and executed in this book.

If you want the hard truth (or want another reason not to attend church), this book gives you a lot of points to contemplate and topics to quote.

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Tough questions. But amazing questions.

Thank you for taking the time to write this book! I binge listened to the entire thing while doing chores and deep cleaning my kids bedroom. As a pastor‘s wife and someone who is active on social media, I just really appreciate the thoughts you share and the questions you asked. We should never be afraid to ask hard questions of ourselves or the body of Christ. And I loved the added bonus of your conversation with Judith Smith at the end. Lots of respect for him. And cheers for all the homeschooled millennial’s making waves and doing hard things.

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Great until the last hour

I was reaching for the 5 button until the last hour where a telephone discussion with a mega church minister, albeit a right minded on, is played for the entire hour with the author seeming to fawn a bit with repeated references about how cool he was and sort of approving of ministers taking expensive "gifts" from their celebrity church goers, in this case an $80,000 watch by a pro golfer who went from being a congregate to a best friend. The minister went so far, with seeming agreement from the author, to justify wearing expensive clothes by saying after all Jesus was wearing a beautiful purple robe when he was crucified. My guess is it was not from his closet but from those mocking him. In any case, I thought the dude writing the first 90% was right on target. Too bad he had to toss in an incongruous hour long apology at the end.

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Let’s talk about it

Ben spends the entire book discussing what this world can’t seem to come to grips with; having a discussion about tough issues, primarily fame and monetary status of prominent pastors. In today’s world, you either have one an opinion or the other, there’s no room for discussion or flexibility on any subject. That’s why I love this book, it’s not a book that promotes growth by giving you three steps to the right answer, it is a book that promotes growth through thoughtful discussion, asking questions that we all should ask of ourselves to have true accountability. Ben was very well spoken, excellent listen as he uses modern language that could really reach anyone while not compromising the gospel. Side note: the interview with Judah Smith at the end alone is worth the audible purchase.

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Relatable

loved the book, and loved the interview with Judah Smith. I thought I was the only one that felt that way about this preachers, especially since I grew up in the church all my life. this book is a breath of fresh air.

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Insightful

Very good listen and was very easy to follow but so much depth and meat in all the topics presented!

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  • Book fan
  • 05-02-21

We need to learn from ages past !

Thanks Ben and well done for highlighting the dangers of mega churches and the headlong rush away from historic Christianity into a plastic, shallow, false imitation. Sadly, a lot of people are growing up believing that the false, 'prosperity' gospel is true Christianity and are sitting ducks for unscrupulous people to take advantage of them.

IS THERE AN ANSWER...YES, THERE IS !

Even the disciples had Judas amongst them but that doesn't mean we should tolerate abuse when it is discovered. The answer to the rock concert style services with smoke machines and light shows is real, genuine spirituality. We need to learn how to PRAY. The saints of the church were people of deep faith, prayer and lived lives not of luxury but self-denial. I'm not an Orthodox Christian as there are no Orthodox churches near my home. However, I have been greatly helped by learning from Orthodox monks, nuns and priests through books on Audible and YouTube. Please, be careful of books written in the last 30 years and check out what the Church has taught through the centuries.

I'd recommend these Audible books to anyone looking for an alternative to 'plastic' Christianity PLC, they blessed me and may help you too. *Some are Orthodox and others Evangelical Protestant.:

Welcome to the Orthodox Church by Frederica Mathewes-Green
The Jesus Prayer by Frederica Mathewes-Green
The Sweetness of Grace by Constantina R. Palmer
Dreams and Visions by Tom Doyle
End Times Bible Prophecy - It's not what they told you by Brian Godawa





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  • Anthony
  • 03-16-22

Mysterious Colourways with a U

You need to read this book. Ben nails the discussion and it’s got me thinking more and more about how we approach preaching, pastors and those kicks that aren’t Dad ASICs.