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The McDonaldization of the Church: Consumer Culture and the Church's Future Paperback – July 10, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 215 pages
  • Publisher: Smyth & Helwys Publishing, Incorporated (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573123749
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573123747
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Drane is Head of Pratical Theology in the Department of Divinity at the University of Aberdeen. He is the author of "What is the New Age Still Saying to the Church?" and "Biblical Faith and Cultural Change."

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Customer Reviews

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See all 7 customer reviews
Very easy read with applicable and up to date material.
Scean's Nanny
Drane resists providing a prescriptive blueprint, but highlights strengths that the church would do well to play to.
Ray Ellis
This book is especially suited to those who care about bring the love of God to the unchurched.
Brendan Roberts

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ray Ellis on December 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
John Drane takes George Ritzer's McDonaldization theory of contemporary society ('The McDonaldization Of Society') and applies it to the church.
The McDonaldization of society is the view that corporations are trying to fit us into a pre-packaged rationalist system, left over from the modernist age, despite our post-modernist veneer. Drane's contention is that the church (which should be challenging and liberating) is essentially trying to do the same. That we are haemorrhaging congregations because, in this post-modernist world, people value choice and do not want to be boxed in to the limited choices that the church provides.
In doing this, Drane is not merely targeting one form of churchmanship. McDonaldized formulae transcend cultural barriers, so that an evangelical setting with a pastor talking from the front each week is as formulaic, in his view, as a high church service with carefully scripted liturgy.
This is a very personal book and Drane begins by explaining his own position as an optimist, despite the critical tone of much of the rest. The hyphen in post-modernism is important to him, because he suggests that we are living in a world that has moved on from modernism, with its belief in absolute answers for everything. But he does not view post-modernism as a movement its own right, merely a stage on a journey to somewhere else. And he rejects the conventional postmodernist view that we live in a society that has no need of meta-narratives.
In chapter 2, he moves on to look at the way we have caged ourselves in to rationalised systems in the workplace and therefore value our human freedom even more in our leisure activities (which includes church - or the choice not to go to church).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Darren Cronshaw on March 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
John Drane, The McDonaldisation of the Church: Spirituality, Creativity and the Future of the Church (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 2000)

Reviewed by Darren Cronshaw

Drane suggests churches are struggling to maintain credibility in a culture with many spiritual seekers because they have become stereotyped structures, offering uninventive pre-packaged worship to a dwindling minority. George Ritzer's McDonaldization thesis is that fast food principles (of finding efficient ways to achieve given ends) are dominating other parts of society. Drane applies this to the church and shouts let's not be pigeon-holed and expect one size to fit all as the church is reinvented. He says we need different approaches to reach different sorts of people; not just corporate achievers, traditionalists and nominal Christians, but also the desperate poor, the spiritual searchers, the secularists, the apathetic, and the hedonists who are asleep Sunday morning after partying all night.

Central to his proposed strategy is focus on community and mystery and a renewal of worship. Innovative approaches are necessary to reach post-modern people; creative use of space, movement, humour, mime, drama, dance, and story. In particular, he offers a wondeful portrayl of the Christian use of and imagery of clowns (drawing on his wife's experience); 'Clowns naturally open up a non-rational space for God to work by inviting us to laugh at ourselves in a way that enables us to challenge and question our assumptions, because we never endow human values with too much seriousness.' He bemoans the stereotyped structures in churches that offer pre-packaged worship to a dwindling minority.
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it has proved so informative, easy to read. The writing is clear with understandable reflections on situations within the church. The book applies the work of Ritzer in anew setting and provided a new insight into my own spiritual journey
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brendan Roberts on September 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have chosen to critique two chapters: Whom are we trying to reach? and Dreaming the Church of the Future.

INTRODUCTION

When we reflect on McDonalds and the Church we see several differences: The origin of one is by man and the other is by God; one's primary aim is to make money while not caring holistically for its members, while the other seeks to prepare everyone for eternal life and lead them to holiness; one unites her members with mere food, while the other unites her members with spiritual food which not only nourishes the soul but brings eternal life by the grace of God and the receiver's response.

John Drane, Head of Theology in the Department of Divinity at the University of Aberdeen, claims that the Church does not effectively reach out to the majority of society, resulting in the massive loss of members in the mainstream churches. The groups he says the Church is missing the mark on include: the desperate poor; the hedonists; corporate achievers; secularists; and the apathetic. But in this critique I will show how the diversity of the Church has met the needs of most of these groups.

SPIRITUAL POOR

Drane fails to include any well known examples which the wider Christian community would have known. While the desperate poor have at times been neglected, God has raised up people such as Saint Francis of Assisi, Blessed Mother Teresa and Saint Vincent de Paul to inspire others to continue to care for the poor. In fact the Church continues to serve in such economically poor countries as the Philippines, Africa and Latin America.

HEDONISTS

These people merely see life as one big party. They don't have time for God because they work or study, then party and spend the rest of their weekend recovering.
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