Building an institution on celebrity power, charisma, and a spirit of grandiosity attracts a lot of people, money and a certain kind of cachet for everyone involved. It helps them all to feel like they’re part of something that’s big—a movement providing a sense of meaning and purpose. But too often, these movements crumble, and those inside are crushed by the process.

It’s a pattern that extends far beyond Mars Hill, into the realm of politics, academia, media, and more. In this bonus episode of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, host Mike Cosper speaks to Yuval Levin and Roger Berkowitz about the connections between the failure of our cultural institutions and the phenomena of rootlessness and loneliness, exploring how these related phenomena create the preconditions for charismatic leaders and corruption. He also talks to Russell Moore about what change looks like in the ruins, starting small, and the power of remembering our death.

The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill is a production of Christianity Today

It’s executive produced by Erik Petrik

It’s produced, written, and mixed by Mike Cosper

It was edited by TJ Hester

Joy Beth Smith and Azurae Phelps are our associate producers.

Music by Kate Siefker

Graphic Design by Bryan Todd

Social Media by Kate Lucky

CT’s Editor in Chief is Timothy Dalrymple