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
Executive Producer: Erik Petrik
Producer, Writer, Host and Mix Engineer: Mike Cosper
Editor: TJ Hester
Associate Producers: Joy Beth Smith and Azurae Phelps
Music and Sound Design: Kate Siefker
Graphic Design: Bryan Todd
Social Media: Kate Lucky
Editor in Chief: Timothy Dalrymple
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more