The Megachurch and the Mainline: Cultural Innovation, Change, and Conflict in Mainline Protestant Congregations
University of Chicago Press.
By Stephen Ellingson
May 1, 2007
Focusing on the innovations of several mainline Protestant churches in the San Francisco Bay Area, The Megachurch and the Mainline provides new understandings of the transformation of spiritual traditions. From Ellingson’s perspective, these particular congregations typify a new type of Lutheranism — one which combines the evangelical approaches that are embodied in the growing legion of megachurches with American society’s emphasis on pragmatism and consumerism. Ellingson provides descriptions of congregations as they sacrifice hymns in favor of rock music and scrap traditional white robes and stoles for Hawaiian-style shirts, while also making readers aware of the long history of similar attempts to Americanize the Lutheran tradition.