Two academic journals reviewed The Rise of Network Christianity: How Independent Leaders Are Changing the Religious Landscape, by CRCC’s Richard Flory and Brad Christerson. The book explains the social forces behind the fastest-growing form of Christianity in the U.S., which Christerson and Flory have labeled “Independent Network Charismatic.” The book was supported by CRCC’s Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative.
The review in Sociology of Religion, produced by the Association for the Sociology of Religion, begins with an analogy to a chef who spread his fame without having to manage far-flung restaurants around the world by teaching other chefs online and through seminars. It continues:
This is essentially what Christerson and Flory describe in their well-researched and well-executed book, but rather than chefs with innovative cuisine, their book examines leaders with roots in the neo-Charismatic movement who have gained attention through dynamic preaching styles and an ability to “offer compelling experience of the supernatural” (160). These leaders, or “apostles,” are distinctive because instead of aiming to build a denomination of churches that they directly oversee, these leaders are content with establishing looser networks of influence.
Reading Religion, a publication by the American Academy of Religion, also published a review. Here’s an excerpt:
The authors’ aims are clearly defined and unpacked throughout the book. They substantiate their claim that INC Christianity is a rapidly growing sub-group in neo-Charismatic Christianity and argue that it will influence mainstream Christian practices in years to come. Their discussion of networks in the religious economy is useful in understanding the influence of INC Christianity in the changing religious landscape of America; it holds a niche market and is expanding its market share (160).