One can simply observe those megachurches that look like strip malls and shopping malls, which stand in stark contrast to cruciform cathedrals. But how effective has the movement been in engaging human suffering, including race and class divisions in the church and society? Perhaps the absence of the altar or table at the front of many of these churches is also revealing, especially since it has given way to a coffee bar at the back. That’s because the coffee bar and the Lord’s table are symbolic: both are symbols that communicate powerfully their use of “sacred” space. The coffee bar connotes pleasure and leisure (good things in their own right), whereas the Lord’s table always connotes joy through suffering: the bloody grapes of wrath have become a river of life.
Consuming Jesus: Beyond Race and Class Divisions in a Consumer Church
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