Television: Electronic Evangelist

When Lutherans of the Missouri Synod (5,000 churches, 2,000,000 members) decided to get into TV five years ago, controversy raged among the ministers over the best way to "merchandise" Christianity. The Rev. Herman W. Gockel, a religious counselor-by-mail for radio's popular Lutheran Hour, quoted St. Mark, who said that Jesus always drew on drama in His preachings: "Without a parable spake He not unto them." Since then, the Lutherans have produced more than 150 half-hour parables, distributed free weekly for showing on some 280 TV stations across the U.S. (sufficient to reach 98%...

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