A Letter From the Publisher: Apr. 6, 1987

When Associate Editor Richard N. Ostling began to study the recent controversies surrounding U.S. television evangelists and then to write this week's cover story, he called on 22 years of religion reporting and a lifetime in mainstream Protestantism. He wrote the TIME covers on Televangelists Jerry Falwell (1985) and Pat Robertson (1986), and has spent countless hours in recent years watching the shows of TV preachers and poring over their periodicals. Reared as an American Baptist, Ostling is perplexed, as are many other Evangelical Christians, over the phenomenon he calls theme- park Christianity. The electronic churches, he says, are a "fascinating...

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