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How to Infect a Culture

Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell thinks churches can learn a lot from the flu bug.

What do the weird resurgence of Hush Puppies shoes, the sudden drop in New York City’s crime rate, the steady rise in teen smoking, and the revolutionary success of Sesame Street have to do with proclaiming the gospel? A lot, if you take to heart Malcolm Glad well’s thesis in his bestseller, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.

Gladwell, a staff writer for The New Yorker, has taken principles of epidemiology (the study of how diseases spread) and translated them into strategies for understanding the life cycle of cultural trends. Just like disease epidemics, he says, ideas and messages have “tipping points”—dramatic moments when, all at once, they explode upon a society and “infect" it. Studying these phenomena could help us “start and control positive social epidemics of our own.”. . .

Click here to read the full article (READ PDF).


Michael Cromartie

Michael Cromartie, Commissioner, (1950 - 2017) served as Vice President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he directed both the Evangelicals in Civic Life and Faith Angle Forum programs. His area of expertise included issues at the cross-section of religion and politics. He was also an advisory editor of Christianity Today magazine, a senior advisor to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and a senior fellow with The Trinity Forum. Mr. Cromartie was a graduate of Covenant College in Georgia, and held an M.A. in Justice from The American University in Washington, D.C. On September 20, 2004, President George W. Bush appointed him to a six-year term on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.


Notice: This material is made available for limited use to participants of the C.S. Lewis Institute Fellows programs. Please do not reproduce any of the materials in the Fellows Resources other than for your personal use.

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