Thursday, February 17, 2011


This week's blog post is a request.  Your assignment, if you will, is to read this article from Christianity Today.

I'll give my thoughts on this next week.

Enjoy...if you can. 


DVD said...

Just my opinion, but it seems the writer is suffering under the tyranny of the "or." Unfortunately, it appears he believes he must choose between: 1) communicating with his neighbor in the language of his culture, or 2) loving his neighbor.

First you have to determine what the writer means by marketing. A steeple rising above the neighborhood skyline lets the town know the church is there. Is that marketing? What about a simple sign out front with a name, service times, and maybe a small scripture? Certainly the word-of-mouth the writer advocates is marketing, supposedly the best kind! So it's safe to assume the the writer doesn't actually mean "marketing."

If it's not ALL marketing that the writer opposes, it's hard to infer exactly where he's aiming. It's tempting to say he only opposes effective marketing, but his examples of clowns, magicians and celebrities (?!) show he also opposes crappy marketing.

Giving the writer the full benefit of the doubt, perhaps his issue is with the content of the messages more than how they're delivered. I happen to agree with him that grace is not transactional. But I've heard the transactional message from as many "simple" churches as I have marketing-savvy ones. I agree it's not my job to convince or cajole people, but that aspect of religion is by no means limited to marketing-savvy churches, I think that issue afflicts most congregations.

Above all, I certainly agree with the writer that the essence of my calling is "to love, to take the initiative to get to know others, to not hold their sins against them, to be generous with our time and goods, to be faithful and kind." If you happen to already be in a relationship with someone who is modeling that with you, great! But what about those of us grinding or stumbling through, feeling the ache for that love but not knowing if it really exists. Wouldn't it be nice if there were a sign that said "Love is here!" Maybe a big fat neon sign so it's harder to miss, "Love is here!" Wouldn't it be nice if there were a way to reach me right where I was with the message, "Love is here!" Reaching me in a language and manner I understand could be called marketing. Or it could be called love.

LaurieJo said...

What DVD said. Seriously, not just because he's my flesh and blood brother. I agree completely with DVD's take on the article. My first reactions to reading the article were more along the lines of, "Huh?" and "Why the contempt?," but after some consideration, I decided to agree with DVD's well-thought response.

The author's contempt still stings a smidge. And I'm grateful, for my sake, that God "stooped" to use the methods that it took to get me engaged with Him after having been singed by the harsher marketing techniques employed by the legalists whose god was that of my childhood. "Fire insurance" no longer cut it for me.

Pastah Piet said...

Great thoughts the VanDyke clan - and people wonder why I am a tad biased toward the Dutch?

I will add the rest of my thoughts on Tuesday, but you have laid all-important ground work. Thank-you!


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