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  1. OMG! That is just awesome! I gotta get me one of those! 🙂

    Seriously though – what do we think about Christian product lines? It seems Islam may be on to something when they prevent any imaging of God/Allah as an act of holy reverence. Has Christianity lost something by becoming sooo visible?

  2. Well, come on…I mean, Jesus is just soooo dreamy! Allah, Muhammed…they just don’t have that chisled, tortured seductiveness.

    Oh, you mean Jesus probably didn’t look like Jim Caviezel? Well, hmmm…maybe I’ll have to reconsider my position.

    In a bit more seriousness, I only have a problem with Christian product lines when they’re put out there by Christians, be it as “witnessing” tool or simply to b(r)and Christians together as a group. There can no more be such a thing as “Christian jewelry” than you can own a “Christian SUV” or carry a “Christian briefcase.” Which of course calls into question things like “Christian Radio” and “Christian dieting programs.” I wonder what others think?

  3. I tend to have a problem with this kind of stuff. Especially the slogans that are takes on “secular” slogans. “Pray Hard” vs. Nike’s “Play Hard”, etc. And the designs imitate their secular counterparts. Very lame in my opinion.

    I don’t doubt that Satan thinks it’s a hoot. Have you been into a Family Christian Bookstore lately? You want Jesus jewely? You want Jesus pens and pencils? You want yer Jesus music, Jesus keychains, Jesus mugs? Those are the things you see when you first walk in the door.

    You want to read the Bible? You want a decent commentary? That stuff is hidden in the back corner, and behind the register like pornography at the 7-Eleven…

  4. I never go to “Christian Bookstores”…EVER. If I need a book by Francis Schaeffer, CS Lewis, etc. then I go to Borders or order it online. I just can’t take the clerk following me around nervously making sure I don’t shoplift.

  5. You know, the crown of the thorns is not as spiky as that featured on the Jim the Calviezel. I guess a little of the blood on the chest of the bling wearer would ruin the effect.

  6. I can also set the egg timer these days to the second regarding the timing for when the Mel Gibson product placement le grande will come up in conversation.

    This returns to the question I had originally after iambillpower’s posting – do we say that Christianity (ala CS Lewis in Mere Christianity) just cannot be used as an adjective to either enhance or delimit a particular noun? (i.e. Christian Music, Christian Handsoap, etc)

    The larger question regarding aesthetics/art I think revolves around the following – can art (music, poetry, novels, t-shirts) be overtly ‘christian’ based on the impetus behind there creation (“I wrote this song based on my experience of coming to Jesus…”)as opposed to ‘christian’ in relation to its finality – being ‘created’ and there inherently ‘christian’ with all the salvific qualities of that title…

    Just wondering while listening to Karin Peris singing ‘O Sacred Head Now Wounded’ in the background…

  7. I can also set the egg timer these days to the second regarding the timing for when the Mel Gibson product placement le grande will come up in conversation.

    This returns to the question I had originally after iambillpower’s posting – do we say that Christianity (ala CS Lewis in Mere Christianity) just cannot be used as an adjective to either enhance or delimit a particular noun? (i.e. Christian Music, Christian Handsoap, etc)

    The larger question regarding aesthetics/art I think revolves around the following – can art (music, poetry, novels, t-shirts) be overtly ‘christian’ based on the impetus behind there creation (“I wrote this song based on my experience of coming to Jesus…”)as opposed to ‘christian’ in relation to its finality – being ‘created’ and there inherently ‘christian’ with all the salvific qualities of that title…

    Just wondering while listening to Karin Peris singing ‘O Sacred Head Now Wounded’ in the background…

  8. I think what’s important, of course, is the impetus for making a product. And let’s face it. If you are making Jesus Bling it’s because you’re trying to make money. I guess this is just one tiny piece of the “making Christianity hip” thing that always bothers me. Christian faith is not cool. It never will be. And if there is a strain of it that has become -gasp- popular then we should flee from it as if it were the devil himself. Jesus was a radical and a revolutionary whose idea of the right thing was to sell everything and follow Him. Therefore I cannot imagine any type of “Christian Gear” rating very high with Him.

  9. I agree with iambillpower…I don’t want a Jesus who is my homeboy, or to be down wit’ G-O-D (“yeah, you know me!”). I had a college professor who once said, “Until the most beautiful image you can think of is that of Jesus hanging dead and bloody on the cross, you have no idea what it means to be a Christian.” I think the sort of “seeing” he was talking about is a radically different vision of beauty than the one that the “Jesus Bling” marketers want to sell us.

    And yet, why this tendency for that disturbing image on which our faith is founded to be diluted and institutionalized until we finally accept it as cultural or quaint or simply an appropriate fashion accessory? How is the Jesus Bling pendant from overstock.com any different than the rosary (blessed by the pope [supposedly], I might add) that I bought in the gift shop at San Marco’s cathedral in Venice? How do we maintain the radicality – the disturbing and perversely ill-logical core – of our faith and its images?

    Instead of taking down our crosses and making everything “seeker friendly,” I think it’s time Christians (evangelical and non-) start scaring people away with this message: “Following Christ will be the death of you.”

  10. OK… is this statement soooo made for being re-purposed as a T-Shirt or what:

    “Following Christ will be the death of you.”

    I need to get to work on this…

  11. Sure, you can misappropriate my slogan and make a t-shirt out of it (not so different from those “God’s Gym: His Pain, Your Gain” shirts, eh?).

    But I propose (in our churches) to make good on this…occasionally taking a new Christian and doing the whole gun-to-the-head-will-you-reject-Christ?! bit. So we don’t have any confusion between our message and our action. Seriously, why do we tell people at big evangelical gatherings, “We’re not going to make you do anything weird…don’t worry – we’re not going to make you shave your head (like jimmy white shoes).” Screw that! Let’s start shaving heads or branding/tattooing people, and occasionally having someone actually give their life to Christ, to serve as a prophetic witness to the rest of the community.

    Okay, I’m joking (mostly…).

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