gratitude & hoopla: In the Midst of the Smoke and the Talk

gratitude & hoopla

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

3.1.06

In the Midst of the Smoke and the Talk

Yesterday I saw one of those magazine Bibles. You know, they have titles like "Refuel" or "Remix," etc. Flashy, intended for niche markets, intended not to look like Bibles at all, intended to be cool, to be a source of no embarassment, busy with pictures of models striking poses. On the back of one of these we see a picture of a yound woman, looking very "with it," very hip in every way, and in large print across the page, echoing the words of an old Dire Straits song, "I want my NCV."

Does anyone find this rank appeal to Christian consumerism as dissonant as I do? I thought of all this when I read the following quotation from David Wells (courtesy of Danielle Durant of RZIM):
"Christ is not an agitator. He offers no new, intense experiences. He does not sell anything. He is, and that is all—like a flower on the restaurant table in the midst of the smoke and the talk. This is not what everybody else is promising today. In the advertisements, . . . in the new spiritual movements the message is clear—we have exactly what you have been looking for! Here is the answer to all your questions! […] This simplification turns everyone into nothing more than a shallow consumer. Christ is not for consumption but for worship."
The quotation, by the way, is from Turning to God: Biblical Conversion in the Modern World (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989), page 128.

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