POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

Why does this affect me?

Ok, one of my friends just sent me a link to an article in the New Yorker Magazine entitled "The Good Book Business: Why Publishers Love the Bible" - You might guess that the answer to that question is not because of the truth of Scripture...

All the glitz, cash, and marketing aside...this section of the article almost caused me to physically vomit: 

The popularization of the Bible entered a new phase in 2003, when Thomas Nelson created the BibleZine. Wayne Hastings described a meeting in which a young editor, who had conducted numerous focus groups and online surveys, presented the idea. “She brought in a variety of teen-girl magazines and threw them out on the table,” he recalled. “And then she threw a black bonded-leather Bible on the table and said, ‘Which would you rather read if you were sixteen years old?’ ” The result was “Revolve,” a New Testament that looked indistinguishable from a glossy girls’ magazine. The 2007 edition features cover lines like “Guys Speak Their Minds” and “Do U Rush to Crush?” Inside, the Gospels are surrounded by quizzes, photos of beaming teen-agers, and sidebars offering Bible-themed beauty secrets:

Have you ever had a white stain appear underneath the arms of your favorite dark blouse? Don’t freak out. You can quickly give deodorant spots the boot. Just grab a spare toothbrush, dampen with a little water and liquid soap, and gently scrub until the stain fades away. As you wash away the stain, praise God for cleansing us from all the wrong things we have done. (1 John 1:9)

But Reid, this sort of thing "reaches people" - reaches them with what?  Resolved today to pray that my daughters would reach for the black bonded leather Bible over the cheap, shallow, teen magazines which the BibleZine felt led to emulate. 

My favorite cover was this one. 


Looks kind of like Glamour or Redbook, but without the freaky stuff.  But it does advertise to tell women "What Guys Are Really Thinking" I am not against Bibles being "designed, using modern type set, even a tasteful design on a cover etc." but this seems to me to be ridiculous, almost laughable.

It seems to take the holiest of things and trivialize them.  To take 1 John 1:9, which speaks of the gospel of Jesus, the Son of God crushed for sinners, so that God would be faithful and just to forgive our sins...and put it along side a tip of getting the white deodorant stuff off of your blouse...

OK, I think I really have to go vomit now.  And men, don't think you have been forgotten...oh, no.

For those gadget loving, maintenance men, you can get Align: 


And for all you little radical dudes downstream, get Refueled:


Where else are you going to learn how to attract godly girls. Awwww Yeah!

Is this cultural contextualization or capitulation?  In my mind it is the latter.  But hey, shouldn't we give em a high five for the old college try!?