View Full Version : Wigg Stevenson, Tyler - Brand Jesus
August 2nd, 2010, 03:14 PM
I'm about halfway through this book right now. It was recommended in one of the workshops I attended at PALCON.
Wigg Stevenson tackles the issue of consumerism in a different light, paralleling the current Western obsession with stuff and the way it affects our identity with a few familiar sections of Romans.
As I said, I'm about halfway through the book, but I am very fond of the way he's approached this topic - there's no political comments or things that might be viewed as controversial. He tackles the culture as a whole and illustrates parallels between the present day and the society addressed originally in Paul's epistle to the Romans.
I'd recommend it for anyone, especially those struggling to differentiate the story of God from the story of the world (addressing why Christians seem to live like everyone else a bit too much).
August 11th, 2010, 11:07 AM
I'm continuing to read this book and it continues to challenge me about many elements of my lifestyle and the language we use in the Church.
He's defined "Brand Jesus" as the elements of Christianity we assume as another brand to add to our self-identifying collection. In a consumer society we define ourselves by the things we own and brands become an important part of that lifestyle, making what we consume more important than who we are.
Here's a quote that illustrates some of the implications he's raising and challenging us on:
"Brand Jesus makes the perfect Chaplain for the American way of life because he gives it his uncompromising support - regardless of what it consists of. He is the ideal spiritual yes-man, permitting much while forbidding a few sacred cows so that his flock can maintain delusional pretensions at moral rigor. In this sense, he bears all the odium of the Pharisees' moral blindness, but without any of their rigorous discipline. (This same principle drove masses to hysteria about Janet Jackson's breast - and only about her breast - in the midst of that completely sexually explicit and violent dance routine.)
"I can almost hear the retort: 'Well, what are you going to do? Ask people to move, change careers, upend their whole lives? Following Jesus can't be that hard.'
"Certainly not. Jesus would never ask his followers to leave their livelihoods, their hometowns, their families. Would he?
"Well - Brand Jesus wouldn't."
To be fair, he equally goes after both sides of most political and cultural issues for the way they've adopted a brand of their own. Sort of how people who shop at thrift stores often find personal identification in shunning brands and new clothes. He also readily admits that this book is hypocritical - it's just impossible for Western Christians to escape the overwhelming pull of consumerism in all its forms.
August 11th, 2010, 06:04 PM
I really wanna read this, but I'm afraid that if I buy it, it will tell me my personal consumerism issue is all the books I buy :D.
August 11th, 2010, 07:40 PM
I really wanna read this, but I'm afraid that if I buy it, it will tell me my personal consumerism issue is all the books I buy.
The book's a bit more complex than that - you certainly won't feel too guilty about it - just about a lot of other things.
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