:: Wednesday, March 22, 2006 ::
Xtreme Christian marketing: Jesus punk or just more Jesus junk?
A week or so ago, Rudy Carrasco pointed to a New York Times article (by way of the International Herald Tribune) titled, Xtreme Christianity in goth and punk (originally titled "Rebels with a Cross" by the Times). The article's premise is about how evangelicals are trying to capture -- and market -- the romantic notion of Jesus as rebel.
Anyone looking for the spirit of American counterculture - as a romance, identity or marketing principle - need look no further than the nearest evangelical bookstore, youth ministry or clothing line. A decade and a half after Nirvana's success exposed the strength of secular alt-culture tribes, their evangelical counterparts are having their own coming out in rebel gestures that sometimes recall the early church, sometimes, well, early Nirvana.
The article goes on to talk about "subversive" Christian movements like the intentional communities, the new monasticism and the emerging church. But it mixes these movements with more enterprising efforts to market Christianity as "Xtreme," dude.

The article quotes Edmund Gibbs, a professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary, who rightly says: "If evangelicalism means a commitment to the radical doctrine of Jesus, you have to be a subversive. Jesus was a subversive." But is goes on to describe "the increasingly clamorous Christian marketplace," where "rebellion is where you find it: in full-contact skateboard Bible study groups; in Christian punk, Goth and hip-hop CDs; in evangelical tattoo parlors; in sportswear brands like Extreme Christian Clothing and Fear God; in alt churches or ministries called Revolution, Scum of the Earth and Punk Girl; in a podcast called Xtreme Christianity, which turns out to be a fairly conventional weekly sermon delivered by a Baptist minister in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri."

And that about sums it up. Slap a cool title on a run-of-the-mill sermon or church service, wear some black eyeliner and a T-shirt from Hot Topic, put some Green Day on the CD player, get a cross or crown of thorns tattooed on yourself, and call yourself a rebel for Jesus.

Paging Church Marketing Sucks.

, , , , , , , ,

:: Andrew 07:25 + ::

bloggedy blog recommends

Save the Net

bloggedy pod (my podcast page)

Independent hotels
in Missouri

Get Firefox!


eMusic's Power Charts: The Most Interactive Music Charts Online.

Never Mind the Bibles

In rotation

What I've been listening to lately. Click album cover or hyperlink to hear track samples and learn more.

Sermon on Exposition Boulevard Rickie Lee Jones, Sermon on Exposition Boulevard

Children Running Through Patty Griffin, Children Running Through

Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? Of Montreal, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

Tones of Town Field Music, Tones of Town

The Girl Collection De Bossen, The Girl Collection

Robbers & Cowards Cold War Kids, Robbers & Cowards

Carinvore Simon Dawes, Carnivore

Until Death Comes Frida Hyvonen, Until Death Comes

Tratore Basics 2: New Brazilian Rock Tratore Basics Vol. 2, Novo Rock Brazil

Modern Times Yusuf: An Other Cup

Modern Times The Beatles: Love

Two Thousand The French Kicks: Two Thousand

Paper Television The Blow: Paper Television

Freedom Haters Unite! A Bloodshot Records Sampler, Vol. 1 Freedom Haters Unite! A Bloodshot Records Sampler

Beast Moans Swan Lake: Beast Moans

Prototypes Prototypes: Prototypes

Violence Is Golden Scanners: Violence Is Golden

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives Voxtrot: Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives

Your Biggest Fan Voxtrot: Your Biggest Fan

Translate Macon Greyson: Translate

Get Evens The Evens: Get Evens

Veruca Salt IV Veruca Salt: Veruca Salt IV

Modern Times Bob Dylan: Modern Times

Look Your Best Pink Tuscadero: Look Your Best

Blue On Blue Leigh Nash: Blue on Blue

I Am  Not Afraid Of  You And I Will Beat Your Ass Yo La Tengo: I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass

Boys and Girls in America The Hold Steady: Boys and Girls in America

The Longest Meow Bobby Bare Jr.: The Longest Meow"

Hello Love The Be Good Tanyas: Hello Love

The Lemonheads The Lemonheads: The Lemonheads

Ben Kweller Ben Kweller: Ben Kweller

We Are The Pipettes The Pipettes: We Are the Pipettes

Surprise Paul Simon: Surprise

Sev7en Exene Cervenka and the Original Sinners: Sev7en

A Hundred Highways Johnny Cash: American V: A Hundred Highways

For the Best of Us The John Doe Thing: For the Best of Us

Runaway Bombshell The Fondas: Runaway Bombshell

Flat-Pack Philosophy Buzzcocks: Flat Pack Philosophy

Citrus Asobi Seksu: Citrus

The Loon Tapes 'n Tapes: The Loon

2006 Pitchfork Music Festival Sampler Various Artists: 2006 Pitchfork Music Festival Sampler (24 free tracks)

News and Tributes The Futureheads: News and Tributes

Zoysia The Bottle Rockets: Zoysia

Let's Get Out of This Country Camera Obscura: Let's Get Out of This Country

Bang Bang Rock & Roll Art Brut: Bang Bang Rock & Roll

A Blessing and a Curse Drive By Truckers: A Blessing and a Curse

Broken Boy Soldiers The Raconteurs: Broken Boy Soldiers

The Life Pursuit Belle and Sebastian: The Life Pursuit

The Greatest Cat Power: The Greatest

bloggedy tags

from our sponsors

for your viewing pleasure

the Richard Show

where in the world?

Locations of visitors to this page