Speak UpA Former Division of UnderConsideration
The Archives, August 2002 – April 2009
advertise @ underconsideration
---Click here for full archive list or browse below
  
Even God Needs a Masthead

I think I have no snappy comments to add to this. I’m kind of speechless. Not that I’m too religious or prude or close-minded or anything I just don’t know what to make of it.

Let’s see… OK, look at the cover for this “magazine.” Looks like your usual cool, teeny-bopper, glossy magazine, doesn’t it? Now read what it is at:

New York Post Some Bay Area news thingie ABC News (you can even take a quiz here)

And if you are convinced that this is something you must have, just buy it at Amazon.

Thanks to Colin Hartnett for the topic.

Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
ENTRY DETAILS
ARCHIVE ID 1587 FILED UNDER Critique
PUBLISHED ON Sep.08.2003 BY Armin
WITH COMMENTS
Comments
Darrel’s comment is:

Marketing at it's finest.

On Sep.08.2003 at 09:43 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

er...its finest.

On Sep.08.2003 at 09:44 AM
Todd W.’s comment is:

A fine example of shaping your message to your audience.

On Sep.08.2003 at 09:46 AM
steven’s comment is:

This is what you call going to hell in a bobsled, cause we're moving faster than you can in a basket.

On Sep.08.2003 at 09:46 AM
Tan’s comment is:

It's a violation of church and taste.

bada boom.

On Sep.08.2003 at 09:47 AM
Brent’s comment is:

I don't see much of a difference between this and hollywood sugar coating Shakespeare.

It was inevitable. $15 bucks a copy though?

On Sep.08.2003 at 09:52 AM
Tan’s comment is:

seriously though -- it's no big deal.

when I was in college, I took this English course where we studied a portion of the old testament as if it was any other piece of literature. We analyzed its structure, deconstructed its symbolism. Critique its flaws. Again, I'm not a religious guy, but it was kinda fascinating.

As Brent said, Shakespeare, Dickens, Swift, etc. are always being repackaged, so why not this?

At the end of the day, if it's just a publisher trying to sell more books, who cares right?

On Sep.08.2003 at 09:56 AM
Patrick’s comment is:

I just feel sorry for those models on the cover. You know it's a stock shot from about five years ago. Just look at it. It's the kind of thing that makes you say "Why, oh why did I sign that model release? I was okay when they used it for that feminine hygiene ad, but this!?"

On Sep.08.2003 at 09:57 AM
Andrew Shurtz’s comment is:

At the end of the day, if it's just a publisher trying to sell more books, who cares right?

But isn't there something wrong about treating Christianity like just another brand to be applied and sold? I'm not exactly religious, but this makes me want to barf.

On Sep.08.2003 at 10:00 AM
Armin’s comment is:

I agree, it's not a big deal at all. I don't feel offended or anything, I could care less how people package the new testament. It's just the epitomy of a culture that needs things delivered in a candy wrapper to pay attention. Nothing wrong with it, it's just funny. And weird.

On Sep.08.2003 at 10:00 AM
Brent’s comment is:

Actually, when I think about it for a bit this comes to mind.

I'm having the same reaction as I did during the movie.

On Sep.08.2003 at 10:05 AM
jonsel’s comment is:

Since this is a design forum, I'll stick to that. As others are saying, why not? Everything needs to be relevant, even religion. The church has a message and the right to use marketing to get it out. This is no more right or wrong than Pentagram's redesigning of the Pocket Canon's a few years back. The design is certainly, um, less elegant, shall we say?

On Sep.08.2003 at 10:10 AM
Tan’s comment is:

Here's something sort of in contrast -- I'm actually currently reading Under the Banner of Heaven, a docu-novel by John Krakauer.

The book is about the Book of Mormon, LDS fundamentalists, and a couple of sensationalized FLDS crimes, including the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping. Absolutely riveting so far. Man, talk about the power of scriptures in the hands of some twisted nuts.

Apparently, the LDS church tried hard to ban and discredit the book, which has only bolstered sales even more. The sensationalism got me to buy it.

On Sep.08.2003 at 10:10 AM
Rick G’s comment is:

I dunno; I find it fairly distasteful. On one hand, I resent all the religios messages we're bombarded with. On the other hand, I have to wonder how people of faith can look at something like this and feel good about it.

But in any case, damnit, why did this have to have SO DAMN MUCH COPY on the cover?! Isn't that what's wrong with MOST magaszines, is the visual clutter and the signal:noise ratio?

If I were god, heads would roll. So to speak.

-R

On Sep.08.2003 at 10:40 AM
KM’s comment is:

I have to wonder how people of faith can look at something like this and feel good about it.

I find it very distasteful. I'm tired of this shit as well.

On Sep.08.2003 at 10:49 AM
Davin’s comment is:

I was just about to bring up Jack Chick tracts.

Jack Trick has been taking the "low" road for many years now. Using the "street level" medium of comics to practice "soul winning".

Chick tracts are admittedly less mainstream than this glossy testament and likely much more vile but their mission is the same. Win those souls!

On Sep.08.2003 at 11:12 AM
David E.’s comment is:

I've love Jack Chick's comicbooks. He's been doing them at least since the '70s. Years ago I had a handful of them that I got from a storefront baptist church in San Francisco. They're bizzarre and often hilarious. There's actually a comicbook biography of him done in a style that parodies Chick's style. I think it was Daniel Clowes that created it.

On Sep.08.2003 at 11:23 AM
Gayla’s comment is:

Chick was a genius because he was so distasteful he had scores of us "non-believers" buying and reading his tracts. That was entertaining stuff. Davin and I bought the entire collection in fact! Of course I doubt it did much to win our souls but... this new testament may have the same effect. I'm not planning to purchase it, but I will definitely sneak a peek if it makes it to any local bookstores.

On Sep.08.2003 at 11:29 AM
Kevin’s comment is:

It's just the epitomy of a culture that needs things delivered in a candy wrapper to pay attention. Nothing wrong with it, it's just funny.

I beg to differ, maybe there is something wrong with it. The fact that we're selling christianity, the cornerstone of Western Culture(like it or not) using the same language we use to sell lipstick and pushup bras disturbs me. This has nothing to do with the sanctity of the Church(I'm vehemently no-religious) but to me it is representative of a marketing culture that is violently reducing the diversity of our symbolic language. Religion, or our highest spiritual ideals, is rooted in identity politics, does not this treatment of its subject not only dismiss but work in complete opposition to that identity and all the ideas and ideals attached to it.

And once this comes to represent the face of religion, like it already represents the face of so many deeply important things, like love and relationships, what language are we going to be left with to talk about religion and spirituality.

"God is like soooooo... cool"

This is the epitomy of monoculture.

Or do we not want to talk about this.

On Sep.08.2003 at 11:34 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

But isn't there something wrong about treating Christianity like just another brand to be applied and sold?

Christianity, like several other religions *is* a brand. A very succesful one at that.

On Sep.08.2003 at 11:36 AM
Dan’s comment is:

So if Christianity is a brand, is this outside of the "branding standards"? Maybe that's what's rubbing us the wrong way. It definitely has to be sold, as the above discussion of "winning souls" points out. But beyond saving the lost, Christianity also has to sell itself to the kids who think church sucks.

The thing that bugs me the most about it is that this and almost everything else I've ever seen that is supposed to make Christianity seem cool is just a rip-off of pop culture. ("God's Gym" t-shirts, etc.)

It's easy to fall back on current styles and whatever is hip Right Now, it's harder to come up with something that is smarter, more original, more appropriate.

On Sep.08.2003 at 11:52 AM
Max’s comment is:

The whole thing smells of "Buddy Christ"

There were a whole mess of Chick comics for sale in Quimby's booth at WizardWorld Chicago this year, and I'm kicking myself now for not picking any of them up.

On Sep.08.2003 at 11:52 AM
marian’s comment is:

Save those souls. Isn't that christianity's prime directive? I think they need to do whatever works for them: fight fire with fire. I agree that it's an effective piece of marketing.

I am raving atheist, so I don't really care about the so-called trivialization of the "higher message." They're dealing with teenagers, and what they want is to get them into church, thinking about god, and not hanging out having sex and doing drugs. They hit the nail on the head.

Anyone who thinks that Christianity up until now has been leading some kind of pure, non-commercial existence has they head way up their ass. Christians have been hawking stuff for God since about 1 AD. This is no different.

The Chick tracts have worked their way into the underground of creepy-cool. They're the Crumb comics of the Christian narrow minded: no wonder we love them.

I'm somewhat confused as to whether this is a magazine that will come out on a regular basis, or if it's the complete bible repackaged (essentially a book). From reading about it, it appears to be the latter, though it looks like the former.

And yeah, too much type on the cover! What's with writing over the tops of girls noses?

I love the fish "Y"s.

On Sep.08.2003 at 12:04 PM
marian’s comment is:

The thing that bugs me the most about it is that this and almost everything else I've ever seen that is supposed to make Christianity seem cool is just a rip-off of pop culture

I don't think they have a choice. They have to co-opt existing cool in order to appeal to their market. If they created their own thing, had their own aesthetic and visual culture, I don't think it would succeed, because people would notice it, "brand" it in their minds as Christian and discard it as "uncool." It's a weird paradox that's embodied in their Quizzes. There's a Quiz that's all about boys--how strong is your crush?--but only by reading the scoring at the end do you get the "message" that this obsession with boys is supposed to be a bad thing. So they obsess about boys in order to tell girls not to obsess about boys. They cloak themselves in youth culture in order to tell kids to reject the youth culture. It's your basic wolf in sheep's clothing tactic.

On Sep.08.2003 at 12:19 PM
Tom’s comment is:

I have to wonder how people of faith can look at something like this and feel good about it.

isn't there something wrong about treating Christianity like just another brand to be applied and sold?

Coming from the point of view as someone of faith, I think the reason evangelical Christians look at this in a positive light is that it is taking the core "brand" message to a target audience in their visual language/environment. Much like missionaries will learn the language of a remote tribe or people group, those same intentions are now being focused on "unreached" subcultures within the US and other developed countries where mass marketed media is the norm and in some cases a more "trusted" source than parents, clergy, etc.

As far as the design itself, sure it could be better, but as someone who has dealt with this "industry", it's a lot better than some of the other Christian focused publications/brands.

I assume the high price is to cover production cost. Since this is probably as thick as comparable fashion/teen mags without the Gucci, Nike and Clairol ads to pay for it. Also, probably no subscription base, since it appears to be more of a one time "witnessing" tool.

I don't think this was meant as "hey, we are cool, God is cool, so buy this" - again, as a Believer, I see it as realizing that this is a marketing culture that is violently reducing the diversity of our symbolic language and trying to deliver the Message through that symbolic language.

The thing that bugs me the most about it is that this and almost everything else I've ever seen that is supposed to make Christianity seem cool is just a rip-off of pop culture. ("God's Gym" t-shirts, etc.) It's easy to fall back on current styles and whatever is hip Right Now, it's harder to come up with something that is smarter, more original, more appropriate.

Dan - you nailed it for me. As someone who champions the value great design adds to communication and as someone who believes in the message and ressurection of Jesus, it seems that a lot of "christian designers" have forgotten the thou shalt not steal issue and taken the easy road. In the long run they have probably turned more people off than on.

On Sep.08.2003 at 12:20 PM
brook’s comment is:

hmm....not touching this one. i'll upset someone. ha ha

i guess everything needs to seem relevant, though.

On Sep.08.2003 at 01:59 PM
Todd W.’s comment is:

First, aside from the pseudo-CosmoGirl articles, Revolve is a full New Testament. $15 is not that steep (though I bristle at making people pay for it at all.) Here's a bit of insight into what the publisher was thinking, from Beliefnet:

"Teens were saying that they found the Bible to be too freaky, too big, too intimidating," says Laurie Whaley, Brand Manager for the New Century Version at Thomas Nelson, one of America's major Bible publishers and part of the Revolve team. "Revolve shows girls that reading the New Testament is just as easy as reading an issue of Seventeen or Vogue."

That last bit is a complete lie. The Bible is not as easy as reading a magazine. No one gets a PhD in Vogue.

As for the design, it's just more of the same hokey, second-rate design work that is churned out by most Christian publishers. Actually, that's no different from most publishers.

Frankly, I'm confused why this was even posted on Speak Up, unless it was to mock the message instead of the medium.

On Sep.08.2003 at 04:14 PM
priya’s comment is:

I feel sort of off when I see the New Testament repackaged this way. Shouldn't the worship of God be done because you believe in Him not because it's 'cool'?

I guess I viewed the Church as something people believe in because they find that it's the Absolute Truth, not something they're duped or tricked to believing in.

Can't really say I like this approach one bit. And I'm not even Christian.

For some reason it makes me think of the Jesus Is My Homeboy t-shirts that Urban Outfitters is hawking this season.

On Sep.08.2003 at 10:21 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

everything else I've ever seen that is supposed to make Christianity seem cool is just a rip-off of pop culture

I'd say 90% of everything I've ever seen that is supposed to make [insert pretty much anything] seem cool is just a rip-off of pop culture.

And, really, how do you rip-off pop culture?

On Sep.09.2003 at 09:13 AM
Dan’s comment is:

[insert pretty much anything]

Darrel,

Point well taken. I guess what I was getting at were direct rip-offs of highly recognizable brands (Nike, Coke, Reese's...). All it does is capitalize on the recognition of the brand and the surprise factor when you see it's not saying that Coke is the Real Thing, but Jesus.

On Sep.09.2003 at 09:47 AM
Tan’s comment is:

> the power of scriptures in the hands of some twisted nuts.

I brought up the Krakauer novel cause I wanted to make a couple of points, but never got to it.

Most of the biggest conflicts in mankind's history has come from difference in interpretations of scriptures. You might even say that it's a difference in how the materials (scriptures, word of God, Koran, whatever) is presented, or 'packaged'. Orthodox vs. non-orthodox, fundamentalists vs. progressives, etc. In the case of the Krakauer's book, Fundamentalist Mormons vs mainstream Mormons. It's fascinating and somewhat relevant to the discussion we're having.

The other point I wanted to bring up was that like everything else, all PR is good PR. The LDS church made a big stink over the book, which prompted a large feature in my newspaper, which stirred my curiousity to buy a book. Revolve is nothing more than a publishing stunt by a Christian publisher to do the same thing.

and eric -- good point about the name. "Revolve" would suggest, if anything, re-incarnation. And last time I checked, that's not really a Christian thang.

On Sep.09.2003 at 10:22 AM
Kirsten’s comment is:

The phrasewinning souls may not apply here. Perhaps their real market it for teens who really want a better way to read scripture. It may not at all be a marketing ploy for non-believers but an answer to something that has been missing from Christian teens bookshelves all along. Perhaps its like using Schoolhouse Rock! to teach math, grammer and American history.

On Sep.09.2003 at 12:04 PM
Todd W.’s comment is:

Most of the biggest conflicts in mankind's history has come from difference in interpretations of scriptures.

Careful with absolutist generalizations. I'd suggest that the cause of most conflicts, big and small, boils down to "you've got something I want and I'm gonna kill you for it." Yes, there are many religion-fuelled wars, but I'd say even the bulk of those were just thin pretext for the cause I described above. Think about it: WWI, WWII, Roman Conquest, Golden Horde, European invasion of the Americas, Napoleonic Wars, and on and on.

Now back to your regularly scheduled hoo-hah.

On Sep.09.2003 at 03:28 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>Frankly, I'm confused why this was even posted on Speak Up, unless it was to mock the message instead of the medium.

Hey Todd, sorry for not responding earlier on this. First reason, yes, to mock the message — it's so easy it's not even funny. Secondly, on the more serious side I was aiming for the discussion that has developed already. What role do we play in creating these artifacts (just throwing out the new buzzword) that influences so many people — I mean, it's the new testament in magazine form by God!

It just felt right.

On Sep.09.2003 at 03:36 PM
Kevin’s comment is:

The magazines that this New Testament cover imitates are crass marketing vehicles, aiming to exploit teen angst and desire (or create teen angst and desire) in order to push product. The publishers of this book figure why not co-opt what's ubiquitous and understood to present the gospel. Same medium, same audience, different message.

The problem with doing this, as stated by others, is that it trivializes the message, equating faith with superficial lifestyle choices. If form follows function, these teen magazines look the way they do for a reason. Co-opting the teen mag format suggests that the things the New Testament speaks out against (obsession with appearance, materialism, popularity) are actually okay.

On Sep.09.2003 at 04:03 PM
eric’s comment is:

tan: "the power of scriptures in the hands of some twisted nuts."

mmmm... yes, reminds me of my high school years in Salt Lake. And that was before the church bought Main Street so they make the temple bigger. and i mean the Street.

i wasn't going to pipe in, until i started to think... isn't it a bit ironic to name a christian publication "revolve" what with their not so forward thinking cosmological past.

and those troublesome monkeys.

On Sep.09.2003 at 05:31 PM
Tan’s comment is:

> I'd suggest that the cause of most conflicts, big and small, boils down to "you've got something I want and I'm gonna kill you for it." Yes, there are many religion-fuelled wars, but I'd say even the bulk of those were just thin pretext for the cause I described above.

ah, but the justifications are intertwined with religion. The European march into the Americas and Asia was funded and justified by the Jesuits. The Roman's march across the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia was preceeded by Marco Polo and the Catholic church, bringing God to the pagans. There's the crusades, and the centuries of conflict between the protestant/catholic schism between England and all of Europe. There's the thousand years of feudal wars between Buddhist/Toaist regions of Japan and greater Asia. Not to mention the current conflict in the Middle East, which has been in existence across North Africa and the Middle East since Jesus was crucified. I can go on and on as well.

Yes, territory is also a cause -- but I still stand by my statement.

On Sep.09.2003 at 05:38 PM
eric’s comment is:

ok, i know i'm vain... but there's no way that i posted that twice... once in the morning and again at 530pm. i wasn't even near a computer then. Armin... will you strike the repeat. Hiccup in the system. An odd one too.

Tan... my point more about the name was you can read Revolve as either .... re...evolve: in which case you are talking about evolution. not an easy concession for a hard liner.

secondly, Revolve reminds me of the planets revolving around the sun. the Christians held strong about the earth being locked in space and Copernicus’ ideas that the heavens weren’t geocentric, or that the earth “revolved”, didn’t go down too well with them.

It’s a very loaded word to use for this particular magazine.

On Sep.09.2003 at 06:46 PM
Tan’s comment is:

eric -- those double-entendre meanings work too. so we agree -- it's a most unfortunate name for a God rag.

funny, I thought your second posting was a subtle way of warning me to shut up and back off from a holy war on this thread.

On Sep.09.2003 at 07:22 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>funny, I thought your second posting was a subtle way of warning me to shut up and back off from a holy war on this thread.

I thought he was being a smart-ass again. I clean up your mess eric.

On Sep.09.2003 at 07:28 PM
subtle smart-ass’s comment is:

>funny, I thought your second posting was a subtle way of warning me

>I thought he was being a smart-ass again.

and i thought nobody ever understood me. awwww.

On Sep.09.2003 at 07:34 PM
Tom’s comment is:

So, I was just wondering - if YOU were given the assignment to design the New Testament with a focus of reaching teen girls, how would you? Black leather and gold leaf? Good for thump'n!

I like the comments about standing out and being different, but isn't that a branding delima for any and all messages, products, etc.? Do you stand out or try to fit in? Stand out and risk alienation vs. differentiation. Fit in so a comfort level allows receptiveness or risk being lost in the mix and diluting the message?

On Sep.09.2003 at 10:52 PM
Tom’s comment is:

First reason, yes, to mock the message — it's so easy it's not even funny. Secondly, on the more serious side I was aiming for the discussion that has developed already. What role do we play in creating these artifacts (just throwing out the new buzzword) that influences so many people — I mean, it's the new testament in magazine form by God!

Not sure what you are saying here? That we as designers should decide what is worthy of being produced?

Plus, still wondering if anyone has a better idea?

On Sep.10.2003 at 10:58 AM
Armin’s comment is:

> That we as designers should decide what is worthy of being produced?

Not to decide if it gets produced or not, but to decide it you want to participate in it or not. That's where you have a choice.

Personally, if some publisher came to me and said "look, we want kids to dig the Torah, can you spice it up Justin Timberlake-style?" I would say no thank you. Because I wouldn't want to be involved in the creation of such artifact.

Yes, I'm going to beat "artifact" to a pulp. Just for the hell of it.

On Sep.10.2003 at 11:11 AM
amy’s comment is:

From the ABC News coverage:

"Really, for the past 100 years, evangelicals have tried to use popular culture to draw people to their faith," says Lynn Schofield Clark, a sociologist at the University of Colorado's School of Journalism and Mass Communication who has written about Christianity, teens and popular culture.

Only for the past 100 years? The way Christianity has always promoted itself is by coopting pop culture. They adopted (perhaps some would say "stole") holy days (holidays) and festivals from other religions in order to make it easy to convert the silly peasants who wouldn't know the difference. The devil/satyr as a cloven-hoofed half-man/half-goat creation? Taken. Christmas in the winter? Taken. Easter symbolism of rebirth? Taken! And that's just a short list.

It's a proven and effective tactic. Making their scripture look like Vogue is no biggie, and I would say no more shameful because it's Vogue and not Saturnalia.

That last bit is a complete lie. The Bible is not as easy as reading a magazine. No one gets a PhD in Vogue.

Agreed. Today's kids have enough problem reading and understanding Huckleberry Finn in school, much less Shakespeare or the GOOD version of the Bible (ie, "cast not ye pearls before swine" and not "don't feed your pearls to pigs").

And I am SO buying a Buddy Christ dashboard doll!

On Sep.10.2003 at 12:44 PM
Tom’s comment is:

Only for the past 100 years? The way Christianity has always promoted itself is by coopting pop culture. They adopted (perhaps some would say "stole") holy days (holidays) and festivals from other religions in order to make it easy to convert the silly peasants who wouldn't know the difference. The devil/satyr as a cloven-hoofed half-man/half-goat creation? Taken. Christmas in the winter? Taken. Easter symbolism of rebirth? Taken! And that's just a short list.

I think this would verify why, from a Christian point of view, why it might be worth blending in inorder to counter act the false teachings that are easily spread... ie. all the "Christian" holidays and symbolism mentioned above are not in the old or new testaments. They may have been created or borrowed or stolen by "Christians" over the years, and some "Christians" may have believed the Earth was the center of the universe, and some even felt justified to kill people in the name of Jesus, but none of these misfacts are in the Bible. Which I think validates trying to get people to actually read it for themselves.

That last bit is a complete lie. The Bible is not as easy as reading a magazine. No one gets a PhD in Vogue.

You should pick up a more recent translation - very easy to understand. I would think people do not get a PhD in Vogue, because it is not as rich in history, science, human behavior, and oh yeah, inspired by God because he loves us ALL so much!

Not to decide if it gets produced or not, but to decide it you want to participate in it or not. That's where you have a choice.

Agreed.

On Sep.10.2003 at 04:00 PM
amy’s comment is:

Tom:

I agree it's good for them to read their own damned book (to pun tastelessly), and not choose to ignore all the sections that would force them to be better and infinitely more likeable people. So many people claim to be Christian and are completely ignorant of why they should not be spiteful, oppressive, hateful, cruel, and proud, all the while claiming "You just don't like me cuz I'm going to Heaven."

That said, I don't like trickery. :)

On Sep.10.2003 at 05:08 PM
Momo’s comment is:

Remember, Christianity is not what you are trying to define, or rather what you are describing is not what I met, that is the reason I'm Catholic.

You know, 2000 years aren't just a few. Christianity "grew" when no one was able to read or write, neither book existed (Gutemberg came about 15 centuries after) nor did magazines.

So, ask yourself what good that magazines could be to Christianity. Or ask yourself who the hell may convert to Christianity reading those pages.

The fact is that there are people, the Pope is the first, who everyday testimoniates the fact that Christ is alive and can get in our way.

I say, the medium of Christianity are Christians themselves, not stupid magazines. Believe it or not, it happened to Romans and Greeks, it happened to me.

Go read this book if you wish: Helena by Evelyn Waugh. It's a novel about Helena, the mother of the roman Emperor Costantino.

On Sep.10.2003 at 05:32 PM
Tom’s comment is:

Amy,

Thanks for going back and forth with me on this. Some of the most hateful people I have ever met called themselves "Christians". Even too many of what I would call true Christians can't check their ego's at the door for these type convo's.

the medium of Christianity are Christians themselves

wholeheartedly agree - Ghandi is attributed to have said he would have become a Christian if he hadn't known one. But I still believe it's important to get the Word out. Magazines, Gold Leaf, Rainbow wigs, etc.

On Sep.10.2003 at 06:19 PM
amy’s comment is:

Tom,

I've had the same experience. For a long time I hated Christianity. Then I realized it's a more general dislike for nasty people, which are unfortunately a renewable resource. I do not believe in any god, but I don't mind people who do as long as they're civil.

Momo, they seem to think they'll convince those allegedly Christian teens to actually read the Bible for once, not convert new people. So it might be a success. Too bad they'll never post the sales numbers.

It seems their Biblical tie-ins, like with the "acne cure," are kind of sketchy though. Well, very sketchy. Are they really promising God will clear up kids' skin?

On Sep.10.2003 at 11:29 PM
Patrick’s comment is:

So, my weekly copy of Time Out New York arrived in the mail yesterday. I open it up and, on page 3, find an interview with Laurie Whaley, the editor of this thing.

I mention it because she says that there is a version for boys in the works, to be released in spring. I thought you should be warned.

On Sep.11.2003 at 01:51 PM
Kevin’s comment is:

So many people claim to be Christian and are completely ignorant of why they should not be spiteful, oppressive, hateful, cruel, and proud, all the while claiming "You just don't like me cuz I'm going to Heaven."

"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried." G K Chesterton

(By the way, "going to heaven" is just bad eschatology)

On Sep.11.2003 at 06:09 PM
Michael B.’s comment is:

There is still another interview with Laurie Whaley in the latest New York Times Magazine, including some (inadvertantly?) funny passages like:

"Q: [Christ] does not love girls who call boys, at least according to "Revolve"! It's positively regressive for "Revolve" to suggest that God made men to be the leaders in romance.

"A. There's no indication from Scripture that Mary Magdalene ever picked up the phone and called Christ."

By the way, the picture that accompanies the interview by John Chiasson makes Ms. Wahley look positively childlike, sort of an eerie, overgrown 9-year-old.

This project has gotten so much press that I'm sure it's already considered a big success at Thomas Nelson Publishers. Another case history for those who are looking for proof that, yes, design can make a difference. (Sigh.)

On Sep.13.2003 at 11:10 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

Mary Magdalene ever picked up the phone and called Christ

Mary: So, JC, 'sup? Wanna take me out tonight? See the camel races?

Christ: Well, gee...umm...you know, my Dad always says that *I* am supposed to be the one calling you.

Mary: Aww...your dad is *so* old school.

Another case history for those who are looking for proof that, yes, design can make a difference.

Or rather, the old phrase that 'any publicity is good publicity' can make a difference. ;o)

On Sep.16.2003 at 09:44 AM