December 19, 2008 by

Here’s Another Way of Looking at What I’ve Been Talking About the Past Two Days


Categories: food for thought, quotables

Here’s a quote I read this morning from the book unChristian. It is in the afterword, written by Gabe Lyons:

“One helpful way to reflect on this conclusion is through the lens of a brand….For instance, when you hear the word Starbucks, what immediately comes to mind? A round green logo? The aroma of coffee? The taste of a vanilla latte? The greeting of a friendly barista? A warm place for conversation? Or perhaps you have an entirely different, negative set of images that comes to mind. The point is, when presented with a brand name, you immediately summon all your past experiences and interactions with the product and form an instant opinion.

“To outsiders the word Christian has more in common with a brand than a faith. This shift of meaning in recent decades has been magnified by an increasing use of the term Christian to label music, clothes, schools, political action groups, and more. And sadly, it is a bad brand in the minds of tens of millions of people. In the middle of a culture where Christianity has come to represent hypocrisy, insensitivity, and bigotry, it’s easy to see why the next generation wants nothing to do with it.”

Musician. Composer. Recovering perfectionist. Minister-in-transition. Lover of puns. Hijacker of rock song references. Questioner of the status quo. I'm not really a rebel. Just a sincere Christ-follower with a thirst for significance that gets me into trouble. My quest has taken me over the fence of institutional Christianity. Here are some of my random thoughts along the way. Read along, join in the conversation. Just be nice.

5 Responses to Here’s Another Way of Looking at What I’ve Been Talking About the Past Two Days

  1. Monk-in-Training

    “Branding” is a good way to look at it. Many American cars are nicely styled and have grown to comparable quality with the Japanese brands, yet most people my age think they are junk, they learnd the “brand” when the cars WERE bad.

    So now the name “Christian” is taking on that sour taste. I wonder if our invovlement (my involvment) with Politics hastened it? Maybe the whole “last days” stuff, could turn people off, I don’t know.

    This is a great conversation.

  2. Pat

    This post is so right!

    Here’s my branding story. Several years ago, one of my students had a relative in another country whose baby needed a special formula not available in that country. At that time I belonged to a church with an international infrastructure, so we arranged that a student group would raise money for the formula and the church would deliver it.

    I truly don’t remember how this plan worked out for the baby, but a few weeks afterwards one of the students who had helped raise money came to my office to talk about religion. She wanted to know how I could belong to a religion that oppressed gay people.

  3. shaun

    I think you are so right about this. I was just having a conversation with a woman that I work with about this very thing. I myself am sick of the “Christian” brand. Why can’t we just love people and be real with people?
    I used to listen to a lot of Christian radio and do lot’s of “Christian” activities, but I think it was Jesus himself who said something about the salt losing it’s flavor.
    I would almost rather not be associated with the word Christian any more.
    great post/thread

  4. Lightbearer

    A Brand rather than a Faith!!

    It’s funny how Pentecostals think they are so much different than Baptists and vice-versa. But, to the world they look like a different brand of the same product.

    That ought to speak loud and clear to the insiders!! But, for the most part they’re not listening, unfortunately.


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