That's For Alanis Morissette's Pain
|One of the things we do where I work is order massive quantities of books from Christian publishers each year. This is good for a few reasons. One is that I get discounts of 60-90 percent off the list price of any of the books from these publishers that are worth purchasing (and, yes, there actually are a few that are worth purchasing). Another equally enjoyable reason is that I get to leaf through their catalogues and make fun of most of what they publish. When Christians incorporate and start serving the dollar, things get amusing. Here are some of my favourite offerings from Zondervan:|
NIV Archaeological Study Bible
They said: “Written to be accessible to all readers, the NIV Archaeological Study Bible is the first Bible to feature a full-color interior design along with bottom-of-the-page study notes, book introductions, articles, maps, charts, and over 500 color photographs highlighting the historical, cultural, and archaeological information found in the Scriptures.” Jeannette Taylor of JET Marketing says she’s “never seen people respond so positively to a product concept.” Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary President Dr. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. says it may be “the publishing event of this decade.”
I say: First of all, can we please stop trying to have it both ways? Either you think the Christian Bible is the “Holy Bible” or you don’t, OK? Either it’s the inerrant Word of God™ or it isn’t. You can’t pretend that there’s something inherently wonderful and special and God-spoken about this book one moment, and then prostitute it out to key demographic groups for a profit the next. I’ll be the first to admit that this is a pretty cool concept. But if you really think the Bible is written by God, then just stop. God is not down with your hipster youth culture or your 500 colour photographs. Dig deeper my ass.
Secondly, the publishing event of the decade? Don’t flatter yourself. At the risk of pulling a John Lennon here, um, arry-Hay otter-Pay.
Presumed Guilty – James Scott Bell
James Scott Bell is a former trial lawyer who writes legal suspense books. Sound like anyone you know? Like maybe, I dunno, John Grisham? The only thing more ridiculous than Christian versions of “secular” trends is when the “secular” trend setter is a Christian in the first place. John Grisham is a white Southern Baptist male. That’s about as stereotypically Christian as you can get in this country.
Web of Lies – Brandilyn Collins
Collins is also the author of Brink of Death. And Dead of Night. And Stain of Guilt. What the hell? Is this your trademark? To have sinister-sounding three word clichés featuring a noun on either side of the word “of?” That’s just dumb.
Adventures in Missing the Point – Brian D. McLaren & Tony Campolo
Actually, this is a really great book. You should read it.
The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass Aged 37 ¾ - Adrian Plass
Are you trying to be witty by ripping off the titles of Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole novels? Or did you just think that no one would notice? Or can you just not come up with your own ideas? If this is supposed to be an allusion, it’s a really crappy one.
OK, so that’s enough angry white suburban vitriol for one day. But watch your back Crossway. You’re next.