Wednesday, August 02, 2006

More on ICRS

Captain’s Log, Supplemental

Blog book giveaway:
My Thursday book giveaway is WEB OF LIES by Brandilyn Collins.
My Monday book giveaway is SECRETS OF THE ROSE by Lois Richer.
You can still enter both giveaways. Just post a comment on each of those blog posts. On Thursday, I'll draw the winner for WEB OF LIES and post the title for another book I'm giving away.

ICRS, revisted: Mark Goodyear was kind enough to mention my blog when he blogged himself in response to a negative LA Times article about ICRS.

Personally, I loved ICRS. All those booths with Jesus trinkets and stuff. Yes, I admit, there is a serious shopper hidden in me. Give this girl some cash and she's a dangerous force of nature.

Are those things all that bad? I love them. Okay, I admit, most of the Precious Moments stuff doesn't really appeal to me, but there are tons of other things in Christian bookstores that could entertain me for hours.

So what do you think? Jesus turning tables or walking through a marketplace?

8 comments :

  1. Wow! I just clicked through and read all of the different blog posts and article and I'm a little shocked. I can't quite wrap my mind around the fact that people turned it into a big deal. Wow. I mean, who cares if we Christians want a stuffed animal with a "Jesus Loves You" t-shirt? And someone alluded to the fact that Christians were distancing themselves and fencing everyone else out by producing/selling/buying this type of merchandise? Oh my goodness, I see it so differently. If I'm wearing a "Three's Company, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit" t-shirt (which is actually possible, my Honey has one and I'm forever swiping his shirts), carrying my "With God, All Things Are Possible" keychain, and sharing "Scripture" candy with the neighborhood kiddos then I am only showing my pride in being a Christian and loving God and maybe opening up a door for someone who doesn't already know God to ask me about Him.

    But, that's just my take on it. I probably would've loved ICRS too. In fact, I know I would've because I could spend countless hours inside my local Christian store.

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  2. Maybe I'm naive, but I just don't see the big deal about Christians selling accessories.

    One of the first booths when you walked in was selling pirate stuff. I saw the guy in his eye patch and captain's hat yelling, "ARRRRGGHHH!" and I thought, Cool! I love pirates. (They had coffee mugs and all sorts of neat stuff.) It wasn't offensive. It was fun. It was cute. And it was explicitly Christian.

    One thing does make me nervous--so much explicitly Christian stuff might make us think our work has to be explicitly Christian to glorify God.

    If I make pizza, I don't have to spell out Jesus with the pepporoni for my work to glorify God. If I make cabinets, I don't have to scratch "John 3:16" into the door to glorify God. Everything I do has Jesus' name written on it--because I'm a Christian.

    It's a scary thought really. And one that should motivate us all to do excellent work.

    (Camy, thanks for the link back. You're sweet.)

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  3. I think Jesus would sigh a bit at our doodad-obsession, but I think it's about the heart.

    All groups like things that say, "This is what we stand for." Yellow or pink wristbands or red ribbons or a shirt with Che Guevara or a Peace sign. It's a connection device. An identity tag of sort.

    Christians are no different. Yeah, we do seem to like a lot of tacky stuff, but we like it cause...ultimately...we like Jesus.

    And I think Jesus would just ask us to be careful of crass consumption and wasting money, but he's happy we like him. :)

    I see it this way: If the trinkets make folks feel smiley and they aren't too excessive and if they support more serious booksellin--ie, allow the store to thrive to sell Christian bibles, cds, books, and novels--then I'm find with the tea cups with verses and Bible covers in needlepoint and the mushy art and the cheap bracelets and the Noah's Ark stickies.

    They're not trying to rip people off as the temple merchants were. Unlike the temple animals selling at racket prices, no one is saying, "You must buy these Testamints and this rapture T-shirt if you wanna serve God!"

    Besides, I have several Bible covers and some Testamints. hah.

    Mir

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  4. Love the pepperoni anaolgy, Mark. Although I'd really like to see that. LOL!

    That's good question, Camy. Jesus reacted as he did because the merchants were taking advantage of the worshipers. They had no care of glorifying God, only to line their pockets. Once again it comes down to motivation. I'm not saying everyone there had perfect motivation, but I do believe ICRS seeks to promote Christian materials to support the Christian community and to spread the Word.

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  5. The only problem I have with Christian bookstores is the price. They charge more than, say, a mom and pop store. I've heard several people complain about this very thing. In a way, I do think they're taking advantage of those who will only buy a book from a Christian bookstore. But, then again, it's their choice.

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  6. Camy, I've noticed that most people who work for CBA book publishers are very disdainful of all the trinkets and Jesus-stuff being displayed at ICRS. The common feeling is that ONLY BOOKS are worthy items, and all that other stuff is just junk. It's quite a prideful attitude, and I must admit I've been guilty of it in the past.

    But now that I think about it, I'm not sure I can rightly accuse those trinket sellers and manufacturers of doing anything wrong. They're not forcing anyone to buy anything. And we do not know their individual motives -- profit vs. serving God -- any more than we can be sure of the motives of any publishing company.

    As others have pointed out, economic realities have forced the Christian bookstores to sell more than books, or they will be out of business. As it is, their continued existence is still in question. And I also want to point out to Chickey that the Christian bookstores don't charge more because they "can." They charge more because they have to. Again, the economic reality is that hardly any of them are making any money, and they're scrambling for ways to keep their doors open.

    So, while I am a BOOK person through and through -- and I personally avoid all those trinket booths at ICRS -- I don't think it's a turning-the-tables issue. I think it's more of an issue of us book-people not being so arrogant and prideful.

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  7. forget all that... lets get down to the real issue... did you get me a souvenir while you were at ICRS?? :o)

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  8. Oh dear, I think I'm going to be the one wet blanket here. :) I feel like some of that stuff cheapens what Christianity is. I think of the movie "Dogma" where this one Catholic church was considering a marketing plan where they'd promote "Buddy Jesus". (Big smile giving you a thumbs up.) I'm sure Jesus had a sense of humor and all, but is that how we want Christianity to come across?

    Okay y'all, be sure to leave your hate mail on my blog and not Camy's. :)

    -Alison
    blog.alisonstrobel.com

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