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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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September 29, 2008

Designer church?


Last week, while riding the el, an advertisement caught my eye.

At first glance, it looked like an ad for a luxury handbag. The only image was of a fine leather clutch purse against a white background. The headline: "Designer church." In small type, the ad paraphrased Psalm 139:14: "Fearfully and wonderfully designed" and gave the web address for City Church Chicago.

Later, I noticed another ad from the same series. It featured a photo of a martini and the headline "Absolute church." I couldn't get close enough to see the corresponding Bible passage.

The ads are certainly effective. They attract attention and are memorable. But they also give a tacit nod to a culture of excess and indulgence. Blatant consumerism and overuse of alcohol are serious problems.

What do you think? Are the ads brilliant, do they pander to vice?

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