The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


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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