David Westerfield

Gospel. Culture. Technology. Music.

Tag: Marketing


Freed to be Ordinary

http://www.challies.com/christian-living/ordinary-christian-living-for-the-rest-of-us

“‘You can’t market a book like that. It won’t sell. Nobody wants to read a book on being ordinary.’ They are probably right. Nobody wants to read a book on ordinary living because nobody aspires to be ordinary. It is not likely to sell as a book or a theme. Crazy, wild, radical, more, greater, higher, this-er, that-er, the comparatives and superlatives, these are the themes that fly off the shelves. But once we’ve been crazy and radical and wild and all the rest, why do we still feel, well, so ordinary? Why do we still feel like we’re missing out?” – Tim Challies

I don’t believe this is an argument against excellence or being proactive in things that we should be more proactive in, but rather an argument that amongst all the talk in modern Christian literature of being “awesome” and “extraordinary” and “doing big things for God” (summed up, “radical”), most of us are, well, ordinary. I’d count myself in that category. I’m an average IT guy, working at a financial company, providing for my family, ministering to a group of high school guys, who loves Christ. And it’s freeing to know that that’s okay, because the Gospel frees us to be ordinary. Are there things I could improve? Sure, no doubt. But the pressure to do something or be something big is huge it seems. And most of us are ordinary people who don’t live an extravagant, radical life and feel grossly inadequate and out of place.

This doesn’t mean some of of us won’t be extraordinary though, or that in our ordinary living extraordinary things won’t happen. And it doesn’t even mean that we shouldn’t, should the opportunity arise, pursue extraordinary things in our lives. But not everyone can or should be pursuing that (a concept handed to us by celebrity culture I believe, that we must aspire to “be awesome,” “dream huge so you can do what I’ve done” and so on; think in terms of an Academy Award acceptance speech). If everyone is extraordinary, doing extraordinary things, no one is extraordinary; the word loses its meaning. In fact, I would argue that God mostly uses ordinary people in the church to accomplish His ends throughout the world. We only see the big, headlined, mega-marketed things that are broadcasted, not the ordinary pastor in a small town, consistently shepherding a small group of people under the teaching of the gospel for 40 years.

Now if they do extraordinary things it’s because of His work and it can and does happen from time to time. Most people who accomplish incredible things for God do so because of His multiplying effect though (like Jesus with the fish and loaves), not because they were trying to “be awesome.” Rather it was precisely because they minimized themselves and got out of His way that He then did big things. In other words, extraordinary things happen because of God, not us necessarily, though certainly He uses us.

I believe the antidote to a lot of this thinking that we have to do “big things” or “be big things” (as we millennials have defined it; I guess I’m a millennial?) is a re-recovery of the Reformed view of vocation.

http://www.modernreformation.org/default.php?page=articledisplay&var2=881

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2007/01/calvin-and-the-christian-calling-20

Aldous Huxley on Propaganda in Democratic Societies

Excerpt from Brave New World: Revisited (1958), Chapter 4

I cannot exhaust the various sectors of our society these words apply. Huxley was prescient in his outlook.

“There are two kinds of propaganda — rational propa­ganda in favor of action that is consonant with the enlightened self-interest of those who make it and those to whom it is addressed, and non-rational propa­ganda that is not consonant with anybody’s enlight­ened self-interest, but is dictated by, and appeals to, passion. Where the actions of individuals are con­cerned there are motives more exalted than enlight­ened self-interest, but where collective action has to be taken in the fields of politics and economics, enlight­ened self-interest is probably the highest of effective motives. If politicians and their constituents always acted to promote their own or their country’s long-range self-interest, this world would be an earthly paradise. As it is, they often act against their own inter­ests, merely to gratify their least creditable passions; the world, in consequence, is a place of misery. Propa­ganda in favor of action that is consonant with en­lightened self-interest appeals to reason by means of logical arguments based upon the best available evi­dence fully and honestly set forth. Propaganda in fa­vor of action dictated by the impulses that are below self-interest offers false, garbled or incomplete evi­dence, avoids logical argument and seeks to influence its victims by the mere repetition of catchwords, by the furious denunciation of foreign or domestic scape­goats, and by cunningly associating the lowest pas­sions with the highest ideals, so that atrocities come to be perpetrated in the name of God and the most cyni­cal kind of Realpolitik is treated as a matter of reli­gious principle and patriotic duty.”

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Who Do You Think Stands To Gain From ‘Climate Change’?

http://www2.goldmansachs.com/

Atheists Advertise in North Texas

Let the marketing wars begin? Hopefully not. I’m nervous about what Christian org’s will put up in response, as a sort of unintended deterrent from the Gospel.

Where Did the Mighty Green Push Go?

Oh yeah, that’s right … it was all marketing anyway, a facade … and when the economy crashes, marketing and advertising are the first things to get cut. Plus, when the economy is down, there’s no money to be made, because the green push only works when the economy is doing well. Hmm, what does that tell us about the reality of things?

The mighty Green push has disappeared from the media, with the exception of big companies like NBC and CNN still pushing it (I’m assuming because for them, there is still money to be made based on statistics), despite the fact that 2/3 of the presenters at the UN’s IPCC conference dissent against the theory of man-made global warming.

Can you tell this is a sticking point for me? 🙂 The level of absurdity with this nonsense continues to boggle the imagination.

An Example of the Nonsense Plaguing Evangelicalism – Pyromarketing

(Original): http://www.challies.com/archives/articl … ting-a.php
(Archived): http://www.westerfunk.net/archives/chri … en%20Life/

A friend of mine posted this link under an item I posted recently on Facebook and so I thought it was pertinent to read in itself. It seems secular marketers have moved more and more into the Christian publishing market, and as a result, we are receiving what we “want” to read based on statistical analysis, not necessarily what we need to be reading as believers. We need to take it back for the glory of God, not the glory of profit. www.monergismbooks.com is a great place to start.

It’s not wrong to make money off of a venture in the Christian publishing industry. However, is that the driving motivation for your business? Or is it getting good literature into people’s hands so they will grow in the faith? Pyromarketing techniques in evangelicalism are watering down the Gospel to where there is really no Gospel left at all that resembles anything of what the Scriptures say, or at the very least a three deep reiteration.

I would also like to add as a disclaimer that I do not believe Warren’s book has done no good at all, because it is very likely some people read it who never would have read anything even remotely Christian who then later had a better explanation of the Gospel than Warren’s at their local church (hopefully). So we have no idea what individuals may have been affected. To presume to know so is nonsense.

Now I would also say, along with Paul Washer, that those who say, “But I was saved through that method,” that you weren’t saved through it but probably in spite of it, because many of these methods have so butchered and skewed the Gospel that is beyond recognition of what the Scriptures actually say.

Regardless, this article exposes an area in our Christian culture that possesses an increasingly worldly modus operandi that really is anything but Christian if the Christian publishing companies are all about profit instead of growing people in Christ.

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