Pots and kettles

by Richard on February 6, 2018

Scrolling through my twitter feed with my cereal this morning, I came across a link to a video by Tim Challies, the 5 Most Ridiculous Books to Ever Become Christian Best Sellers. Tough call, I thought — the competition is stiff. But I watched the video to see what he thought. Opening with ‘The Prayer of Jabez’ is getting off to a good start in my not very humble opinion, because that really is an excrescence. Joel Osteen was a sitting duck of course. I hadn’t read any of the others, though I was very surprised that ‘Left Behind’ didn’t make the cut. But maybe Tim knows better than me.

However, his authority to point the finger at the excesses of the Christian book industry was undermined a bit by what came next. Intrigued by the title ‘Why My Family Still Doesn’t Do Sleepovers‘, I started to watch. Only a few moments in I was confronted by “This video was made possible by MissionalWear, unique theology-inspired apparel and gifts for the holiday season.”

I’m sorry, but if youe sponsorship includes Calvin bow ties or Soli Deo Gloria hats, you’re in no position to judge others. Not to mention the ‘Tulip Girl’ ladies tee, for the Calvinist woman in your life.

Physician, heal thyself.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }


Kim 02.06.18 at 5:32 pm

(1) What, no the autobiographical Courtship and Marriage for Dummies by John Wesley?

(2) Maybe Left Behind didn’t figure because it’s fiction. But then so are all the rest, right? Me, I was surprised by the absence of The Purpose Driven Life, which would certainly be in anybody’s Top Ten. Challies’ Top Five must be the lowest of low-hanging fruit.

(3) Of course, one has to admit that one hasn’t actually read any of these books, because there are umpteen hours of one’s life that you’d never get back. But perhaps Oscar Wilde makes an even more important point: “I never read a book I must review; it prejudices you so.” Or as Pierre Bayard suggest in his très clever How to Talk about Books You Haven’t Read (2007): “It is sometimes easier to do justice to a book if you haven’t read it in its entirety — or even opened it.”


Richard 02.06.18 at 7:12 pm

You’ve ordered yourself a John Calvin pint glass from Missional Wear haven’t you?!


Kim 02.06.18 at 7:38 pm

I’ll have you know that John Calvin’s annual stipend included 250 gallons of wine; that the Puritans made beer-making a priority when they landed in America; and that Calvinus Bières (Geneva) are supposed to be terrific.

Of course, as you’ll know — but to the chagrin of many contemporary Methodists –while Johnnie Boy Wesley said coffee is a no-no, he loved his real ales.


Richard 02.06.18 at 7:49 pm

And let’s not forget Rev James Buckley, Methodist minister and brewer of fine ales

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