“Church Merch” – Joel Osteen Game is… in a word… Vacuous

Joel Osteen, poster boy for a new generation of positive and palatable health-wealth Christianity, has long had a book on the bestseller list, Your Best Life Now. I don’t suggest buying it, BTW. You’ll get a pretty good idea of the gist from this blog post, “ChurchMerch – Your Best Life Now: The Game” from Challies.com. You’ve gotta check out this post. Here’s a funny quote:

So here is the box. Very exciting. Joel looks happy, as always. I would be too if someone turned my book into a board game.

This game is, well, for one, obviously boring. But it has got to be one of the most egregious examples of the depth of stupidity to which Christian merchandisers will go. It’s no wonder that non-Christians often think the Christian account of life isn’t meaningful. No wonder. This game is vacuous. And I tire of hearing from people like Osteen about discovering one’s potential without hardly a nod to the fact that we’re created to “discover our potential” for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Simply put, he’s popular self-help psychology with a not-decidedly Christian bent. Osteen is mostly a modern Norman Vincent Peale who smiles a lot.

Also, BTW, Tim Challies runs a great site for TONS of Christian book reviews called www.discerningreader.com. Also, BTW, part 2, how cool is it that there are Christian bloggers out there like Tim Challies providing valuable information like this “ChurchMerch” blog post and discerningreader.com? The internet continues to fascinate me (insofar as it meaningfully provides a resource of information. The problem is, I think, increasingly few people are able to process the world around them, let alone the almost limitless number of resources available to us nowadays. Some free, random thoughts.)

Celebrity Hair Stylists

Celebrity Hair StylistHow in the world is it that every single hair stylist to the stars we see on TV has a foreign accent? And why are they almost exclusively all male?! It’s practically axiomatic that they are all foreign and male. Ever seen a woman doing hair and hawking her hair care products on QVC?! Yeah, exactly. I think foreign men as hair stylists is in the same category as Fabio on the covers of romantic novels. There’s some weird, almost lecherous, I-like-your-hands-in-my-hair thing going on here. Now that I’ve freaked myself out, I think I’m gonna ask my wife to never go to a male hair stylist! :o)

Naming Cell Phones

Cool Tech PatternWith all the marketing infrastructure of huge telecommunications conglomerates, why in the world has it taken until now for them to find out it’s a good idea to give cell phones cool names? Instead of SMG-1042XR, they’re giving them names like “Blackjack” and “Chocolate.” This isn’t anything revolutionary or particularly creative, but how in the world did it take years for companies to start increasing their phones’ cool factor by assigning unique names? Granted, phones have been fairly cookie cutter until the last 2 years or so, but, seriously, how did they not see that until now?! Just an interesting question.