Pope Francis’ holy war on modern culture

According to Esquire magazine, Pope Francis is "kind of awesome." To demonstrate the point, writer Stephen Marche cited a litany of bright moments from the pontiff's first hundred days, starting with his insistence on paying his own hotel bill after becoming pope.Francis presents a refreshing blend of humility, charity, approachability, and compassion. "These little gestures make a big difference," said Marche. Why? "The Catholic Church may be the last major institution in the world that … [Read more...]

Consumer Christianity

How was your church service last week? Were the songs good, the pastor polished, the message on-point?In the name of upping the quality of pastoral work, a new website in Germany now allows parishioners to rate their priest's performance in several categories, including worship, credibility, work with youth and seniors, and having his "Finger on the Pulse."Even without such an app, we often create our personal ad hoc Angie's Lists, evaluating the service and its various officiants … [Read more...]

More customers, fewer consumers

To succeed in business you need to “meet the needs of consumers,” right? It’s so hackneyed it must be true. It’s so true it must be wrong.To get what I mean, see how this strikes you. It’s from the jacket copy of Paul Nunes and Brian Johnson's book Mass Affluence: Seven New Rules of Marketing to Today's Consumer (Harvard Business School Press):Millions of consumers can now afford to pay more for everything—from household cleaning products to clothing to automobiles. Yet these “moneyed masses” … [Read more...]