‘Hi, I’m looking for a Christian book …’

Ring.

“LifeWay Christian Bookstore, how may I help you?”

“Hi, I’m looking for a Christian book.”

“Well, you’ve called the right place. What’s the title? I’ll see if I can find it for you.”

“It’s called The Brothers Karamazov.”

The Brothers …?”

“Karamazov. With a ‘K.’ It’s by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.”

“Well, let’s see. I’m not familiar with that title, but let me check the computer. How do you …”

“D-O-S-T-O-Y-E-V-S-K-Y. Sometimes it’s with an ‘I’ at the end. Sometimes without the ‘Y.’ It’s Russian.”

“I’m not … I’m not seeing it here. …”

“You’re a Christian bookstore and you don’t carry Dostoyevsky?”

* * * * * * * * *

(10 minutes later)

Ring.

“LifeWay Christian Bookstore, how may I help you?”

“Hi, I’m looking for a copy of John Donne’s Holy Sonnets. That’s D-O-N-N-E. …”

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  • flat

    allright Fred now you are just trolling them.

  • Tricksterson

    You say that as if it were a bad thing.

  • JonathanPelikan

    I’ve ended up annoying my mother when I began railing against Centrism(TM) and since she wants to be a reasonable person and find common ground with folks, says that’s what America means and without it America is impossible, that means I’m going after her, right? 

    I wish I had such a clear and succinct way to explain the vast gulf between legitimate compromise and independence and free-thought and Centrism(TM) because it’s the same sort of definition gulf that happens between Christian stuff and Christian(TM) stuff. It’s the difference between Harry Potter and Left Behind.

  • redsixwing

    Here’s to punking the mustard seed.

    Ask your Christian bookstore for Christian literature today!

  • flat

    Well you know as a simple rule of thumb: if somebody is telling you that it is easy and  you will understand everything perfectly: then it is usually a lie.

    I mean I learn every day something new as well.

  • Fade Manley

    I am still grumpy about not being able to get a version of the New Testament in the original language from the local Christian bookstore. I wasn’t even asking for a specific commentary! Just the original text!

  • Martystephens

    ask for an “interlinear bible”.  It has the original greek on one side and the english on the other.  you just need to know what to ask for.  You can also get the original hebrew with english next to it.

  • Fade Manley

    That’s exactly what I was asking for! I didn’t use the word “interlinear” but I did explain that I wanted that thing. Which means either they still didn’t have it, or none of the clerks were aware of its existence. I’m not sure which is worse.

  • JustoneK

    This needs to be done.  And recorded.  For youtubes.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    “This IS a CHRISTIAN SHOP, isn’t it?!” :P

  • http://profiles.google.com/cate.vandyke Caitlin Vandyke

    “Hi, I’m looking for a Christian film, _A Man for All Seasons_…No? No. Okay, Bye”

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    Christian foreigners?…….  

    Are you feeling alright today sir?  Should we call an ambulance? 

  • ReverendRef

    And while you’re at it, ask them for a copy of Reasonable and Holy by Tobias Haller (an Episcopal priest and member of the Brotherhood of St. Gregory).  It’s a fabulous book that lays out some serious theological reflection on the topic of same-gender relationships.

    And here’s a shameless plug for a link:  https://www.churchpublishing.org/products/index.cfm?fuseaction=productDetail&productID=6228

  • lovecomesfromlife

    I actually searched Lifeway’s site and found that indeed they do not sell the Brothers K though they have several biographies of Dostoyevsky.  No Donne.  No Dante.  No Milton. They do have Kempis and Bunyan.  But no Milton?  Really?  I am personally offended.

  • christopher_young

     No Donne.  No Dante.  No Milton.

    I was about to suggest that they just had a tediously narrow definition of Christian, with Donne being an Arminian (I think) Anglican, Dante a Roman Catholic and Milton an Arian.

    But they have Kempis? Does not compute. My guess as a former bookseller is that they had a couple of copies which sat on the shelf unloved for a year and eventually had to be returned to the publisher. They are, after all, hard.

  • Green Eggs and Ham

     Anything by St. Augustine?  Our any of the Church Fathers?

  • JayemGriffin

    I refuse to think about this too much or I’ll break my brain. (JOHN. MILTON. NOT. CHRISTIAN. WHAT… okay, stop.) I’ll just comment that I would be interested in how many people involved in that decision accept some of Milton’s version of Genesis as canon.

  • Tricksterson

    No Dante?  Art thou shitting me?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    actually searched Lifeway’s site and found that indeed they do not sell the Brothers K though they have several biographies of Dostoyevsky. No Donne.

    No Donne? For crying out loud, what’s wrong with Donne?

  • AnonymousSam

    Ask for the Lego Bible sometime.

  • GG

    Not sure if this reminds me of  Monty Python’s Cheese Shop or
    the League of Gentlemen’s Local Shop more.

  • Ross Thompson

     

    Not sure if this reminds me of  Monty Python’s Cheese Shop or
    the League of Gentlemen’s Local Shop more.

    To me it brings to mind an earlier John Cleese sketch.

  • Tonio

    Python redid the sketch for the Contractual Obligation Album. I had the impression that most of the members’ TV work before Python was erased decades ago. The same thing happened with the first few years of Carson’s run on the Tonight Show. Even Flying Circus would have been lost if it weren’t for the PBS station in Dallas introducing the team to the US.

  • Tricksterson

    Only with the roles reversed.

  • Tricksterson

    Or their book store sketch.

  • Martystephens

    brothers k is really not christian.  it may be religous, ethical or philosophical but not christian.

  • Jim Roberts

    Yes, but Dostoyevsky is so, by Bible bookstore logic, what he writes must be Christian. Or at least that’s the explanation given by the local BB for why Glenn Beck gets a display rack.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Isn’t Glenn Beck Mormon? I thought most people who consider themselves Christian, especially ones who consider the ‘Christian’ brand important, don’t consider Mormons Christian.

  • Jim Roberts

    I was a little too agog at the display itself (it included Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter) to ask many questions. I just bought my son his birthday Bible and got out, immediately feeling guilty that I’d bought anything at all. Wish I’d bought it on Amazon . . .

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    It might be the Big Four in action. As long as Beck adheres to GOP party line and says the right things about abortion, homosexuality, evolution, and some other fourth thing, he can be accorded the same respect as a mainline Christian. It’s how Mitt Romney will probably get over when dealing with the evangelical segment of his base; it wasn’t that long ago that they were demonizing him, but if he can convince them that he’s anti-abortion and anti-gay, they’ll give him a dispensation.

  • JustoneK

    I’d been under the impression Mormonism as an “acceptable” flavor of Christianity was on the way up thanks to some prominent Mormons on the conservative side of things.  I just can’t remember who atm.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Which is kind of ironic, because just as prominent conservative mormons have been making mormonism “acceptable” as part of the tribe of neoconservative-evangelical-christianity, there seems to be a grassroots movement among the rank-and-file mormons gaining momentum on causes less amenable to the conservative tribal markings (I’m thinking specifically of the news that 71% of Utahans now support some form of same-sex union recognition)

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     

    I thought most people who consider themselves Christian, especially ones
    who consider the ‘Christian’ brand important, don’t consider Mormons
    Christian.

     

    I suspect the fact that the Fundevangelicals are being FORCED to vote for a Mormon means they are, however reluctantly, now insisting that Mormons are Real Christians.  If Romney loses, expect this to get memory-holed almost instantly.

  • Tricksterson

    Yes but he’s hateful and insane so he gets a pss.

  • Original Lee

     Technically, Mormons are post-Christian, because their faith is based on what Jesus did after the Ascension.  IMO, the Mormons use the protective camouflage  of “We’re Christian, too,” because back in the day, they had to flee to Utah to avoid another massacre.  To people who have a religious litmus test for the Presidency, the not-Christian thing is usually very important.  Having a black man in the White House has shifted the balance for them.

  • Trevor

    brothers k is really not christian.  it may be religous, ethical or philosophical but not christian.

    I’m confused by this.  The book contains some of the most profound meditations on faith, religion, Christianity and atheism in the literary world.  What, exactly, makes a book ‘Christian?’ 

  • Ross Thompson

     

    What, exactly, makes a book ‘Christian?’

    Well, it needs to be written by Christians, have a cover endorsement that says “this is a Christian book about Christians doing Christiany things” by a famous and well-respected preacher (Preferably TD Jakes or Joel Osteen), be published by Zondervan Press, and be so execrable that no-one would read it, if they weren’t forbidden by their cultural gatekeepers from reading anything deemed “insufficiently Christian”.

    It’s the same logic that means Johnny Cash isn’t considered Christian music…

  • Trevor

     Ah, that clears it up nicely, thanks.  I think you missed ‘and published in the last 5 years’.

  • The_L1985

    The date is definitely important. My grandmother had to go to Amazon to find the rest of the Heritage of Lancaster County series, because Christian bookstores no longer sold it.

    The oldest book in the series was published in the 1990s.

  • VMink

    Re Johnny Cash not being ‘Christian music.’

    This despite “When The Man Comes Around” being so terrifying that it gives me goosebumps, and I don’t even believe St. John’s Revelations to be relevant prophecy.

  • Ross Thompson

    Re Johnny Cash not being ‘Christian music.’

    This despite “When The Man Comes Around” being so terrifying that it gives me goosebumps, and I don’t even believe St. John’s Revelations to be relevant prophecy.

    Yeah, that was exactly the song I had in mind when I said that. The man was  a genius.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    It’s the same logic that means Johnny Cash isn’t considered Christian music…

    My most thorough “reading” of the New Testament was listening to Johnny Cash read through it. It’s both funny and sad how they consider him outside the tribe.

  • Tricksterson

    Sad for them.  I don’t think Cash ever worried that much about what people thought of him.  He knew what he was, both the good and the bad and told it truely.

  • Jim Roberts

    I’d argue that a book can be only as Christian as a doorstop, fencepost or pelican skull. Which is to say that it can’t be.

    (You might ask, “Well, do you think the Bible’s Christian?”, to which I’d reply, “Mostly.”)

  • Tricksterson

    The accurate reply would be “Only from the Gospel of Mark onward.”

  • Tonio

    Fred has told similar jokes and I still find them funny. A music buff could get the same reaction from the store by asking for CDs of Handel’s Messiah or Bach’s Mass in B Minor.

    Put aside for a moment the fact that such stores deal in works from “approved” publishers. What in their minds makes a story “Christian”? I’m guessing that they really want propaganda, the literary equivalent of the glurge e-mails that Snopes debunks or even the Chick tracts. Stories about repentance from atheists or gays or devil-worshippers, who in this worldview amount to the same thing.

  • Tonio

    With Messiah, I picture myself singing the Hallelujah Chorus and the clerk confessing that he or she has never heard it at Christmastime or anytime else.

  • Ross Thompson

     

    A music buff could get the same reaction from the store by asking for CDs of Handel’s Messiah or Bach’s Mass in B Minor.

    I bought my copy of Messiah from the local Family Christian Store.

  • Emcee, cubed

     So you’re saying what, exactly? That you need the secret code word or they won’t let you buy it? Or that the people who work there are too stupid and incompetent that they won’t know what you are talking about unless you are that specific?

  • SisterCoyote

     I think he’s saying that they don’t carry Christian literature, they carry RTC literature. The Powers that decide what goes into the shelves are confused and frightened by most Christian literature.

  • Emcee, cubed

    Okay, my comment really was a reply to this comment

    ask for an “interlinear bible”.  It has the original greek on one side and the english on the other.  you just need to know what to ask for.  You can also get the original hebrew with english next to it.

    when I wrote it, and not to Fred’s post. That’ll teach me to not quote, and assume the Reply button actually works…

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    That’ll teach me to not quote, and assume the Reply button actually works…

    Well you know when you assume you make an ass out of Disqus.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6WRDS3PHWSDBFOXHNVXXK22M3Q Nim

    If you haven’t actually done this, I will. Now taking suggestions on what books to ask for.

  • Tricksterson

    Madeline L’Engle?  Her work has definite Christian themes but is often considered too liberal to pass muster.

  • Original Lee

     Or alternatively, they only see the sci-fi cover and don’t understand the allegory.  My daughter’s 7th Grade class had to read some L’Engle books and I spent quite a lot of time explaining to the parents where the Christian themes were.

  • Jenny Islander

    @Tonio:twitter : Yes, actually, I did go into a Christian bookstore asking for some Bach and yes, they did heavily imply that since they didn’t have it on their list that it wasn’t actually Christian music, and IIRC they also called their small rack of pop singers redoing Grand Old Hymns and assorted modern glurge “a wide range.”  Another time I asked for Ellis Peters’s Brother Cadfael mysteries and the attendant actually let me look at her ordering system.  As I suspected, it was based on the assumption that publishers with Jesus fish or crosses in their logos publish 100 percent Christian books, and only those publishers publish Christian books.  So we get the autobiography of some politician or other because it comes from Jesus Fish Press, but we don’t get Donne because it’s from Penguin Reprints.

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

    I worked at an independent Christian bookstore in Carol Stream (right next door to Wheaton, IL) for about a year.  I still have the copy of Handel’s Messiah I purchased while employed there.

  • Naomi

    Try for “Marked” by Steve Ross. This is a graphic novel that’s based on the Book of Mark, but set in a weird futuristic dystopia. When I was hunting for it, I tried a Christian bookstore (ha!) and a store that specializes in comics and graphic novels (ha!) and then finally found it at a now-defunct liberal Christian bookstore called St. Martin’s Table (the name alone probably gives you a good idea of what sorts of books they carried).

  • Joykins

    Christian bookstores are increasingly focused on selling religious tchotchkes.  I really only go there to buy baptism gifts these days.

  • Robyrt

    LifeWay’s website has a much broader selection than any Christian bookstore I’ve ever been in. Their copy of Augustine’s Confessions is backordered! That would never have made it onto the shelves at the places I’m used to.

  • rlperera

    The most awesome Christian bookstores in North America are Eighth Day Books in Wichita (http://eighthdaybooks.com) and the Regent College Bookstore in Vancouver, BC (
    http://regentbookstore.com). Now there’s what I call really broad (and deep) selections. There are hundreds of books and authors I never would have known about if I hadn’t been able to browse in these bookstores (Eighth Day Books only through the massive book table that it hosts at the Glen Workshops every year). Every book that has been mentioned in this thread would be available from them. Except the likes of the Left Behind series (Regent Bookstore will special order that for you if you insist, but they don’t keep it on their shelves).

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    According to their website, they don’t even carry Paradise Lost.  

    How they call themselves a bookstore, much less a Christian one, is beyond me.

  • The_L1985

    Do they at least have Pilgrim’s Progress? I never liked that one much, but next to the Bible, it’s the best-selling Christian book of all time. If you don’t have that, then there’s no point in even calling yourself a “Christian” bookstore to begin with.

  • Tricksterson

    I do but probably because I encountered it via Little Women in which the girls set up what can only be called a PP themed dungeoun crawl.  So when I read the actual book I basically saw the whole story as a D&D module.

  • rm

    Perhaps a major difference between Geds’s independent Christian bookstore, which had Handel, and Jenny Islander’s chain store, which did not have Bach, is the “independent” part. An independent store has a manager who makes purchasing decisions. A chain has a cookie-cutter system that defines which merchandise counts and there may be no way for any local person to deviate. Part of the fast-food standardization of commerce.

  • redsixwing

    …and be so execrable that no-one would read it, if they weren’t forbidden
    by their cultural gatekeepers from reading anything deemed
    “insufficiently Christian”.

    *cackle*

  • histrogeek

    Here I have a shopping list.
    Does God Exist? by Hans Kung…No, he’s a Catholic professor and theologian. A friend of the Pope…OK not really a friend but they know each other…No, huh.
    Fear and Trembling by Soren…look, make sure you have a pen…Kierkegaard…No, hmmm.
    Anything by William Blake…no.
    How about some U2 CDs? You must have those…no?!
    You don’t have anything at that store do you?

  • VMink

    For something more contemporary, see if they have any “King’s X.”  Their reaction to that request would be quite telling indeed….

  • Catherine Carter

    Last time I was in a Christian Bookshop it was in the UK, an American lady asked if they stocked “The Left Behind” series and they’d never heard of it.
    Mind you, I also couldn’t buy a copy of a Catholic hymnal

  • Mark Z.

    I went into a Family Christian Bookstore once and asked for Alice Cooper. “Who’s she?” they asked. Noobs.

  • reynard61

    Ring.

    “LifeWay Christian Bookstore, how may I help you?”

    “Hi, I’m looking for some Christian music.”

    “Well, you’ve called the right place. What’s the title? I’ll see if I can find it for you.”

    “It’s called Gregorian Chants for All Seasons.

    Gregorian…”

    “…Chants for All Seasons. Yes.”

    “Well, let’s see. I’m not familiar with that title, but let me check the computer.”

    “I’m not … I’m not seeing it here. …”

    “Um…okay. How about Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria?”

    “Uh, let me check…”

    “Well, I’m not seeing it here.”

    “Okay, how about The Passion According to St. John by J.S. Bach?”

    “*sigh* Let me check…”

    “No, I’m sorry. We don’t have that either.”

    “Well how about…”

    *CLICK!*

    “Hello?”

    “Hello?”

  • MaryKaye

    It seems to me that a litmus test for good Christian art would be that a non-Christian could find it worthwhile.  Chesterton, L’Engle, Lewis, Charles Williams–my taste for fantasy shows here but you could make a list of literary equivalents outside of fantasy.  Or music like _Messiah_.  Our local Unitarian church does a Messiah sing-along every year and in a decade of attending I think I have always seen at least two other Pagans among the singers.

    In general I’d say that Messiah doesn’t bug me as a Pagan, but…”Worthy is the Lamb” is so much fun to sing, but it’s a deeply weird image of God even for a Christian work.  (And incidentally, you can enjoy a nice compare-and-contrast if you Google “worthy is the lamb lyrics” as you’ll get a contemporary Christian praise hymn of the same name.)  What do people think that verse from Revelation is talking about?  If it’s Jesus, why does he need “power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing”?  Even more, why does He who sitteth upon the throne need them?  Blessing God is…strange.

    But I love it anyway, for the part where the bass line comes in and the whole church thrums with it.  Man, the guy could write choral parts.  None of this boring “sopranos sing the melody and everyone else just putters along doing support.”  And a nice thing about this being a Unitarian church is that there’s no fuss over gender roles, and if your voice is in the right register you can sing any part you like, so I get to muddle along with the higher parts of “The Trumpet Will Sound.”

  • histrogeek

    You have it right that good Christian art should be just good art. A Christian can read, to be completely pedestrian, the Iliad and be moved “even though” it contains all those pagan gods.
    The “Christian” bookstores mainly traffic in crappy, crude art that serves as nothing more than propaganda, not a stirring of the soul. It’s horrifying that Creed can be called Christian music but U2 isn’t. Frankly Lewis only gets into those stores because of his worst work, Mere Christianity. Many fundies actually dislike Narnia because one Calmorene who worships Tash gets into Aslan’s kingdom. 

  • Shiloh

    I think I would be considered a “fundy”, but I grew up loving Narnia and the stories from there.  I understood why Lewis did that, because I think it goes back to we see the outside, but God sees the heart – and it was the condition of his heart that was seen to allow the guy to get into Aslan’s country.  

  • histrogeek

    Certainly not every fundy hates Narnia. Many, many like it. But I’ve seen more than once that the Calmorene gets a small, hyper-intolerant group angry. I agree that Lewis was showing that Aslan/God is able to see good in someone raised to worship someone other than Aslan.

  • Tonio

    For a long time I thought Narnia had the same audience as Left Behind, because the only people I knew who read it had grown up home-schooled by fundamentalist parents. The sequence in the first book after Aslan agrees to exchange his own life for Edmund’s is a rewording of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Almost like Lewis deliberately wrote it to sway kids to Christianity.

  • Joshua

    I read the Narnia books,and read them to my kids. Yeah, they are Christian allegories, deliberately so.

    So, not just home-schooled fundamentalists.

    I’m not sure that reading an allegory is really going to sway a child to a different religion, however. An educational tool rather than an evangelistic one, if you want to regard the series as a tool at all.

  • Tricksterson

    Yes, IIRC Lewis specifically wrote them because he felt, at the time there was no Christian fiction grokkable by kids.

  • The_L1985

    If you really want to break fundie-type brains, try Phil Collins’s “Think Twice.”

  • everstar

    I will never stop being perplexed by A Wrinkle in Time‘s being challenged and banned because–wait for it–it lists Jesus as a philosopher:

    Challenged in the Anniston Ala. schools (1990). The complainant objected to the book’s listing the name of Jesus Christ together with the names of great artists, philosophers, scientists, and religious leaders when referring to those who defend earth against evil.

    Yeah, Jesus wasn’t a philosopher or a religious leader!  Get your facts straight, L’Engle!

  • Richard Hershberger

     “…but…”Worthy is the Lamb” is so much fun to sing, but it’s a deeply weird image of God even for a Christian work.”

    What?  No complaints about about liking sheep?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    *is suddenly reminded of how “socialist realism” used to demand a very narrow range of artistic styles that were “acceptable”, and used to result in some fairly bland art*

  • Keromaru5

    Here’s what my list would be:

    The Seven Ecumenical Councils, translated by Philip Schaff
    The Life of Moses by St. Gregory of Nyssa
    The Ball and the Cross by G.K. Chesterton
    Mystical Visions of Hildegard of Bingen
    The Rule of St. Benedict
    The works of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite
    Showings, by Julian of Norwich
    On Ecclesiastical Polity, by Richard Hooker
    The Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila
    Ascetic Treatises of St. Isaac of Syria (if you want to talk about Dostoevsky and Christianity, I understand Isaac was a strong influence on him)
    The Septuagint — the Greek Old Testament.

    Also, do these stores ever have The Way of a Pilgrim?

  • Jenny Islander

    @Keromaru5: I’m pretty sure that all of those are in stock at the local Orthodox Christian coffee shop and bookstore right now, and if they aren’t there, the staff can call over to the Orthodox seminary’s bookstore for a copy.  Meanwhile, Cornerstone [Real True] Christian Bookstore has been closed for years.  I’m not sure whether this has more to do with the strength of the religious community that patronized each store or the strength of their business plans.

  • Keromaru5

    @d6b10ec23cff70130610f61ef0660fca:disqus Doesn’t surprise me.  I’ve come to respect how the Orthodox put so much emphasis on their history.  It’s something I wish I saw more of in the Episcopal Church.  A while back someone spoke during the announcements about EfM–a class sponsored by Sewanee that takes people through the Bible, church history, and theology, which I highly recommend–mentioning how it deals with things you don’t normally hear about in church, like “Cappadocian Fathers,” or “Caroline Divines.”
    And I thought, “Wait, why don’t we hear more about the Cappadocian Fathers and Caroline Divines in church?”

    Also, I feel I should clarify: except for Richard Hooker and the Septuagint, I actually have all those books.  I just started rereading the Rule of Benedict today, since it’s his feast day and all.

    Oh, of monks, here’s a couple more: Raids on the Unspeakable, and Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, both by Thomas Merton.  They’re both about social issues, especially war and civil rights, from the perspective of a Trappist monk.

  • Jenny Islander

    I’m an EfM graduate and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to dig into the history of Christianity and learn some theology and midrash at the same time.  IME there is a lot of history taught from the pulpit, just not general-survey-type history.   I’m used to sermons that not only dig into the context and original text of a Bible passage, but also examine how it has been interpreted in the past and who it has inspired.  I can’t put together a timeline of Church history, or even Anglican church history, just from the sermons I’ve heard over the years, but I don’t think that Sunday morning is the time for that.

  • Sam Kabo Ashwell

    No, no. A Christian book is, by definition, a book that nobody who is not a Christian would ever want to read.

  • http://redwoodr.tumblr.com Redwood Rhiadra

    What could also be fun to do is reverse this – call up the Christian bookstore and complain that they have shelves of books full of incest, adultery, murder, and all other sorts of filth. Act as indignant and prudish as only an RTC can, demanding they get rid of these un-Christian books.

    When they ask which books, of course, point out that all of this stuff is in the Bible…

  • seniorcit

    Reminds me of my strictly fundamentalist Baptist mother saying that she only read books that were “true”……..meaning the Bible and missionary biographies.

  • Jenny Islander

    Re Messiah as a litmus test for whether the Christian bookstore sells more than pap: Actually this work, specifically the “Hallelujah Chorus,” is quite popular among RTCs.  I once picked up a hymnal from Sword of the Lord Press at a garage sale.  It contained some of the hymns I learned in mainstream churches, plus a lot of horrible stuff about how if you’re a Christian you must be happy happy happy happy happy all the TIIIIME and how Jesus will have a sad if you don’t nag your whole family to say the special prayer and get their hands stamped for Heaven, and then there was the one about the dying Gypsy (yes they went there) boy who said the special prayer just in time and therefore something something Jesus is the bestest.  But they also had the “Hallelujah Chorus” recast in four-part harmony for singing in the pews.  It made it past the “classical=highbrow=humanist=BAD” hurdle.  Try asking whether they carry Handel’s Creation

  • Joshua


    you must be happy happy happy happy happy all the TIIIIME

    twitch, twitch

    Errgh.

    Those scars apparently run deep. Thanks for the reminder. shiver

  • hapax

     Anyone who loves MESSIAH, or enjoys going to MESSIAH sing-alongs, stop reading now.

    I mean it.

    Or else EVERYTHING WILL BE RUINED FOREVER.

    Seriously. 

    Actually this work, specifically the “Hallelujah Chorus,” is quite popular among RTCs.

    This doesn’t surprise me.  There is a strong case to be made that MESSIAH is a very, very anti-Semitic work.  The “Hallelujah  Chorus” in particular celebrates not the Resurrection, as most people think, but the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

    Source.

  • Joshua

    You know all Messiah fans are going to read avidly after saying that.

  • Joshua

    Truthfully, I’m not finding that article that persuasive. That the people involved in writing lyrics and music of the Messiah were antisemitic, sure, given the nasty culture of the time, I’d be surprised by anything else.

    But that the “nations” mentioned in 40 are supposed to include Jews along with everyone else? Not supported by the lyrics themselves, and a pretty weaksauce accusation if true. I mean, all the rest of us nations are already being accused by the lyric anyway. The article’s assertion, if true, wouldn’t make the Jewish nation any worse than the rest of us. Using “nations” to refer to all non-Jewish nations is kinda common in Christian and Jewish English-language literature concerning the Hebrew Bible IME anyway.

    And the alleged reference to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem? Also not in the text. The journalist’s allegation rests on an unsupported assertion that Ps 2:9 was “all but unanimous[ly]” taken to be a prophesy of the destruction of the Temple by the 18th Century English.

    Well, I’m not saying I disagree, because there must be a world of things I don’t know about the 18th C English and their antisemitism, but that article doesn’t persuade me of much, when I compare it with the actual lyrics of the Messiah.

    I mean, a quote from the Hebrew Bible set to music is antisemitic? Not impossible, maybe, but you’d want fairly extraordinary evidence to support that fairly extraordinary claim.

  • Jessica_R

    I think L’Engle said it best too, “Bad art is bad theology.” I’m a humanist and I love her books because while she’s a Christian, a good story is a good story. 

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    “Any Hildegard of Bingen CDs?”

    “Any biographies of Julian of Norwich? How about Heloise d’Argenteuil? Elizabeth Hooton? Sojourner Truth?”

  • The_L1985

    There are modern recordings of Hildegard’s chants? How have I missed this?

  • guest

    Several early music groups have recorded works of Hildegarde of Bingen, the earliest I think in the ’80s (if that counts as ‘modern’).  They should be easily findable on Amazon etc.

  • Alp22

    yes, Anonymous 4 has a few albums of her chants.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Grapes of Wrath. Definitely ask for Grapes of Wrath.

  • Keromaru5

    @The_L1985: Sure, I have one called “Canticles of Ecstacy.”  It’s like listening to another dimension.
    Of course, I think chant by itself is pretty amazing, and definitely lends itself to a sense of the sacred.
    @d6b10ec23cff70130610f61ef0660fca:disqus “I’m used to sermons that not only dig into the context and original text of a Bible passage, but also examine how it has been interpreted in the past and who it has inspired.”That’s basically what I’m trying to say, and it’s one of my preferred ways of interpreting the Bible, too.  I don’t need a history lesson, just a reminder that those who came before us had something to say, too.  Probably just more of an issue where I am.

  • http://www.christianbooksbibles.com/Articles.asp?ID=251 Christian BookStore

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