You May Hate My Theology, But Just Look at My Marketing!

Jim Fletcher of “Prophecy Matter” pens an unintentionally hilarious column:

It’s always important, I think, to separate our sometimes-disdain for other writers whose ideas run counter to our own … from the tools they use to market themselves. In other words, learning from someone is more useful than ruminating over their existence in the writing field.

Witness the book tour efforts of “Emergent” writers and speakers Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones. Full disclosure: I can’t stand their “theology” (Jones for example has recently announced that he simply doesn’t believe in the doctrine of original sin), but the tools they employ to ply their worldview in the marketplace? Now that’s something we can internalize.

A recent item in Publishers Weekly underscores the innovation certain writers and their publishers have in separating their projects from the ocean of books being published: “Meanwhile, some Emergents are redefining the book tour. This summer Jossey-Bass authors and self-described ‘postmodern Emergent hipsters’ Mark Scandrette, Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt took to the highways in a biodiesel-powered RV on a 32-city, old-time ‘Church Basement Roadshow: A Rollin’ Gospel Revival.’ Says executive editor Sheryl Fullerton, ‘It was very Emergent, a complete reinvention of what a book tour is.’”

No kidding.

Look, I lament the fact that Jones, Pagitt and friends are conning our young people with aberrant theology, but in terms of marketing worldview, they are light years ahead of conservative authors.

Seriously, you should read the rest: Why your rivals sell more books.

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  • One question: Where would I acquire a pyramid made out of hemp? Is that just a Minnesota thing you use?

  • Phil Miller

    It’s not surprising, really. It’s the same type of reasoning that generated who knows how man copycat Christian bands. I remember being in Christian bookstores in the ’90s seeing posters saying “if you like this: (insert some secular band), you should check out this: (insert Christian band). And just like this guy’s piece such posters were always 4 or 5 years behind what was actually popular in mainstream radio at the time. Seriously, wasn’t the Church Basement Roadshow in 2008?

  • How many times can he emphasize in one article that he doesn’t agree with your theology? The guy is really freaked out that people might accidentally think he’s becoming emergent!

    • Or he might really think Tony’s views are heterodox and/or heretical and is anticipating his reader’s knee-jerk reactions.

  • Ben Hammond

    ehem… specifically the western perspective on the idea of original sin. Sounds like Mr. Fletcher didn’t study his Eastern theological traditions very closely (or is not very aware of the huge other part of the church exists).

  • Ben Hammond

    Just skimmed through the article on his site. Pretty wild that even though he distances himself from Emergent *more than enough times* the single comment at the bottom is still a critique.

  • Moulder

    “conning our young people with aberrant theology”. Heaven forbid that we may think for ourselves or even question what has been considered normal for centuries.

  • SuperStar

    Glad he’s noticed the Church Basement Roadshow just now in 2012. It’s amazing what late to the party conservative Christians can learn from “Dumb and Dumber” (and let’s not leave out “Dumbest” too). And who would have known you live in a pyramid of hemp and chant all the time? Good thing you guys live by a marketing worldview!

  • vandelay

    I don’t get it. Is it a surprise to you that people don’t agree with your theology? What are we supposed to be so shocked by here?