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Comments

Robb

Looks good. Just ordered a copy from amazon. It's quite expensive so I am hoping for big things on the artwork and photography used. The site looks really good. Love the picture for revelation!

Jim

Nice... but a shame they didn't have the courage to relate the pictures to the text more directly.

andrew

i got a copy also. nice. i must blog it soon.

electric angel

magazines are a tricky medium. you're either a very popular thin paper production (mostly women's mags or weekend newspaper mags) or you're catering to a niche audience and cost more than a paperback book to buy. posh mags can cost more than a good hardback book as does this one.

but if the medium is the massage/message what is this saying - that the bible is exclusively for those who can afford it? would a more appropriate message be lower production values but mass coverage?

then what would that say - that the gospel is cheap and disposable?

the idea is sound - we did something similar with work by homeless young women once. we knew people didn't want to read reports so we turned the content into a lifestyle magazine. hopefully the irony wasn't lost on the people whose desks it landed on. medium is everything, for that crucial first 30 seconds anyway.

this looks great, but don't you wish they'd rewritten the whole thing like an issue of 'chat' magazine? hmm, i feel a personal project coming on...

jonny

nice thoughts adrian. at yfc in bath we did a newspaper tabloid of a gospel interspersed with stroie of people locally which was fun...

Cobus

We did the glossy magazine Bible thing in South Africa a few years ago already... didn't really ever become popular though as far as I know...

Kester

I have to say, I really don't like this. There's something that just doesn't sit right with me. Their web-blurb: 'the book looks and feels more like a fashion magazine than a bible.'

I don't want that. Or, perhaps more accurately, I don't want someone aiming at that. Aim at high-quality design, yes... but it seems the target is wrong. We don't want people reading the bible like it's a fashion magazine do we?

jonny

why not?

Robb

What has most influence on people in the modern world? Fashion mag or bible?

Surely the aim is for the message to reach people. If that means making it accessible through that which is around us surely that is a good thing. It is after all what Paul did when he said "You worship this unknown god, let me tell you about the God you can know..."

Kester

Because, as you say, the medium is the message. As you say, it appears more disposable. Sure, people may want that, but I'm not sure we should be giving it to them.

David Cooke

Looks interesting. A good and helpful post. Thanks

jonny

so let's put it in a big fat book that looks like only literary types will read it? great idea ;-)

Steve Lancaster

Adrian, sort of like 'Chat' like this?

"I Drove a Tent Peg through my Husband's Head!"
"Called from a grave: before and after pictures."
"Faith, Hope or Charity? Are you an X-Factor Scratchcard Lottery Winner?"
"Swaddling clothes suffocated my chihuahua!"

(I made the last one up...)

Kester Brewin

Yeah - with a lock and key on it too. In Latin!

Obviously not. I think what I don't like is the implication that it's disposable. For $35 a pop you could make a piece that people would want to treasure, and not market it as a fashion mag. Fashion mags exist purely on the image, on the surface. And I don't think much of the text of the bible works on that level. It's not a simple manuscript. It needs reading carefully. On a surface reading I think it simply will be cast off by most people as sexist, brutal, etc. Sure there are some accessible parts like the beatitudes and the parables, but a lot of it is difficult.

Same principle with any classic literature: you can dress it up, but that doesn't make the text necessarily accessible.

Marty

I wonder if the constant urge to repackage might be missing the point. Most of the research that I have come across about Bible reading amongst young people suggests that the most influential factor in successful Bible Engagement is the presence of authentic long term relationships. The Bible comes alive in the dynamic environment of trusting and honest community connections (families, friendships, faith communities etc.). Dressing the Bible up and hoping that will attract significant numbers of new readers seems optimistic to me.

Steve Lancaster

So, following on from Marty, we might ask "What does the fact that people, on some level, see relationships in terms of the stories in fashion mags and (in terms of sales) their more popular trashier cousins, Chat and the like, tell us about where the likely points of contact between them and the Biblical stories will be?"

Or to phrase it another way: "Is there any aspect of the biblical stories that has been included to stimulate or titillate? What about the miracles? What about shocking poetical images from both testaments?"

Or another way: "Is there any sense in which Chat and the fashion mags can be reappropriated as sacred texts, through the same careful reading that Kester rightly applies to classic scripture?"

Reading text is a great technology, which works because of the plasticity of our brains ("Proust and the Squid" is a good book about this). It is not hard-wired in. But reading in the wider sense of ascribing meaning to the world is surely the true mark of our humanity. Paul touches on it when he writes about God revealed in nature from the beginning of time. Our gospel has to speak to that mark, not necessarily to a particular form or standard of literacy or cultural sophistication. Maybe by reminding ourselves of this from time to time we can transcend the link between church and middle-class sensibilities?

kate c

I'm not a buyer of fashion mags, or any mags for that matter, but my husband buys the occassional one that costs a bit more, and they get kept not disposed of. This seems to be true of my other mates who buy trend/interest/design/arty mags, so making something into a magazine is not necessarily making it disposable, if it's the right kind of magazine.

Will Taylor

If i was giving a bible as a gift because someone wanted a bible then this would not be it. However, if i was going to have a bible out for some one to pick and flick through at my house or community centre this would be it. It has it's place, it is not a study bible but it is a bible.

Kester Brewin

All of the above may be true or not. It's just the nasty marketing of this that gets me. Feels wrong.

adrian

steve - yes i do. the bible has great stories like that in it. there's a solid christian tradition of telling stories in order to reveal deeper truths.

Steve Lancaster

Adrian - then I second Jonny and think you should go for the personal project!

Robb

Mine arrived yesterday. Very impressed. Exactly the sort of thing I can leave lying around my office and have people pick up and brows whilst I am making them a cup of tea!

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    i have been blogging for a decade or more in fairly eclectic fashion. i am an advocate for pioneers, lover of all things creative, an explorer of faith in relation to contemporary culture, a photographer and writer. explore the presences section below to find me in other spaces

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