Packaging Jesus.

Jim Wallis, Sojourners founder and author of God's Politics, writes, "One wonders what remains of Jesus in American culture except his name," arguing that the me-first nature of our times has altered Christians' relationship to their faith. An excerpt, from his new book A Call to Conversion:
The gospel must be preached in context. We live in one of the most self-centered cultures in history. Our economic system is the social rationalization of personal selfishness. Self-fulfillment and individual advancement have become our chief goals. The leading question of the times is, “How can I be happy and satisfied?”

Not surprisingly, our self-centered culture has produced a self-centered religion. Preoccupation with self dominates the spirit of the age and shapes the character of religion. Modern evangelism has played right along with this central theme. The most common question in evangelism today is, “What can Jesus do for me?” In other words, the question is how Jesus can help us make it in the present order, not how we can respond to the new order. Potential converts are told that Jesus can make them happier, more self-satisfied, better adjusted, and more prosperous. Jesus quickly becomes the supreme product, attractively packaged and aggressively sold to a consuming public. Complete with billboards, buttons, and bumper stickers, modern evangelistic campaigns advertise Jesus in a competitive market. Even better than Coca-Cola, Jesus is “the Real Thing.”
Read more of "Betraying Jesus."

[Image: Illegal billboard by Ron English.]

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