Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Case for Kitsch

I have to give props to Lee Strobel. He started beating his own personal dead horse a good four years before Rick Warren got his Purpose-Driven Cult under way. That may be a little harsh, but when you have a library with more volumes and sheer material than The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, things have reached epidemic proportions.

Anyway, back to Lee Strobel. You might remember a little piece of "investigative journalism" (I use that term lightly) called The Case for Christ. I read it a couple of times, back when I was a new Christian, and if I remember correctly, it was basically a catalogue of a bunch of scholars giving evidence for the existence of the Biblical Jesus. The reason I think calling it "investigative journalism" is dubious at best is because journalism, ideally, is done objectively. This book was anything but.

Anyway, back to Lee Strobel. You might remember a couple of follow-ups to The Case for Christ, namely The Case for Faith, and The Case for a Creator. Well, guess what. He's done it again! Did you ever have any doubt?

Normally, I would be pained to call any book kitsch. I have a great respect for the written word and for anyone with ambition enough to write a book and get it published. However, apparently, Strobel's writing skills are so limited that he's forced to do the same thing over and over and over again. A word of advice to you, Lee: cut it out! Do something new! Maybe it'll fail, but who cares, as long as it doesn't start with "The Case for..."?

Then again, The Case for Lee Strobel's Talent might be a bestseller.


By the way, I'm still looking for ideas for what to do for Christmas. I'm thinking about "12 Days of Kitschmas", and doing the twelve days leading up to Christmas with a Christmas kitsch extravaganza. But that might be a little cliche, and possibly sacreligious. What do you think? Or do you have any ideas, ya slackers? Am I getting started on Christmas too early? (For evidence, see: Gregory's mySpace)

Yes, that page belongs to me. Don't make fun of me...I'm not a teeny bopper.


Allen said...

I kinda always felt like Lee Strobel was the beginner-level version of McDowell's Evidence that Demands a Verdict. I mean, sure there's better apologetics stuff out there, but Joe & Jane Pewsitter probably won't read them.
How about "The Case for Scholarly Christians"?

Diesel said...

I read The Case for Christ, and I found it quite interesting, but as you say, hardly objective. Every chapter started with something like "Atheists believe that the Bible was written 12 years ago by a group of rabid baboons. I asked Dr. So-and-so of the Important School of Theology whether that was the case. I was stunned by what he told me...."

I like the 12 days of Kitschmas, but I'm not sure what you'd do on Christmas itself. Personally I think I'm going to forego snarkiness on Christmas in favor of good tidings and whatnot.

Gregory said...

Yeah, it wouldn't extend in to Christmas. In all honesty, you probably won't hear from me come Noel Day.

Miss Kitty said...

Have you checked out for Sara's terrible-and-wonderful collections of Christmas kitsch? With names like "Angels We Have Heard Are High" and "Cavalcade of Bad Nativities," you're sure to do at least a couple of spit-takes as you browse. Sara is also a Christian who's studying to become an Episcopal deacon (and perhaps a priest). And I think she spends way too much time in Big Lots.

I haven't read The Case for Christ, but I can certainly say I see a little of that similar spirit in the paranoia over "the war on Christmas." Atheists and monkey-poking pagans are out to TAKE AWAY CHRISTMAS from Jesus-loving boys and girls!

BTW: Did anyone notice the irony in the Christmas tree on the front of The War on Christmas? I don't think anyone else did, including the author and publisher. For gravy's sake, I sure hope this junk doesn't show up on Faux News or GBCNN (Glenn Beck's Cable News Network) again this year. Bleh.

Sorry. It's early, and I'm punchy.

Diesel said...

Is it wrong that I'm snickering at the phrase "monkey-poking pagans"? I'm not even sure what it means, and I can't stop laughing. I need to incorporate that into a blog entry. And probably my daily vocabulary.

Miss Kitty said...

I wanted it to sound as menacing and pornographic yet silly as possible. I guess "monkey-poking pagans" fills the bill. :-P

Susan Kaye said...

I've not read any of Stobel's work so I'm not trying to defend or defame. (My intros to the faith were Paul Little's "Know What You Believe" and "Know Why You Believe.") I have a hunch Strobel's titles are as much a product of his publisher's marketing department as anything else. Once you get on a roll, they won't let you off.

REDS97 said...

I am a willing victim of one christmas kitch item. It is a nativity scene from fisher price. (little people) I have been looking for a nativity scene for a while and i got hooked. It is so kitchy that it is cute. If you press the angel/star on top of the stable it sings. I told my husband that it was to teach the little one about the birth of Jesus, but most likely she will not get her hands on it till she is grown.

Thank you for your site. It is something to giggle over.

Gregory said...

I would hope that more often than not, it would be something to think over too. Read the "Reinoforcement of Purpose" post. There are some pretty serious things there.