March 2010

So shoot me. I like baroque.


For fans of stock car racing, this Bible is a must-have. It features commentary and testimonies from some of racing’s most famous names, as well as full-color action photos of some of racing’s most famous faces.


Featuring exciting and inspiring full-color inserts with photos of and insights from stock car racing’s finest personalities, the NIV Thinline Bible: Stock Car Edition is sure to be a motorsports fan’s favorite Bible. Motor Racing Outreach, a ministry to the world of motorsports, has partnered with Zondervan to create this Bible designed to delight race fans. MRO brings testimonies and photographs of the popular race personalities with whom they work on a daily basis—the drivers, the pit crews, the media spokespeople, and others associated with the world of racing. Combined with the complete text of the New International Version and offered in two innovative and cost-effective bindings, this title will make a wonderful gift for the true racing fan.

Source: Zondervan.

Niche Bibles are a fairly recent phenomenon in the grand scheme of things, but they embody a certain pragmatism in American religion that has become more and more pervasive in the last couple of generations — becoming all things to all people means creating a Christian/religious market that will cater to their tastes. In the past, that meant adapting hymns to fit the meter of saloon music. Now, it means getting NASCAR drivers to write devotions for a study Bible.

The effectiveness of this is, of course, a matter of debate.

The terrified Virgin may not have realized
The sum of entire universe
Did not rival what was growing in her belly
And would one day suckle her breasts,
But bewildered — “Lord, I am pure” — responded:


If I may have the audacity to posit this (and I am really just repeating what I have heard elsewhere), the only real answer to America’s runaway government is a good dose of repentance. Not thinking too hard about Romans 13 at the moment, but taking a look at the Old Testament track record for Israel, one thing is pretty clear — leadership can be a blessing or a punishment, and straying too far from godly precepts means that you just might be led by the Assyrians for a while.

Our problems are less grounded in the reality of politicians who are determined to give us mandatory insurance coverage or trillion-dollar deficits than they are in the fact that we are a faithless people, and we have chosen a faithless representation…and that includes plenty of self-identifying conservative types who talk a good game while in their home districts but can’t in practice keep their sticky fingers out of the money pot or stick to their culture war guns beyond platitudes.

I am not one who buys the revisionist idea that America was founded as or ever was — in any real sense — a Christian nation, and I think our current political situation is the end sum of 200 years of taking the Lord’s name in vain when convenient.

There are many things we cannot reverse without massive, violent social upheaval, but we can start by acknowledging that God is greater than any nation or system of government, and that our nation is on life support only by His great grace. A good deal of the American electorate, of which Christians are a significant portion, are guilty of thinking switching politicians will save us, but real salvation — even in a temporal sense — does not lie with any man or electoral mechanism. Until America takes a backseat to the Gospel in the hearts and lives of Christians (and while many will protest this is the case, experience and just having my eyes open tells me otherwise), America never will be great.

And yes, America does need to repent of its social sins, from its unjust wars to the fact that we have neglected the poor, the hungry, the widow and orphan, and the fact that — while doing so with bald-faced gall — we have turned to the government to take care of the problem.

But all of this is to say that, looking back at the history of Israel, a good dose of sincere repentance did end up in restoration.

And yes, I do have faith that God is bigger than our economy, or the Senate, or the judiciary, or our failing, flat-broke empire.

Bumper stickers were at one time a popular part of revivalist culture, akin to having a quick tract or other witnessing tool on the back of your vehicle. With a bumper sticker, you could tell someone to repent, where you stand (and where they should stand) on hot-button socio-religious political issues or just let them know that yes, you are, in fact, a born-again, fire-baptized, tongues-speaking, holy-rolling, unapologetic Child of God.

And of course, you need to warn them about your possibly erratic (non-)driving.

For the most part the Christian bumper sticker industry has dried up (except for very sincere or very ironic uses), but tonight I found a gallery of pictures that take the Christian bumper sticker to a whole new level.

Here are a few:

These come from the website Watchman Gospel Signs: Effective Tools for the Burdened Watchman.

Here’s the description of the service from the site:

Have you lost all shame for the Lord and His words? Get ready for lots of heads turning your way! We can help you turn your vehicle into a billboard on the move.

This lettering consists of durable vinyl stickers that we will mail to you and you can affix to your vehicle or other substrate yourself (unless you want to drive to Oregon so we can do it for you). They will already be laid out and spaced correctly so that you will be able to put them on your vehicle neatly with a minimum amount of skill or tools required. (We will enclose simple application instructions with the signs to help guide you through the process.) Just choose your message, call us with your dimensions, and we will take it from there.

A Christian t-shirt is only as big as its wearer. Having stickers like these on your car is like having a traveling billboard.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who sees the resemblance.

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