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16/01/2007

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Hi Mark,

I understand that you like these designs and not others, but how do you define which Christian merchandise 'has integrity' and which doesn't?

I'm genuinely interested as a seller of the aforementioned merchandise.

Good question Dave... I guess, my perspective comes from years of wandering round Christian bookshops and having to wade through piles of tat and cheesy products which have little creative integrity (perhaps I should add the word creative to the original post?), obviously in the US there is a large Christian market, but I think even in the UK there has been an element of bandwagon leaping... see all the romantic celtic nonsense that demonstrates little attempt to wrestle with the gritty and dangerous history of Christianity in the British Isles pre-roman dominance, but is a good way to sell pretty posters, cards and bookmarks etc. Or hundreds and hundreds of WWJD, and any other acronym you can come up with, tat (I'm not talking about the original idea, just the copycats in this instance) I do think the same applies to books (if not more so) e.g. how many books do we *really* need on the Da Vinci Code? similarly do we *really* need hundreds of CD's (and song books) with the same type of band playing the same arrangements of the same worship songs that sound the same and say the same things as last years editions (especially when young, creative, experimental bands etc. find it incredibly hard to get released!)... or silly car stickers (did you know you can now buy Fish Symbols in Halfords!) etc. etc. etc.

Why i think these guys have integrity is that they are striving to produce quality designs and a quality product (whether you like the design or not is not the issue, some of them are not my cup of tea TBH) instead of just printing up a cheesy slogan, an obvious pun or writing 'Jesus' in parodies of numerous comercial logos... on a cheap T-shirt.

I don't want to publish links to some UK examples of what I feel has little or no creative integrity, but if you want I'll e-mail you a few... obviously Ship of fools picks up the most extreme examples... TBH these days I rarely go into a Christian shop... it just winds me up ;)

[I've edited the original post as reading it again it was a bit too much of a sweeping generalisation.]

Totally how feel. Pretty much board of seeing the same old stuff produced with out much thought and effort. These designs are something fresh and seem tohave had a a lot fo thought put into the production.

Thanks for your reply Mark - that does help explain. And yes, I think I agree.

Mark- I am with you on the cheese factor. I cannot stand Christian bookstores in the U.S. that sell all sorts of "Christian clutter." It is almost all from one particular theological bent too. However, check out these folks. Old friends of mine. I debate their t-shirt theology with them from time to time, but I love their original design. It's a hand, a circle, and the word "love".

www.onetruth.com

I really like some of these... I actually prefer the "political"/justice ones to the more obviously religious ones... may have to order a couple! Thanks, Matt

Me too on the religious. Though I often worry that we risk repeating the sins of modern liberalism if we pursue justice divorced from divine moorings.

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