Advertising the Bible with sex and money?

Thanks to my librarian son, Jeremy, he alerted me to an article in The Anthropological Quarterly (vol. 84, no 3, p. 705-736).  Matthew Engelke, in “The Semiotics of Relevance: Campaigning for the Bible in Greater Manchester” reports that the Bible Society of England and Wales wanted to run an advertising campaign stressing the relevance of the Bible “to the general public for understanding today’s world.”

One of the campaign ideas was to put scripture verses on billboards throughout the Greater Manchester area.  The billboards would not showcase the generic John 3:16 but something “unexpected.”

An early concept was to put Song of Solomon 4:5—Your two breasts are life fawns, twins of the gazelles…” on billboards with the tag line: “The Bible: Unexpected Saucy.” The Society hoped that the provocative ads would get the public thinking about the word of God.

While the verse would certainly grab the public’s attention, the Society deemed the use of the Song “too risky and imprudent.” Instead they settled for ads that had the theme of “Riddles of Life.” The ad campaign offered a £ 7,000 award to go to a charity of the winner’s choice.

The contest was won by a Christian. The Society conceded that their campaign was not a success. It seems that money did not motivate the public to recognize the Bible’s relevance. Maybe they should have used the Song :).

No Adam, No Eve, No Garden, No Fall?

NPR has picked up the “new” conflict within evangelicalism: “Did Adam and Eve exist and did all humanity descend from that single pair?” (See the article by Barbara Bradley Hagerty here).  There is not much difference between this article and the June CTi cover story.  But it does show that the discussion concerning the reality of Adam and Eve is not confined to scientists and theologians. When biblical narratives become “news stories,” the church (through teaching and preaching) has an opportunity to engage the culture and help saints know what they believe and why.

It is worth noting this observation from the article by Fuzale Rana (vice president of Reasons To Believe, and PhD from Ohio U in biochemistry). He “believe the stakes are even higher in today’s battle over evolution. It is not just about the movement of the earth, but about the nature of God and man, of sin and redemption.”