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Brand Jesus: Christianity in a Consumerist Age Paperback – May 1, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: SEABURY BOOKS (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596270497
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596270497
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 16.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,247,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tyler Wigg Stevenson is a preacher and writer. He graduated from Swarthmore College and received his M.Div. summa cum laude from Yale Divinity School. Tyler served in the chapel at Yale and as Associate Minister at Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church in Hamden, CT, where he was licensed and ordained. He also spent a year in London, England, as Study Assistant to the Rev. Dr. John Stott. Since 2001 he has served on the Board of Directors of the Global Security Institute, an organization he helped establish under the late U.S. Senator Alan Cranston. Tyler currently lives in Nashville with his wife, where he preaches regularly.

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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Andrew C. Smith on June 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
In this groundbreaking work, Tyler Wigg Stevenson examines America's culture of consumerism, identifying the patterns by which Americans establish meaning for their lives through their purchasing habits. Having accomplished this significant task of cultural muckraking, Wigg Stevenson successfully shows that American evangelicals have shaped their message to fit into this culture of consumption, making Jesus a commodity and rendering true discipleship next to impossible.

The book's chief strength is its thoroughgoing Biblicism. Structured by Romans chapters 1, 2 and 12, the book manages to offer a message drawn from the scriptures without being hijacked by either the right or the left.

Because the offering of a "quick fix" solution to the church's problems would be nothing but pandering to the same sense of consumerism that he laments, Wigg Stevenson does not conclude the book with a "12 step" plan that can restore the evangelical church to its apostolic state. He does, however, cast a vision of a church that, while having to compete in the early 21st century marketplace of meaning, refuses to offer Jesus as a commodity. Instead, the vision cast in this book is one in which confused seekers come to the church seeking a commodity, but are offered not a product but an invitation to Christian discipleship.

Anyone looking to better understand the relationship between evangelicalism and American consumer culture should carefully read and digest this book. Its message could not be more timely.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Heuertz on November 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It seems more than ever, the so-called developed world is obsessed with the concept of `brand.' Brand recognition, brand development and even re-branding dominate strategic plans, business plans, and even drive how people present themselves on a personal level through a variety of social media outlets.

Faith communities haven't remained untarnished in this drive to ensure their brand stands out. This has become painfully obvious as the market for books on faith, Christian music and religious kitsch generates enormous annual sales figures. But what does all of this say about the brand Jesus may, or may not, have hoped the church would cultivate?

In `Brand Jesus,' Tyler Wigg-Stevenson takes on the challenging task of illuminating the complex relationship between faith and consumerism. Rather than `turning the tables' of Christian consumerism in the temples of modern commerce, Tyler sets a table for the reader by hosting this difficult conversation of how to live faithful lives in a culture of over-consumption. Gracefully he helps the reader re-evaluate how consumerism malforms our biblical understanding of consumption, sexuality, politics and faith.

Grounding his reflections squarely in the book of Romans, Tyler doesn't simply diagnose the problems related to faith and consumerism, he offers imaginative prescriptions to treat the soul and reorient communities. It's as if Tyler channeled the spirit of Saint Paul the apostle and penned a new epistle, an epistle Paul would likely have published in Adbusters magazine.

But don't be mistaken, unlike much of the current materials unraveling the concerns of consumerism, `Brand Jesus' is far from smug or snarky. It's hope-filled, courageous and offers robust alternative paradigms for social and cultural engagement.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matt Turner on January 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read Brand Jesus in a class a couple of years ago, and just recently returned to it as a source during my graduate studies. We MUST think out how commercialization may have compromised the values of Christ, and understand how we might bring ourselves back. Tyler Wigg Stevenson - who I met as a guest speaker at one point - is both critical and kind, and does not offer any easy answer. I admire these traits extremely in an author.

If your interested in the overlap of American economics and the Church, definitely read this book!
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