Pyromaniac Posters for Emerging Christians

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The keepers of the Reformed Holy Grail at Pyromaniacs have released a series of images that poke fun at and show their take on the emerging church – which is not favorable. Each image points to a website. The missional image above points to JesusCreed and the cussing image (below) points to my blog post on cussing and offensive language.

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What do I think of these images?

EslogoI really like them. I may not agree with the conclusions or assumptions that have motivated them, but I appreciate the quality, the humor, the approach, and the tone. I see them as an invitation to respond with something similar. Maybe this is a new way of debating using images and media . . . and i like it. I will probably show the images on my Happy Hour tonight and discuss them with my guests. Here are the complete set at Pyro here, here, here and here.

Wait – i just found them on one site – Go to posters at Spurgeon.org. What do you think? Which is your favourite?

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Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)

30 Comments

  • Hilarious! I agree about the quality, humour and general approach – very good and thought provoking in the right kind of way. If only more people could disagree so agreeably.
    Personal favourites… Ecclesiology (Who cares whether we know how it’s supposed to work, we’re going to have a crack at fixing it) and Cultural Awareness (Bono). I think there’s a grain of truth (absolute or relative?!) in both of them.

  • Very funny. At least to begin with. And then when I looked at the whole set in one I found them more disturbing!
    I mean, if you care this much about the quality, you must REALLY hate the movement. And that’s never a nice taste in the mouth to leave.

  • These posters make me kind of sad. I agree that they’re well done and creative, but I agree with Kester. I don’t see how this could be helpful.

  • I think they can still be helpful. At least it allows us a view into the concerns of those outside the movement. We can assume they have problems with this or that, but it is all assumption. This at least gives a perspective that really allows those of us invovled in projects to see where others view us as weak. Something to be said about stereotypes, and it allows us places to improve communication with those “outside”. Just a thought, I could be completely wrong.

  • Your text seems to be over shadowed by the posters. Can’t read it all.
    Criticism using art, creative!
    See you tonight @ Happy Hour!

  • I like the missional one the best. It’s probably because everyone I know would be considered lowbrow.
    But the effort, time, and money spent on this does seem a bit much.

  • Your text seems to be over shadowed by the posters. Can’t read it all.
    Criticism using art, creative!
    See you tonight @ Happy Hour!

  • Some very funny stuff there. However, looking through the collection, I did find myself becoming a bit ambivalent. Many of the posters could easily be satirical towards Christians in general (e.g., Humility). Some of them clearly signify a misunderstanding of what the emerging “poly-logue” is all about (e.g., Liberty???). Obviously some weird stereotyping going on here. Would have to also echo Kester’s thoughts.

  • I’m glad to see you can find humor in the posters since they slammed you as well. I guess a positive attitude helps. I am concerned by the growing amount of nastiness among people who claim to follow Jesus though. This poster series just seems like the latest in a long line of really nasty stuff aimed at anyone who disagrees. The overall trend concerns me. Even if they intended the posters to be humorous they might better have considered how they would be received. I think may will find them very offensive and in poor taste.

  • yeah – we have had about 8 years of criticism, almost all of it from Americans. Some of it has been awful and not worth reponding to. so when i see some well thought out artistic criticism, I have to take off my hat.

  • Rhetoric and propaganda is still rhetoric and propaganda. Having spent 12 years in comedy I deeply appreciate satire and the role of comedy in truth-telling, but this is like the jerk uncle who is always insulting you and then saying, “ha! only joking!” to cover his bitter words.
    I agree with others on this – it leaves a bad taste in the mouth. I think as Christians we get too offended too quickly and that blinds us to any rebuke, criticism or opportunity to learn, but at the same time we’ve a responsibility to love and care for those in the Body. And if this conservative element thinks we now lie outside the camp due too our heresies, then they have an equally powerful mandate to love us and care for us.
    Propaganda in the name of art or Jesus is distressing.
    sigh.
    (still, had this stuff been less bitter at times, I think we ALL could have laughed at it/with it.)

  • I really like some of the posters, and think there’s some validity here. One has to remember that the hyperbole is purposeful, but in some cases it goes over the top.
    Great conversation starters — it’s not a bad thing altogether to set people’s teeth on edge. But for the sake of balance I would like to see a set of similar posters designed to do the same thing to Bible Belt conformists. How about posters that take humorous barbs at things like conformity, legalism, moralism, gluttony, consumerism, Wal-Mart Christianity, to name a few.
    At least the posters got us thinking and talking. In that, they’ve accomplished at least one of their purposes.
    http://nakedchurch.wordpress.com

  • TSK, thanks for spinning this into something productive!! I always appreciate your response to critics, you find a way to learn and engage the criticism without shouting back.

  • I found the poster on Relevance funny – how true! (Because I react that way sometimes, lol)
    Unfortunately, the other posters didn’t sit comfortably with me. I never did like witnessing divide after divide in church after all.

  • I have to say that I was particularly struck (…pun not intended, but rather appropriate ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) by the one on conversation…especially in light of what I have read here.
    If we were better conversationalists, perhaps there wouldn’t be as strong a need for such extra sharp satire?

  • Real humour is being able to see the riduclousness of your own existence, being able to laugh at yourself… this is pompous, petulant and childish… I REALLY hope we don’t frame the discussion in this way!

  • Thanks for the linkage, Andrew.
    The broad range of reactions kind of caught me by surprise. My favorite (after yours) came from “Mike,” the second commenter on Josh Brown’s post with the “back at you” images.
    I’m pretty sure Mike would have no sympathy with most of my opinions, and his comment wouldn’t have survived the censors at my blog, but his response to the satire was more in line with what I expected.
    Yours, too. Thanks.

  • Great stuff. Are they accurate or not accurate? Who knows? Do there words really mean what they say or are they saying something else than what the people who made them intended. Are we putting our cultural spin on them when we critque them. They just are. The words they use only have the meaning that you interpret them to be not what they intended to be.
    Interesting that wordsmiths think that people spent way too much time on them, wonder how image people fell or think about all the time spent on blogs that are more word based.
    Tim

  • My ‘discernment meter’ may be off but I don’t think the creators of these had a heart of edification but rather that of accusation – and we know which team the accuser plays on.
    Sorry – I didn’t find them helpful.

  • My ‘discernment meter’ may be off but I don’t think the creators of these had a heart of edification but rather that of accusation – and we know which team the accuser plays on.
    Sorry – I didn’t find them helpful.

  • My ‘discernment meter’ may be off but I don’t think the creators of these had a heart of edification but rather that of accusation – and we know which team the accuser plays on.
    Sorry – I didn’t find them helpful.

  • I am not EC, in any way really, but my first thought was…thats a lot of time spent on something which is pretty unhelpful to the cause of Christ, but maybe I am being ‘starchy’…just like those videos which were getting around the place poking fun at the contemporary church

  • Hey Andrew and all. This is Darren from Precipice Magazine. I got slam-linked by one of these posters too. Mine is the one of Bono and the gang (http://www.precipicemagazine.com/bono_the_evangelist.htm).
    Like so many others, I agree that these posters are very well done from the point of view of artistic excellence.
    However, my problem with them is that they merely vaguely insinuate and generalize. And this is just more of the same when it comes to the unconstructive and often, non-specific criticism of the EC.
    To be honest, I’d rather have a point for point essay specifying positions of disagreement. At least then I’d feel like I could respond to what the issues actually are (or what they are purported to be).
    As an example, in the poster linking to my article there is a pic of a beer mug to the right. I wonder, is that supposed to suggest the sinfulness of drinking altogether, or just of drunkeness? Or is it suggesting that we in the EC are all just a little bit light-headed, like bar-stool poets waxing prophetic? You know what I mean? It’s all so vague. You know, beer is bad and so is the EC- or something like that.
    So often though, we in the EC just end up feeling like mud has been slung at us. And sure, we do some of the same. And none of itโ€™s that helpful.
    In my experience, people resort to insinuation and name-calling when they lack a strong, consistent argument to draw from. It’s like a form of blacklisting. You are denounced merely by association; in this case the association to certain groups of people, certain political stances, certain ethical causes, etc…
    Peace and love,
    -Darren

  • Get a spine transplant. These are not evil, the cause of Darfur, etc… They may agree or disagree with you. They may like you, or that may think you are way off. Everyone I ever met was wacked out in some way or other.
    I think McLaren is hertical but I got lots to learn from him. I pray blessing on him and the Emerging folks
    Tim

  • I LOVE EM!! thats great, its true artwork, someone having an idea and making it come to fruition. This is awesome.
    Everyone needs to lighten up and learn to laugh at themselves, Life is too short and people are dying without knowing Jesus. And I have to ask, if there wasn’t a grain of truth why are you so easily offended? They made fun of Jesus for His radical ideas as well but He didn’t waste time arguing, He simply taught the truth in love and let the critics come to Him in secret and ask the questions.

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