03 December 2005

The next big thing after Biblezines®?

One of my lurking readers, Johnathan Tate, sends me a link to a BBC news article reporting that a German Protestant youth group has produced a calendar featuring nude "Bible characters." I'd post a link to the article, but it includes a PG-13 graphic that exceeds the limits of what I'm willing to link to.

Here's the actual text of the article:

Youths reveal racy Bible calendar

A German Protestant youth group has put together a 2006 calendar illustrated with erotic scenes from the Bible.

The 12 re-enacted passages feature a bare-breasted Delilah cutting Samson's hair and a nude Eve offering an apple.

The Nuremberg-based group said they wanted to represent the Bible in a way that would entice young people.

Nuremberg pastor Bernd Grasser said: "It's just wonderful when teenagers commit themselves with their hair and their skin to the bible."

"There's a whole range of biblical scriptures simply bursting with eroticism," said Stefan Wiest, 32, who took the racy photographs.

Anne Rohmer, 21, wearing garters and stockings, posed on a doorstep as the prostitute Rahab.

"We wanted to represent the Bible in a different way and to interest young people," she told news agency Reuters.

"Anyway, it doesn't say anywhere in the Bible that you are forbidden to show yourself nude."

Bernd Grasser, pastor of the church in Nuremberg where the calendar is being sold, said he was supportive of the project.

I keep saying: there's no way left to parody this stuff. The real thing is more exaggerated and more extreme than any caricature could ever make it seem.

Phil's signature

40 comments:

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Pretty soon churches will be holding real "passion" plays.

Coffee and a Muffin said...

Oh.my.goodness. I'm stunned.

Jeremy Weaver said...

"The Nuremberg-based group said they wanted to represent the Bible in a way that would entice young people."

I would say that's the understatement of the millenium.

art said...

I guess our faith lies more in 'sex sells' than in the Holy Spirit.

Mike Escen said...

Now the so-called church is helping promote sinful lusts...unbelievable.

centuri0n said...

The real problem is that the parody of this stuff is so vulgar that you can't in good conscience even think about it.

Denise said...

These guys should win the "The Final Emerging Church Movement stunt...and the Stunt After That" award for being authentically Emergent.

The stunt after that: a Bible version of said calander.

Libbie said...

I anticipate seeing a copy in the next garage I go into, and I'm looking foward to the mechanic telling me how it composes his heart to worship when he sees women in the altogther.

I then anticipate taking my business elsewhere

Shane said...

Kind of puts me in mind of that Lego Bible on the net. They don't use live models, but some of the still shots of certain Bible verses... well, let's just say it could double as the Lego Kama Sutra.

Suziannr said...

Why not? The churches in America are all about "reaching the unchurched". Gag me with a spoon (ack! I'm showing my age!) Dramas, 3 different choirs, choruses....always projected on a screen....3 services to accomodate the early risers AND the late-sleepers....on and on. No one should be offended or inconvenienced, the church must meet their needs. "I have three children, I need to be in a church that holds their interest"....I could go on and on but I won't.

Chris Freeland said...

NOW I know what I want for Christmas. I can be more spiritual and be on time. Phil, you've seen the website... do you think I should pick one up for the grandparents as well. They always used to love to get me calendars for Christmas. Maybe they'd appreciate the returned favor.

Chris P. said...

Jonathan
Study a history of the "penitentes". Many died while being whipped and crucified. It is one of Northern New Mexico's and the RC's least talked about areas of history.Very secretive.

As for the calendar, I wonder if McClaren will have one on his wall. Perhaps "pomo-mate" of the year? We should not be shocked at all, as things will only get worse

Rose~ said...

How absurd.

BugBlaster said...

It's an extreme symptom, but a symptom nonetheless of the decadent depths to which the wealthy, free, nominal western church has plunged. It's a pretty safe assumption that the Christians in China, Indonesia and Cambodia don't feel it necessary to print up nudie calendars to market the faith and make it relevant. A visiting missionary at our church mentioned that the Chinese believers are praying that we will also experience real persecution like them, so that garbage like this is burned away.

Randy said...

Bugblaster mentions that Christians in other countries are praying for us to experience persecution so that this kind of garbage will be burned away. That's a frightening thought, but God will make his church pure one way or another.

Jeremy Weaver said...

Dude!
You can DOUBLE your sales!!!

pilgrim said...

"I have three children, I need to be in a church that holds their interest"....

A family actually did leave our church recently--and this was their reason...

Maybe we should have had the calendar...

Well not really--but I can't say I'm surprised or shocked--I don't know if there's much that would surprise or shock me anymore--and I don't know if that's a good thing.

Phil Johnson said...

Since I'm not selling anything, I can delete all the spam telling me how to double my sales and STILL double my sales.

How does that stuff get through the word verification?

Adam Cummings said...

I'm with Pilgrim... nothing surprises me anymore.

BlackCalvinist said...

Oy.

What from the pit of hell is this ?

Oh, wait.... that explains it.


Suziannr - what's the problem with projection screens ?

Justin said...

Wow, that is bizarre and shocking.

But why did so many commenters immediately associate it with the emerging church and postmoderism? I hardly think that's fair, unless the commenters investigated the site, read German, and found evidence that this is typical of emerging churches.

Rhology said...

Speaking of sales, my next click will take me over to Centuri0n's place, where I can advise him how to double HIS sales. Non-nudity-showing T-shirts are so yesterday's orthodoxy.

Suziannr said...

blackcalvinist, projection screens, by their ver nature are evil, donchaknow? Actually, the projection screens and choruses are symptomatic, to me and perhaps to a few others, of the beginning of the "entertainment in worship" syndrome that has taken over the stages of churches. I love the choruses (mostly - some are definitely man-centered), I dont love the stars we've created in worship teams.

annie said...

While I think that this calendar is a bad idea for churches to promote since it might cause a brother to stumble, I do not think that offering multi-service times or using large screens to display song lyrics or to make it easier for attendees in the back of a church building to see the pastor on the screen, is inherently sinful.

marc said...

Phil said "I keep saying: there's no way left to parody this stuff. The real thing is more exaggerated and more extreme than any caricature could ever make it seem."

This is the premis on which I build PURGATORIO Phil. I keep thinking I'll run out of "stuff", but I think now I will run out of time before I run out of material.

BTW, you know you have a sad blog when you let the spam through just so you get a comment now and then.

Phil Johnson said...

Justin: "But why did so many commenters immediately associate it with the emerging church and postmoderism? I hardly think that's fair"

You'd be right to whine if anyone had seriously associated these calendars with the EC. But exactly two people made jokes about it. That's not really "so many" in the big picture.

The more serious commenters have mostly seen the calendar as a harbinger of the bizarre depths to which Western Christianity may soon plunge.

Since many of us would regard the EC as grease on the slide that facilitates that decline, the two jokes aren't really as far-fetched as you make out. It's really not a huge step from redesigning your worship to attract Goth girls to making a "Bible calendar" dsigned to appeal to lecherous boys.

There's something very "missional" about the reasons the German youths gave for designing the nudie calendars.

But if it sets your guilty conscience at ease, no one is actually BLAMING the EC for the calendars.

Jeremy Weaver said...

Marc,
I can't wait for the pictures you post of this one!

Jonathan G. said...

Sadly, this calendar's existence nor the comments of it's proponents, surprises me at all.

ScottyB said...

woa woah did you just say redesign your worship to attract goth girls?

i hope your not referencing a mars hill worship service--it is redesigned in exactly the same way as a Resolved Conference is except that it is located in Seattle and not at a hotel in Los Angeles. lol phil

Have you ever listened to Driscoll preach? or visited Mar's Hill Church in Seattle?

John Haller said...

Here is a quote from an article:

“Anyway, it doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that you are forbidden to show yourself nude.” Bernd Grasser, pastor of the church in Nuremberg where the calendar is being sold, was enthusiastic about the project... “It’s just wonderful when teenagers commit themselves with their hair and their skin to the bible,” he said.

Chuck said...

Next year's edition can have students re-enacting scenes from Song of Solomon. I mean, Spurgeon used it to preach the Gospel from, right? It's the same principle. We're "visual learners." It reminds me of the time our church sign said "Adult Musical Next Sunday." One of the adults, who happens to be a religion and history professor at my school, said, "Well, I think we've found the the new Church Growth Movement." It took some people like two minutes to get it.

Richard D said...

BlackCalvinist - I agree with suziannr that the projection screen phenomenon is symptomatic of the entertainment culture we've created in Evangelical churches. But I have a further complaint against it.

I learned to read music and to sing harmony through the use of hymnals. With the projection screen development, we have lost the ability to teach our children to read music.

keith whitfield said...

Supposedly there's a "Bible study group" that meets at Hooters. Now we have nude Bible characters. I guess I shouldn't be surprised...however, it does make me sad.

Scott Roche said...

I'll bite, why can their be descriptions of nudity and licentious acts (not to mention murder and torture) written in the Bible but it's a bad thing to display it in a visual format? The Passion depicted "gore porn" when it showed Christ being whipped and crucified and most Christians (myself included) lapped it up. If you made a movie with that same level of "realism" that depicted scenes from the Garden or Sodom and Gomorrah would people have the same reaction?

Faithful to Christ my Savior said...

The bible says that such things will only wax worse and worse...We are in that time now, more than ever before.

Suziannr said...

Ahhhhhhh The Passion of the Christ and Christians lapping it up...what a visual. I wonder why the Lord our God, the One Who came to die for us and the One Who sent Him chose NOT to inspire reams of words describing the actual deeds, just a few sentences. I have to believe He did not want us making an "idol" of the deeds done by man but to know the sacrifice of the Man. That movie inspires as much passion (disgust) in me as the idolatry we show to our praise "stars". Ugh! Soap box time, anyone???

Ryan DeBarr said...

I'll bite, why can their be descriptions of nudity and licentious acts (not to mention murder and torture) written in the Bible but it's a bad thing to display it in a visual format?

Because somebody actually has to do the deed be in order for pictures to be taken?

Scott Roche said...

Not with computers or even well drawn pictures.

George said...

Phil,

I totally agree with this comment: "The more serious commenters have mostly seen the calendar as a harbinger of the bizarre depths to which Western Christianity may soon plunge."

I happen to be one of those who only see it as an extension of the whole, " become all things to all men" to reach Christ.

Why can't we just preach the Gospel and let the chips fall where they may?

Jon said...

I think we could use more of a System Admin approach to Biblezines

ala this

[/shameless self-promotion]