Pretty People

02Oct06

So DG sticks this link in the comments below (the previous post) about (the site and book) Dear Church: Letters From A Disillusioned Generation by Sarah Raymond Cunningham, naturally he mis-types the url, but what’s new. So after re-typing said url I find this site and read about this book. It looks good and probably is helpful for church leaders and twentysomethings who frustrated with each other and with the church. Scot McKnight likes it, so that’s saying a lot. What’s it about? Here’s a copy/paste from the website:

If you liked Blue Like Jazz, New Kind of Christian, or Velvet Elvis, you may enjoy Dear Church: Letters From a Disillusioned Generation.

What You’ll Find Inside the Book

• Understanding. Dear Church captures and relates to those uncomfortable life-stages when you may want to keep the faith, but not the church.

• Tips for sifting through and moving beyond disillusionment. I.e. What to do when you are disappointed by a church experience.

• 50 Tips for giving and receiving forgiveness.

• An introduction to Generation Y, the American age group that is LEAST likely to attend church.

• Ideas for shaping a more diverse, authentic, and transformation-centered church.

• An apology FROM the Church TO the people who have been hurt by painful experiences with local churches. (Regret is directed to everyone from overworked pastors to alienated church attenders to those who never felt welcomed by the church to begin with.)

• A love letter that expresses deep appreciation for the role the Church has played and will continue to play in world history.

• An invitation to readers to correspond with Sarah, and representatives from the church around the world, by writing their own letters to the church here.

So, yeah. Looks good. You probably should read it. As we’ve begun our new house church – with mostly 20somethings – it I know there is a lot of disillusionment with the church. I see it in the students at our school too.

However, I have a problem. Whenever I hear about a book I like to know more about the author. Knowing the “who” behind the words is important. So I click the link to learn about this person, Sarah the author. And as the page begins to load… before the pictures download… I have this fleeting thought, “I bet she’s an attractive 20something”. And, lo and behold, she is. Why in the world did such a thought cross my mind?! Either, I’m an oversexed male (always that possibility) or I have been conditioned to expect that attractive people write popular books. Particularly attractive females. Ugly guys can get away with it because they possess other societal status marks… charisma, power, money. Ugly, or generally plain, people write academic books that reach a narrow audience of other academics or brainy people. I mean, I can’t remember the last time I saw that an ugly, or at least plain, woman wrote a popular work. Feel free to prove me wrong. But really! I don’t doubt that Sarah the author has much to say that is helpful to the Church. I don’t doubt that God has and is and will use her words for the expansion of the Kingdom. So I’m not questioning her at all.

I’m questioning our over-reliance on the external, the attractive, the “pleasing-to-the-eye” – ESPECIALLY in the Christian sub-culture/Church. When was the last time I saw a Contemporary Christian Music artist/band that wasn’t also an option for the next GAP commercial? Do pretty people really have more to say than ugly ones? I mean, really.

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