Christian bling: Dad's <i>Gospel Blimp</i> inoculated us against it...

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JTB To the left, readers will find a link where they can buy a DVD of The Gospel Blimp. The movie was directed by Shorty Yeaworth who also directed Steve McQueen in the cult classic, The Blob. Yeaworth did a perfect job on The Gospel Blimp. The acting is good and the style is retro to the max--cars with mega-fins, perfect crewcuts, and of course, the blimp.

I mention the movie now because, if they watch it, readers will understand why the bling of famous Christians holds no appeal to David or me. We grew up under a father who made Christian bling utterly repulsive to us. The rejection of personality cults and self-promotion was foundational to our upbringing.

Dad wrote The Gospel Blimp after years helping to found and leading the work of the parachurch campus ministry, Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. And since it was a satire on Evangelicalism's pride and self-promotion, no one was willing to publish it. So Dad did the manly faithful thing and...

published it himself calling his new publishing company Windward Press. Sailing against the wind, that is. Dad published it. Dad and his family packed it. Dad and his family shipped it. And after it sold 40,000 copies, Zondervan decided it might be safe enough to pick it up for their list.

Watch the movie and you'll breath a sigh of relief and turn away from being a sycophant (it's a word every Reformed young man should know) to all the big guys milking you for royalties and conference registrations. Show it to your small group and you'll start loving people.

Here's IMDB's plot summary:

George and Ethel are concerned about the salvation of their next-door neighbors, but don't know how to reach them with the good news of Jesus Christ. During an evening get-together of George and Ethel's Christian friends, everyone is captivated by the sight of a blimp flying overhead. Then Herm gets a bright idea: why not use a blimp to proclaim the Christian message to the unchurched citizens of Middletown? The group incorporates, buys a used blimp, hires a pilot, then commences to evangelize their hometown by towing Bible-verse banners, 'firebombing' folks below with gospel tracts, and broadcasting Christian music and programs over loudspeakers. But a series of misadventures puts the blimp ministry in jeopardy. And George becomes increasingly uneasy about the methods and business practices of International Gospel Blimps Incorporated and its "Commander", Herm...