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The Church of Stop Shopping

A prophetic documentary preaches a message that should be coming from the church.

Last winter Pastor Dave Swanson was Out or Ur's man on the street at the Sundance Film Festival. His reports sparked an excellent discussion about the impact of films on culture and theology. Swanson is back with a review of a new documentary about the evils of consumerism, and he wonders - why isn't the church preaching about this?

I don't remember when or how I first stumbled onto the website for Reverend Billy's Church of Stop Shopping. After watching video clips online of the reverend preaching his anti-consumerism gospel, I wasn't sure what to make of this secular evangelist. The confusion was cleared up last Friday evening after watching the new documentary about Reverend Billy, What Would Jesus Buy?

The film raises important questions, but first a bit of context. Bill Talen was born into a Dutch Calvinist family in the Midwest. After moving to the west coast to pursue acting, Talen developed the Reverend Billy character before relocating to New York City where the character would ...

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