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The Divine Commodity

Today many people choose churches like they choose groceries.

It's an eye-catching cover and snappy title: Shopping for God. But page one reads, "This book is not about God." The discrepancy between cover and content, between the pitch and the product, is what James Twitchell has built his career upon. A professor of advertising at the University of Florida, he knows even the most sacred things have been reduced to commodities in our consumer culture.

Twitchell is a self-confessed "cold Christian" and "apatheist," someone who cares little about his own faith. But he is interested in "how religious sensation is currently being manufactured, branded, packaged, shipped out, and consumed."

What can church leaders gain here? A lot. Most of what we read about ministry leadership, outreach, and management is infused with a heavy dose of spiritual language—including the content of this fine journal. Twitchell propels the pendulum the other way. By removing God language, he asserts that most of what we assume to be fueled by divine power may actually ...

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