classic christianese moment

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Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

classic christianese moment

wow. classic exchange tonight.

i’ve been wanting to read tony jones’ new book the new christians since it came out recently. tonight, i decided to go get it. i went to a couple bookstores and they either didn’t have it or it cost more than what i wanted to pay, so i went to the third option to see if they had it. i won’t name the place, but let’s just say it’s a large christian bookstore chain and it’s owned by a “conventional” group of people. ok…enough said. anyway, i sort of figured they might not have it, but i thought i’d give it a try.

i went in, looked around and of course, i couldn’t find it. i went and found an employee to ask if i had overlooked it. the guy i found was a 40ish conservative looking man and the following exchange subsequently occurred.

me: hey, i’m trying to find a book. maybe you can help me. it’s the new christians by tony jones.
(guy instantly has a sour look on his face.)
guy: (with a “are-you-kidding-me” tone) well, if you really want it, we can special order it.
me: (knowing where this conversation is going) so you guys just haven’t received a shipment or…
guy: (even more put off) no, we don’t carry it.
me: wow, really? because it’s one of the newest best-selling christian books.
guy: (with a wonderfully smug tone) sir, we carry books that edify the church, not tear it down.
me: peace out. (ok, i didn’t really say that, but it sounds good in theory…)

wow, that dude just dropped the word edify on me! that’s awesome.

i’ve become a little desensitized to people’s negative reaction to those engaged in the emergent conversation, but this exchange really stood out. at this point, even as bizarre of a christianese subculture moment as it was (and really a very sad commentary on the church), it was pretty awesome. definitely worth the trip to lifeway christian store, um, i mean the “unnamed christian bookstore.”