Like many adult males I did a little last minute Christmas shopping. My motto is, "why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?" (I keep angling for a new motto, but it seems these things rather find us than the reverse.)
Anyway, I wanted to buy a Christian book for a good friend. Usually I'd simply order it off the internet but, as I said, this was the last minute.
I instinctively ventured into a well known Christian bookstore. I should have known better. I was immediately bombarded with gadgets, trinkets and "testamints" (breath mints with Scripture verses on them). I found wall hangings, posters, gospel tracts and Christian videos.
As for books, I could find scores of them about the "end times" (by the way, has anyone else ever mused about the similarity between the words eschatology and scatology?). I could read about the Christian family or about how to pray or how to have "driven" life complete with book, journal, daily devotional, music and keychain, just in case I forget. I could also find dozens of "The Passion of the Christ" dvds, as well as some thinly veiled political propaganda. And a host of other things.
I'm really not quibbling about that. (Well, maybe a little.) I know a bookstore has to market what sells. But what really troubled me was this: why couldn't I find any books by Dallas Willard, Alister McGrath or G.K. Chesterton? Doesn't anyone care to read these authors and others like them? Are Christians really so shallow that there is no market for thoughtful reading?
I guess they are. So I grabbed a few "testamints" and went on my way. Almost immediately I started feeling more spiritual. Or maybe it was just indigestion.