It’s been said that products are things that people buy, but brands are things that people buy into—and great brands are built on consistency and trust. Can the Bible be viewed as a brand? We think it can, and we think the advertising, online hub, and partner projects born of this coalition can help cultivate a fresh perception and renewed trust in the Bible brand, and the invitation to a fuller life that it promises.
A compelling brand begins with honesty, and therein lies the rub. For Christians the Bible is perfect, but for people who don’t know it, their experience with imperfect Christians creates a trust gap that can be difficult to bridge. Worse, the gap becomes a chasm when Christians are knowingly or even unknowingly dishonest about their imperfections.
It’s an odd conundrum, given the very nature of recognizing a need for grace at the center of the Christian faith. But nonetheless, even well meaning people can fall into the traps of subtle self-righteousness, unintended hypocrisy, and over-simplifications of human brokenness. The vast majority of the time these things are not purposed, or even egregious, but they happen within the nuances of everything from personal relationships, to church communities, to media commentary, to the art and entertainment ostensibly created to share the heart of the Bible with broader culture in an engaging way. The irony is that imperfect people—who begin believing they are a little less imperfect than those they “want to reach”—become the biggest barrier of all. Intellectual and emotional dishonesty is impossible to conceal. People always sniff it out, and when they do, the only logical conclusion is that this Bible of yours can’t really be what you say it is.
Of course, there’s a flipside to all this. Many more Christians than not are the antithesis of these stereotypes. They truly are salt and light, and the lives they live - honest and transparent - help millions discover the life-changing invitation of the Bible for themselves. It’s those people that this brand will emulate in all it does. The essence—the thing that is both concrete and compelling—is the recognition that we are an imperfect people. Our shortcomings, and the Bible’s unique ability to address them completely, is what makes it so unique and appealing—it is a story for imperfect people about imperfect people who are loved and saved by a perfect God.