Friday, February 17, 2012

How to Spend Fifteen Million Dollars - a blast from the past

As I mentioned last week, other (good!) things are semi-hiatusing me from the most time-consuming blogging for a bit. Just did not have time to put together a Hither and Thither this week. Sorry! Maybe next week.

I did find something I've thought of over and over again for many years. It is from the August/September 1978 edition of The Wittenburg Door, a sort of Christianoid Mad Magazine that ran interviews, serious pieces and many humorous pieces and satires. It still sort of exists online. (I haven't read the Door for 30+ years, so can't vouch for anything.)

What I bring you today was my favorite bit, ever. It was on the occasion of the erection of that grand monstrosity, The Crystal Cathedral. This piece has particularly bitter irony, now that we know the miserable end to which the monument to Robert Schuller's ego has come.

It was a full-page graphic titled HOW TO SPEND $15,000,000, and it went something like this.


I thought it a potent comment. Remember that this is in 1978 dollars. Maybe some brainiac can do the math to update the current impact.

25 comments:

jrs1517 said...

$15,000,000 in 1978 is roughly equivalent to $52,000,000 today.

Robert said...

Wow...that is quite telling. I like how they call it a big glass church.

Puritan Physicist said...

Love who one of their sources was: Tony Campolo. Given his liberation theology, it makes sense, but it's still funny to watch one false teacher rebuke another for not being biblical.

DJP said...

Wonder where Campolo was on his downward trajectory in 1978?

Sharon said...

I confess . . . I'm old enough to remember when this article originally was posted. And it's just as timely today.

And yes, I subscribed to The Door. Does that make me a bad person?

DJP said...

If so, Sharon, I think we have that badness in common.

Kevin Zuber said...

Thanks Dan! I reference this piece every so often in class -- now I have the actual article!

I didn't have to subscribe to the WD . . . The library at Grace College, Seminary had a subscription! It was always "dog-eared" and "well read" by the time I got to it . . . one of the more popular periodicals!

Tom Chantry said...

Seven comments, and not one of them protests the absence of H&T.

Shocking.

DJP said...

You're welcome. Yeah, I've probably referred to this a dozen times or two, sometimes on this blog. I've searched the intrawebs for it, fruitlessly. When I'd see an old Door, I'd check to see if it was The One. Then finally, it turned up - and I knew I had to make my contribution to posterity.

(c:

Susan said...

Tom C., yours truly did submit a rather passionate protest, but DJP has yet to post it for the world to see.

DJP said...

There is no trace nor sign of such a protest.

Susan said...

What!? Blogger ate my comment AGAIN!?

Well, here it is again, almost verbatim:

Waaaahh!! No H&T this week! (/sulk)

And it's interesting that you should mention Crystal Cathedral, since Sheila Schuller's position at that church ties in with the egalitarian hoopla over at Pyro these couple days.

Mike Westfall said...

I protested in my heart.

But this is a good replacement piece for H&T.

Rita Tomassetti said...

sheesh that's sad....that's why I don't understand why some people spend millions of dollars or pesos in building a bigger church, or a new building in the "church campus" for recreational purposes for the church....But you know it makes me think how many time do I do that (in a wayyy smaller scale of course) would rather give money for something that will benefit me than donate it to a ministry or even a local soup kitchen.

I must say when I saw no H&T I was slightly disappointed :'( but everyone needs a break some time :)

Wendy said...

Well, if this is the type of thing you are going to post instead of a H&T, then I say good on you.

Because, heaven forbid, you should admit that "I got nothing". :)

Kevin Zuber said...

I have to admit that without H & T my wife will wonder why I'm not showing her all this cool stuff on the interweb tonight.

CR said...

Life just isn't the same without H&T. I'm like the guy in the Carl's Junior commercial in the grocery store in a stupor.

Rachael Starke said...

First Friday in a while that I've had an opportunity to enjoy H&T in all its linky goodness........

No, really, I'll be fine.


Really.





Don't feel bad or anything.

Rachael Starke said...

Alright. It just has to be said.

Blogger has obviously taken to better living through only-legal-in-California-if-your-eyesight-is bad type chemicals.

What is up with the word verification craziness??

Burrito34 said...

It's okay with me that there's no H & T this week. We all need a break, or "hiatus" every now and then. Though soon my withdrawal symptoms will probably kick in. ;-)
Take the time you need to refresh, reflect and reload, Bro. Dan.

Stephen said...

You know this is one of the primary arguments from multi-site advocates, at least those of the renting storefronts/school house variety. They give temporary money to a landlord instead of divert millions to a building fund for a mega-sanctuary that may just be taken down and rebuilt in 50 years, or worse, left vacant.

DJP said...

That's an argument for lower overhead of some sort, but not for beaming a single pastor's image to multiple locations. In the latter case, the cure is as bad as or worse than the disease.

But yeah. When I was at Talbot, E. Free Fullerton was considering considerable expansion bec. of Swindoll's great popularity. I thought "Oh boy. And when he leaves?" Now he's left. Wonder how they're doing? (Don't know.)

Robert Warren said...

Wonder where Campolo was on his downward trajectory in 1978?

Well, he wasn't yet on the Bill Clinton Crocodile Tears Tour.

Re Word Verification:
Even when I was a kid, I couldn't usually get those optical illusion tricks, although I was quite pleased with myself and attributed great salvific significance when I could see "JESUS" in that famous graphic where one might have to stare a while to see it. But I'm just too old for these things now.

Sir Aaron said...

@DJP:

I attended EV Free in Fullerton for a while and after I left I still served in the sports ministry there. They found a new Pastor who became almost as popular (wrote a book too). They are doing very well as far as size and buildings. Their campus is very large and now encompasses buildings across the street.

Kirby said...

@Dan

Wonder where Campolo was on his downward trajectory in 1978?

Methinks he was at Friday, but Sunday was a 'comin.