Blessed are those who preach about Narnia

Narnia_1It’s been well-documented that Disney is using one strategy employed by Mel Gibson for Passion of the Christ to market the upcoming, Christian-themed Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: it’s creating buzz for the film in the Christian community. But one component of the program leaves us particularly non-plussed. According to this story in The Philadelphia Inquirer, the studio is “offering a free trip to London—and $1,000 cash—to the winner of its big promotional sermon contest.” Yes, a preacher who writes a great sermon—as long as it mentions the movie—will win the prize. The promotion has even spawned what appears to be a new marketing term: the sermo-mercial. At least one Christian publication, Christianity Today, has expressed its outrage, but directs it, for the most part, not at Disney, but at Christians for not protesting the contest. Says a post on its blog: “Far more disturbing is the lack of outcry from the faithful at a blatant attempt by a secular power to manipulate the preaching ministry of the church.”

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor