While driving to the office this morning, I heard a radio report about which television shows had won Emmy awards. Not only had I not seen most of the shows, particularly in the “drama” category” — I’d never heard of them. Being in regular contact with both students and churches, I get quite enough real-life drama without looking for more on TV.

The Emmy update offered a natural segue to a story about the increasingly frequent practice of “product integration” in the media. For a price, TV producers will go a step beyond “product placement” and work commercial products into the script so that viewers not only see a corporate logo in the background or notice that characters drink a particular brand of soft drink, but they also talk about the products in the course of the program. Writers hate the practice, believing it tampers with their creative freedom and unfairly exploits the emotional connection some viewers have with their favorite actors.

Since I don’t watch TV dramas, I don’t care what cell phone company the characters use or what cars they drive. I do wonder, however, if Pepsi might pony up a few free 12-packs if I mention “Diet Pepsi with Lime®” often enough in my blog.

While TV programs and movies are using more product integration, the Southern Baptist Convention‘s LifeWay bookstores are serving up product segregation. When a recent issue of Gospel Today featured women pastors on the cover, LifeWay yanked the magazine from its shelves lest anyone think the SBC might find women pastors to be acceptable in any way. SBC defenders cited the denomination’s Baptist Faith and Message statement of 2000, which claims that the Bible rules out women pastors.

As I took a brisk sip of Diet Pepsi with Lime®, I ruminated that when the SBC adds a provision opposing the wearing of makeup and jewelry — which the Bible addresses even more directly than women pastors — I’ll believe that they are truly trying to follow the Bible, rather than cherry-picking biblical texts to reinforce their preferred cultural norms.

I could chase a few more random thoughts, but time requires that I turn my attention to preparing a lecture on Abraham, who had to drink warm goat’s milk rather than a cold, refreshing Diet Pepsi with Lime® — which may have contributed to his proclivity for passing off his wife as his sister.

Oh, did I mention Diet Pepsi with Lime®?

[As one might expect, this subject has drawn a lot of attention from bloggers. Here are three that you might enjoy reading: Kerusso Charis (Wade Burleson), G. Frink’s (George Frink), and Cottonhead Confessions (Jan Cartledge). Read away!]

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