Tag Archives: consumerism

Jonathan Edwards, lifestyle brand

A lot of people like reading Jonathan Edwards. But maybe that’s not enough for you. Maybe you want to wear Jonathan Edwards.

You can!

Jonathan Edwards comes on a tee shirt, thanks to Missional Wear, an Orlando, Florida company that boasts “the largest selection in Reformed lifestyle products anywhere!”ms-MilitaryGreen-w-large.jpg

That’s an advertizing claim that seems like it’s probably true.

Missional Wear is certainly the only company selling Jonathan Edwards tee shirts in all sizes and more than a dozen colors for about $20.

Edwards’s face does not appear to be as the most popular for Reformed lifestyle products, however.

The most popular is the 19th century British Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon. The company offers multiple versions of his face, including several that show him smoking a cigar and one that has a stylized representation of Spurgeon’s beard, with a quote from Spurgeon about beards.

There are also shirts and hoodies with other faces from the Reformed canon, including Reformers such as Martin Luther, John Calvin and John Knox and Puritans such as John Owen, John Bunyan and Richard Baxter. The company also offers shirts with the faces of some 20th-century theologians, including B.B. Warfield, Cornelius Van Til, and Francis Schaeffer.

If an obscure face is too obscure, Missional Wear also offers a shirt with the word “Calvinism” on the front in a font that evokes the Coca-Cola brand.

Ten years ago, Christianity Today noted a resurgence in Calvinism in America, a “comeback” that was “shaking up the church.” To some it seemed this “New Calvinism” offered a more serious, more theological alternative to popular evangelical culture.

New Calvinists didn’t all embrace the term “New Calvinist,” or even “Calvinist,” but they did articulate a self-conception of rugged seriousness. They allied themselves against “the atheological, consumer-driven nature of the modern evangelical machine,” as the director of the Southern Baptist LifeWays Research once put it.

But there was still enough consumerism for Reformed lifestyle products. If you want, you can even get a shirt with Jonathan Edwards’s face on it.

— Daniel Silliman