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March 11, 2008


David Ewart

Hi Jennifer,

I agree with you about advanced capitalism.

What is intriguing is the physiology of the brain’s response to “price.” Previously, it was thought that such responses had been “hard wired” into the brain through the long evolutionary process. It is quite remarkable that how quickly “price” has become a trigger for these automatic, sub-conscious responses. Advertising has done a remarkable job of changing the brain!

The implication is that in spite of mere conscious awareness, all of us – regardless of our analysis – will have a gut level higher valuation of anything with a higher price.

If this is the case, then “high commitment” churches attract initially not because of their theology, etc. but simply because there is an hard-wired, built-in, pre-conscious, attraction to anything with a higher cost.

The United Church’s “soft sell” approach is guaranteed to only attract those who make conscious decisions – and those type of decisions lack the passion and commitment of pre-conscious ones. Which is not a bad thing. But it does raise questions about how to deepen a merely conscious decision to follow Jesus into a truly “lose my life to save it” commitment.

Jennifer Palin

Hi David - I agree that discipleship (root word discipline) requires cost/sacrifice; but the wine comparison is probably affected by a market-consciousness that people in advanced capitalism have developed about the relative worth of different items based on cost. For instance, people might think that they are getting "better" education for their children if they send them to an expensive private school (though objectively that's not true) when what their children need is a "sacrifice" of more time being spent with them by their parents. Thank you for a good illustration for Holy Week.

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