For Christmas this year I received a copy of one of my favourite writers, Malcolm glaldwell’s book; What the dog saw. Having just finished reading the Ketchup conundrum article in part one of the book, I found myself thinking of how ketchup and Christianity have certain links and cross cutting themes, which I hope whilst reading this blog, you can see and more hopefully that cause you to think is my (our) Christianity anything like Ketchup?
The main aspect for me after reflection is that we confuse Ketchup and Christianity. We must remember Ketchup is a condiment and Christianity is a way of life.
Of course it is you are saying, but how many of us like to have just a little ketchup to add spice to our lives, or make a dull life palatable?
Regardless of who and what our beliefs are, we are bombarded with condiments to add sparkle to our dull and dusty lives, Consumerism is alive and well throughout our world and christianity is alive to this and offers various condiments to help us enjoy this life and make our existence more pleasant; such as worship, prayer, fellowship, preaching and liturgy.
Which when added to our life help us become better people.
We have in our minds that there is such a thing as the ‘platonic dish’ – something that we have is just absolutely right and we must tell everyone that our brand is ‘the right one’
Gladwell speaks of Howard Moskowitz who stood up to the Platonists and said there are no universals, and that it is human variability and the AHHH factor that awakens ones senses, and this should be considered when we address our reveal.
In short variety is the spice of life and our Christianity should reveal and reflect this rather than having platonic Christianity.
Speaking in the first instance about mustard in its differing types and how it’s marketed he goes on to say that the reveal. The point where you state what, where or who you are is a vital component of your strategy; as far a Christians and Churches in general is concerned my overriding thought was we aren’t very good at this. We all too often proclaim, state and overstate who we are and why you should be like us, often making the individual (consumer) guilty in the process.
One aspect in particular s our web presence reveal: as an avid reader of all things from Tony Morgan I hope you take time to look at his blog and thoughts on web presence.
I would ask therefore that as Christians and Churches we consider very carefully our reveal and put it into context with our culture and community setting.
Back to the ketchup conundrum, if you look at the Heinz website you can see the story unfold,
In the beginning....
Our ever-popular Heinz Tomato Ketchup has been part of our range almost right from the start. It was launched in 1876 just seven years after Henry J. Heinz founded the company.
The idea behind Tomato Ketchup was that it was a tasty convenience food, “a blessed relief for mother and other women in the household”,
As an aside notice the Christian notes in the message, ‘in beginning, a blessed relief, which conjure up aspects of story and blessing.
One thing that Henry Heinz did was to change the flavour of ketchup and make it universal. He used the 5 known fundamental tastes in the human palate; salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami.
Umami is the proteiny, full bodied taste of chicken soup, or cured meat, or fish stock, or aged cheese, or mother’s milk…. Its adds body.
The condiment known as ketchup now pushes all our primal buttons and taste receptors on our tongue. This concept is unique and is the main reason why ketchup has amplitude which suits the majority of us.
From a Christian view point all too often we conceptualise that our brand of Christianity is right and others have something missing, our umami is the brand that makes it universal, therefore we can become the dominant brand.
My final thought, sometimes we think that in making our Ketchup Christianity brand the best, we will in some way usher in a new kingdom. We must realise that;
A) its only ketchup and it’s a condiment
B) Whole food is required and variety in life is vital.
hope you enjoyed my blog; I would love to hear from you and your thoughts.