While launching my web browser this afternoon to read the New York Times, I noticed the following advertisement:
Brad Pitt caught my attention. (People say we look alike ;) )
Here is the direct link to the video advertisement. click here Watch it!
Now I find this particular ad quite intriguing. It plays on some universal human longings. The black and white film look, the narrator himself speaking in soft and slow poetic language. Brad Pitt represents a kind of god-like hero in our psyche, he's even played some psuedo-supernatural characters in his career. The hopes and dreams of humanity are not so subtly suggested. There is a strong hint here in the build up to the closing... a build up that could go toward questions and answers of ultimate meaning. But, no...Chanel No. 5 is not the answer.
But the ad is such an obvious example of how the questions of ultimate value are still with people - the problem is that the answers are now being provided by commerical enterprises. In other words, I'm saying that Chanel is playing on our longings for God, and substituting their product as an answer. Am I making a bold leap of logic here? Perhaps?
Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung and Paul Tillich helped people of the 20th century realize that all of humanity is on a quest. The popularity of those vehicles named Quest, Voyager & Explorer are everyday reminders that the journey continues. Those authors also helped us understand that humanity seeks God in many forms. The modern world is not the ancient world, but the quest goes forward. We are still seeking God, or perhaps more accurately we are seeking to realize that God has already found us.
Our challenge in the church of the 21st century is to realize that the questions and the search go on. But. And this is a HUGE "but". But, we have to find new ways to engage the questions. The older tools will not serve the disciples of Jesus in the 21st century. Contracting with Brad Pitt is probably not an option. I take great hope in seeing this advertisement, because it makes me understand that the search goes on. As long as the search goes on, then we in the church still have a shot at being a relevant player.
The question for us centers around the delivery and the forms we will take as the new millenium unfolds.