Praying at Burger King

02/21/2008


By Dave Werther

Praying at  Burger King is Richard Mouw's eagerly anticipated follow-up to Calvinism at the Las Vegas Airport (a.k.a Blackjack and the Belgic Confession). I'm going to set aside the question of corporate sponsorship (the recent gift of 10,000 Whoppers to Fuller Theological Seminary) to focus on the book itself, because even the gospel needs brand marketing, amen?

book cover
That said, this is an aesthetically pleasing work, printed on acid-free paper with gold leaf and 12-point Helvetica type. If I had any gripe with the book's aesthetics it would be the ketchup stain on page 32 and the pickle squished between the dust jacket and the cover. Even so, I found the pickle surprisingly tasty.

Taking his cue from the acrostic Psalms (9, 25, 34 and the impertinent 119), Mouw has arranged his work so that, taken together, the first letter of each chapter spells "Whopper." Hence he incorporates what might have been a cheap pop culture analogy into the very spine of his cheap pop-culture analysis. Have it your way, Richard! Well done!

In the first three chapters, specifically "WHO," Mouw weaves spirited theological inquiry into compelling personal narrative through queries that have long plagued us all.

W: What's the Better Buy: a Double Whopper Meal or a Fish Sandwich With Fries on the Side?

H: How Much Change Should I Get Back If I Order A Whopper Junior, Two Orders of Fries, A Large Lemonade, Three Desserts, And Pay with a Ten Dollar Bill?

O: Ought I to Wear the Burger King Crown When I'm Mowing the Lawn?

As moving as the opening is, this is a mere set-up for the explicitly devotional part of the book, "PPER," which finds its thematic unity in the phrase "in a pickle." (Full disclosure: I shamelessly used this theme and three of the headings below to great effect when preaching at a recent youth rally and picnic. All went well until a seventh-grade boy, who failed his confirmation class, threw a pickle at me. Beware the dangers of a too fastidious literalism.)

P: Petitionary Prayer When You're in a Pickle

P: Praise Choruses When You're in a Pickle

E: Even Pickles Get Into Pickles

R: Remembering to Give Thanks When You're No Longer in a Pickle

Vegan Christians have already come out against Mouw's implicit endorsement of Whoppers, but I say to them: Good luck writing an acrostic devotional with initial letters taken from "Brussels Sprouts."

Yes, once again Richard Mouw delivers a parable for the fast-food times we live in, without resorting to the budget menu. Rating: Three and one-half matzohs.


Comments(12)

Process Deist | 10:59 pm on 2/22/2008

B. Bad
E. English
A. Acrostic
N. Needs
S. Support

hale | 04:47 pm on 2/26/2008

After reading further I see you DO know how Wittenberg is spelled. I like your site. Didn't mean to Slam the Door. :)

Brother Paul | 11:05 am on 2/27/2008

I am now on PICKLE PRAYER PATROL! The Lord said, "if they are for us, they can't be against us," so put some intercessory prayer behind the spiritual work in and around Burger King. Better yet, go to the nearest Burger King, and bless everyone and everything while you order up that Whopper Junior!

Anonymous | 10:00 am on 4/18/2008

Has anyone thought to appeal to the Whopper/Whopper Jr. relation as an analogy for understanding the eternal begottenness of the Son in relation to the Father?

My only trouble with this is that the analogy aqs it stands is not perfectly trinitarian. Where would be the role of the Holy Spirit? Not, I think, in the fries, as the third item must share the same ousia with both Whopper and Whopper Jr.

I hope that Mouw will deign to take up the question and offer more of his insightful analyses.

Anonymous | 11:12 am on 11/06/2009

B. Blackjack
E. Enternet source
A. American
N. New
S. Success

Anonymous | 05:41 am on 11/09/2009

B. Blackjack
E. Enormous chances
A. American
N. New
S. Success

Dinesh Bogati | 08:29 am on 6/08/2010

There is no need to be surprise with the matter that even in the religious gospel need international fast food brand. One can notice the importance of the brand at the time of burger king breakfast hours. So many people are seen in the long queue at this time to take a bite of whopper and beef royal with french fries and cool drinks.

Alice | 02:27 pm on 12/01/2010

The media is applauding a recent announcement by Burger King introducing new healthy menu items designed to appeal to kids. Apparently the term 'healthy' is relative. While it may be a baby step in the right direction, one is left thinking, "Gee, Burger King, is this really the best you can do?"
Alice - Blogs about Seattle moving companies

petric | 04:32 pm on 2/11/2011

I would like to read the book to judge better. However, I enjoyed reading the discussion. It seems speaking the truth. beauty equipment

Ming21 | 01:13 am on 3/12/2011

Richard Mouw packs a lot of acumen into a few dozen baby packages. Writing in an easygoing, communicative style, pass4sure 70-557 Mouw actuality considers how the apparent activity of a Christian should reflect the close apparatus of the Spirit. Including beliefnet.com columns of Mouw's never afore calm in book form, these pieces are alternately amusing, touching, pass4sure 1z0-539 and poignant. From the address of chickens to a complaining Savior, Mouw shows how an amazing God meets us in accustomed life. Richard J. Mouw is assistant of Christian aesthetics and admiral of Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, pass4sure 70-503 California. He is the columnist of 16 books, has served as editor of the Reformed Journal and is a approved columnist for Beliefnet. pass4sure 70-663 He is a reasonable Christian articulation in the evangelical attitude and consistently has something adorning to say about accepted ability and the faith.

luke | 04:31 am on 3/22/2011

In the last days bizarre incidents would keep propping up in the religious horizons of the believers. The tenets of consumerism would dictate the religious orders and there would be a complete mixture. Some would justify - when false items are advertised so fervently in the world, why truth is not. Hence, I think you are right. condos in evansville

diki | 08:48 am on 4/17/2011

I am glad to go through the attention-grabbing subject. It is a business tactics to take the advantage of religious symbols to maximize their profits. I've enjoyed reading the nice story.Element Media

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