This blog is devoted to discussing the pursuit of eternal life.
Discussion and participation by readers is desired,
but contributions should correlate to the book,
The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology
of Perseverance & Assurance

Thomas R. Schreiner
& Ardel B. Caneday

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Johann Tetzel and Modern Indulgences

It's a gag gift idea, but it reflects an age-old notion of salvation. It revisits Johann Tetzel's ignominy. And the theological errors are not confined to a repeat of Tetzel's. As a spoof, whether intentional or not, it mocks the common evangelical notion that believers will spend eternity in heaven as opposed to inhabiting this redeemed earth.

Worried that your good deeds on Earth won't guarantee you a place in heaven? Fear no more.

A Seattle-based company is offering to hold a spot for you at the pearly gates, and it will even throw in a money-back guarantee. sells "travel kits"— complete with boarding passes, certificates and "Heaven 101" booklets — that offer the "chance to enjoy your sin-filled life" without consequence while lowering the "risk of eternal damnation."

The kits are intended to be gag gifts, but some critics say there's nothing funny about getting into heaven. They say you certainly cannot "buy" your way in, and there's no such thing as enjoying a sin-filled life without the risk of damnation.

The creators say the kits have been a big hit this holiday season and that sales have been brisk in the month since the company launched. The number of visitors to the site has gone from 80 the first day to a few thousand daily, they said.

"We don't want people to take it seriously. It's more of just a fun idea we came up with that we thought we'd turn into a novelty gift," said Edgar Kim, 22, a retailer by day who started the business with his childhood friend Nate Davis, a 23-year-old product designer. "We're not trying to offend anyone or anything like that."

Read the whole article.

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