Designing Things That Last

If you follow design at all then you probably know the name Saul Bass, and even if you don’t you have more than likely been influenced by his work. Bass was the designer of major brand logos from Kleenex and Quaker to the Girl Scouts and Lawry Foods. His work permeates society, and while his prolific career is impressive – what really astonishes me is the longevity that his work has maintained… I was reading an article posted at and it was noted that the average life of a Saul Bass logo was 34 years, and some that were designed in the 70s and 80s are still in use today! That may not seem like a big deal to you, but in an age of seeming impermanence – where corporations re-brand and re-market every half decade or so, this is amazing!

This made me think about so often we try to remake or redesign God in our image – as though he needs to be rebranded or re-marketed… We try to put a new spin on the Bible, on worship, on churches, on doctrine. And while many of these attempts are merely ways that we try to contextualize the our faith to communicate it to an unbelieving world, sometimes we go one too far. You see, there is big difference in changing methods and changing the message, because God is the same, yesterday, today and forever and does not shift with the fads or trends of the times – no matter how different our churches may look, no matter how different the music maybe, and no matter how many translations of the Bible there are – God and his message of redemption through Jesus Christ remains the same.

1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed. – 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

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