deadly viper: christian book overdoses on kung fu imagery

Yesterday, my longtime friend and mentor Kathy alerted me to Deadly Viper Character Assassins: A Kung Fu Survival Guide for Life and Leadership, a "kung fu-inspired" Christian book/dvd series on leadership integrity published by Zondervan. It looks like it draws heavily from Eastern imagery and Asian martial arts... for no apparent reason. I mean, it lays it on thick.

Sure, I understand the need to make your material marketable and appealing, especially in the competitive world of Christian publishing... but this is ridiculous. This appears to be two white guys with an unhealthy fascination for kung fu flicks, engaging in full-on Asian exploitation in the name of Jesus.

(I realize this all might sound silly coming from someone who has an illustration of a barefoot, nunchuck-wielding martial arts guy at the top of his blog. But that's different.)

I am all for becoming a better man of integrity... but I highly doubt it's going to come from reading a book like this. Flipping through pages upon pages of all the mixed-up faux Oriental imagery, and completely nonsensical, incomprehensible Chinese characters, it just makes me angry.

Here's Kathy's initial blog post on the book: What in the World?!?! Please Tell Me This Is a Joke. And here's the letter she wrote the authors and publisher: I Don't Want to Hear "I'm sorry if you're offended..." or "I'm sorry but..."

Here's also a recent blog post from Professor Soong Chan Rah, author of The Next Evangelicalism, who also finds the book objectionable: Kung Fu fighting as a means to sell Christian books. More here: Response from one of the authors of Deadly Viper.

Sounds like he's got the ball rolling on this... It's Rickshaw Rally all over again, isn't it? Oh you want more? Check out this video from a conference where the authors are introduced (not by their own choice, it seems) with the song "Kung Fu Fighting." And I HATE KUNG FU FIGHTING. Contact the authors here.

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