TractsWithLegs.com Pre-Launch

$4,000 goal

Campaign created 10 months ago
The goal of the American Christian Mind Project (ACMP) and Tracts with Legs are the same: to address the tremendous problem in American Christianity, that we do not love God with our minds as Jesus Christ said we must in His First and Great Commandment. ACMP involves serious methodology to get at the heart of the church – “Tracts with Legs” is about – tracts with legs! Or rather – t-shirts with inviting messages, along with a web address and a number, to get “the rest of the message” – though what’s even better is if a discussion ensues about that topic.

Our organization is the only one we know of in the world that is addressing this sin issue as a sin issue – with both profound theological and practical implications. If it is a sin (it’s clear from Scripture that it is – and quite a few well-known Evangelical authors tell us it is, not only just “a sin” – but even a very deep sin) – out of obedience to Christ, we must also address the issue as a sin issue. The world desperately needs organizations addressing this thing which is one of American Christianity’s sin issues! We hope other organizations follow as well, with their own approaches, in obedience to God and glorifying to Him. We hope that part of our work results in more prayer for workers for this field – as it is an enormous one, and we can only do a small (but important) part. One of the important parts of our organization is calling to prayer, and bringing people together for weekly online prayer regarding this issue.

Many of the short lessons we present are things which, if the people are informed, I believe could go a very long way toward helping them love God with their minds – and love one another in a way that’s healthier, more glorifying to God, and more than just good intentions and sweet feelings.

If the problem of the American Christian mind is a thing you’re not yet acquainted with, or haven’t yet come to a conviction about – we’d highly suggest familiarizing yourself with the appropriate sources. Mark Noll’s book The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind is perhaps the best-known; but there are many others covering utterly essential aspects – enough, really, that we believe that this problem in America has become quite dangerous. We’ve put together an extensive site for the American Christian Mind Project, covering over a hundred aspects of the issue, summarizing some of the best resources available – with some wonderfully promising new avenues of addressing things which previously would have been next to impossible. The material in that site is definitely “meat” and not milk – so it’s behind a login wall – if you are a church leader and would like to find out how to help your own parishoners love God with all their minds, contact us for a login account. Or you can request the full version introduction to this project – about 22 pages – which has lots more pretty t-shirts! But more importantly, provides more background and grounding for understanding our utterly critical mission in this decade of helping the people obey God with their minds – something, sadly, most people don’t even know they need to do.

This project – it is about “Tracts with Legs.”

The project is actually stunningly simple. We sell “Tracts with legs.” These are (mostly) t-shirts. Some will be images with short texts that are “discussion inviters.” Others will be very candid, plain messages. Yet others will be bits of Scripture which we believe can be tremendously helpful specifically for helping people love God with their minds, and abandon unhealthy attachments to beliefs and patterns of folk theology and religion which seem to have been holding them back from maturity and loving God with all their minds.

Each Tract has at the bottom of it – TractsWithLegs.Com – #22 – or some other number (apologies for the old photos – we were previously using a different domain name – also, we expect some of our shirts to simply be the tracts themselves without a number).

Those who buy our Tracts will have some advice about using the Tracts. How to wear them, where to wear them, when to wear them. There will be warnings about the spiritual effects of wearing our more “potentially controversial” shirts for too long, as well as those which contain messages which are more explicitly about sin. After all, we care more about the legs of the tracts than the tracts. We hold high in our priorities the spiritual lives of each of God’s children who walks around “wearing” the tract, or “being” the tract.

Nearly all shirts have a text associated with them.

The texts and images of the tracts will generally be designed to invite conversation. In a way, they are a bit like “social clickbait.” We will be informing those who buy and wear our Tracts that they should be prepared to have a conversation on that topic whenever they wear the Tract – both spiritually, and mentally. For example (this is one of our “more advanced” ones – most of the messages are stunningly simple compared to this one): The cute hedgehog above is an invitation to learn about David Wells’s classic No Place for Truth and Bonhoeffer’s “Letter to the American Church” – Protestantism Without Reformation. It’s generally about how we became so individualistic, we’ve created little social rules in our communities which end up making us frequently “brush away” truth in favor of “let’s just all get along, alright!” Practically speaking – looking at the ability of most Americans to contemplate and discuss serious matters – this kind of attitude and social rule “just” makes a whole lot of sense, because every church has a mission, and needs to prioritize discussions on some matters, while gently discouraging conversations that the people aren’t prepared for. But then when you look at us as a group – we fail in so many ways! We don’t understand why the local body needs to function this way, so we shout – “Censorship!” – or “I’m just expressing myself!”

We show the hedgehog since this is a lot like Schopenhauer’s very famous quote about two hedgehogs (sometimes translated as porcupines) trying to snuggle together in the cold – and how they get prickled and keep darting off – alternatively getting “too close for comfort” – and then too distant for warmth. It’s a powerful symbol for what we have become socially, and why our communities can get dysfunctional in so many ways. It’s an invitation to think, an invitation to remember, and an invitation to act carefully and considerately. It’s an invitation to help one’s congregation with this particular aspect of the American Christian mind problem – and a reminder that our “mind problem” is also, in so many ways, a “body problem” – that we need to do better at working together as the body of Christ.

We currently have 50 designs, addressing various aspects of this problem, from false beliefs about the mind that seem to have come to us from Scottish Common Sense Realism, to the way that it appears that some of our habits and “feelings-orientedness” are resulting in anxiety and hurting our sensibilities regarding truth and the holiness of God. Many will be pointing to well-known works by Evangelicals addressing aspects of our problems with loving God with our minds; others are simply bits of Scripture which we believe are particularly helpful in confronting the way our minds seem to be getting more anxious, more knee-jerky, and less helpful in working together in the body of Christ.

Here are a few:

American Christians have gotten very bad at language, but James 3 tells us that language powerfully shapes the mind. If we are very poor in the use of language, we will be unable to properly “take all thoughts captive” – as language is so prominent in forming our thoughts. These are bridle bits, James’s metaphor for language and the tongue.

Simply learning to respect language more, and use it properly, is key to loving God with our minds.

It’s only been a few years since Christians learned of the problem of “folk theology” amongst us! We didn’t really have the right word for this, says Roger E. Olson – mixing it up with “heresy” had consequences in our failure to confront it properly (and lovingly) – often not confronting it at all. Olson tells us that folk theology is more dangerous than heresy. It’s “inside” the very church! We have high hopes for more people deeply understanding the problem of folk theology.

Our project is largely inspired by the intentional discourse of the Tractarian Movement, which started in the 1830’s. The situation of the church during the times of the Tractarian Movement were stunningly similar to our own, and its model of intentional media and communication helped the church dramatically appreciate the importance of good doctrine. This is the first page of the tract The Gospel A Law of Liberty, the first part of a page of their actual, physical tract.

The mind problem reveals itself to be very profoundly a body problem, a “body of Christ” problem. We need to work better with the ministry of the local church.

We have as yet to effectively confront the people about the way our heritage in Scottish Common Sense Realism and the way bits of Enlightenment philosophy and confusion of methodology with doctrine is still an enormous hurdle for millions in loving God with their minds. We believe that simply informing the people of this problem in the right way can go a very, very long way in helping people obey Christ and love God with their minds.

We need to learn to contemplate. The American church needs very badly to hear Thomas Bergler’s message about how our faith and religious practices have become juvenilized. This is an “easy to wear” shirt, reminding us of the importance of the theme of Christian maturity. But we also need some shirts that aren’t so easy to wear – that bring more directly Bergler’s very sad but critical message.

In total, there are currently 50 different designs, addressing different aspects of the problem of the American Christian mind. A longer, 23-page document is also available, describing the project in detail, which makes also for a good introduction to the state of the problem of the American Christian mind in 2017, with the highly important new developments of just the last few years. We recommend this document to anyone who is serious about loving God with their minds – it highlights recent research, explores the issue in more depth, and also provides more information about our organization and plans. It is available to church leaders. We’re preparing a “catalog” of all our designs for church leaders interested – for a better idea of the project, for better knowledge of the aspects of the problem, and to help us discern about things like appropriateness and potential problems. Contact us for either.

You might find our more long-term  project, the one that wishes to start a kind of "Tractarian Movement" to help the church within its own church structures - more appealing, and you can also give to that project at https://www.gofundme.com/american-christian-mind-project

And if you want - go check us out at http://TRACTSwithLEGS.com .

Thanks for your kind attention!

James Coder
Please do feel free to contact us through our Contact Page .
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$4,000 goal

Campaign created 10 months ago
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