Jesus Is My Helvetica

Rusty - January 26, 2005

During my first year of seminary we studied the Old Testament. At the beginning of the year my teacher put a chart on the wall on which we’d write the different names of God that we’d encounter while reading. Included were names such as Alpha/Omega, Banner, Shepherd, Sheild, King, Anointed One, Rock/Foundation, etc. The list was sizable. However, there’s a problem: the Bible is really, really old and was written in a desert. I’m really new and live in Brooklyn. I don’t think these are good symbols anymore as they are dated and have no basis in our modern society.

An example: the King. I live in a country with an elected president so I was raised with the understanding that kings were a bad thing. Most of the kings with which I’m familiar were men who abused their power by abusing the poor, their wives, their enemies, and anyone else they wanted. I don’t like to think of Christ taking up the office of King (but should he run in the next election, He has my vote!).

I propose that we do some housecleaning and update the names we use for God (in our modern, convenient, not-so-sandy existence).

Rule Number One: you can only use metaphors which apply to your own lives. This means no words like Alpha/Omega, Shepherd (unless of course you happen to be one, but if that’s the case, what are you doing on the internet?), Rock (though I imagine rebar is more important these days to home builders than rocks), Shield, Banner, etc.

Rule Number Two: you at least must briefly explain why you chose the word you did (how it applies to you and why that word represents Christ).

Rule Number Three: no offending and no getting offended. If you think that the only sensible words to be used for Christ are the ones given in the scriptures, please don’t continue reading.

I will submit the first entry: Jesus is my Helvetica. I’m a graphic designer who works with typography all day long and the font Helvetica is possibly the most important, most beautiful, most influential font in the designer’s arsenal. So much so that there are books written solely about that one font. Helvetica is the standard and everything else is judged on its use or non-use. I would be lost without it.

I now invite any and all to step forward and tell us of the real importance of Christ in your lives.

1 Comment »

  1. I’m now very curious to see what the Helvetica font looks like. Any links we can click on?
    Amy | Email | Homepage | 01.26.05 – 6:00 pm | #

    Most people are more familiar with the whorish version from Microsoft called Arial. Helvetica can be seen here. A fun little game to see if you can distinguish the difference between Helvetica and Arial can be played here.

    Amy, you need to give us your new name for God.
    Rusty | Email | Homepage | 01.26.05 – 6:13 pm | #

    My first thought was to say that Jesus was my guitar string. Because that would mean that he would be the way that I make music.

    But on second thought I’d like to think that I’m more like Jesus’ guitar string. He stretches me across His great guitar of life, touches me with His hands, and I make music.

    How’s that?

    MRKH
    Mark Hansen | Email | Homepage | 01.26.05 – 8:07 pm | #

    I’d call Him “Prez” short for President. Not an elected president, but the president of the company I’d like to be part of. A company president that allows his employees to expand and grow with their responsiblities. A president who is conserned with his employee’s personal welfare. A president who is fair and ethical in all he does.

    Yes, to me He is the “President”.
    Anonymous | Email | Homepage | 01.26.05 – 8:57 pm | #

    I would call him Echmo.

    ECMO actually stands for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation. It is a machine that acts like a heart, lung and a kidney.

    I would chose this word, because it is a machine that sustains life, and provides bodies the time to recover and grow.

    A little over a year ago, my son, Ethan was born. This machine sustained his life for weeks, while his body recovered from a serious septic infection that he was born with.

    I believe that God has acted like my ECMO machine through out my life, quietly and patiently waiting for me to grow and gain strength and testimony so that I can survive and flourish.
    Lisa M | Email | Homepage | 01.26.05 – 11:44 pm | #

    Wow Russ, I guess you’re right, we should just throw out the whole Bible since it’s full of outdated symbols and such. Who understands laconic Hebrew literature anyway?
    I kidd but to make a point. I think you have a great idea to help people connect to the gospel and all. There’s nothing wrong with this new thing BUT I see no reason why that means we should throw out the old stuff that everyone already knows and understands and/or can come to understand. Those things are the standard. There’s a reason they’ve lasted so long as it is.
    So in that light, my name for Christ would be…Bible. As a history student, I value historical texts that stand the test of time, that speak truth from which I can learn so much about other people and (more importantly, learn from their experiences in life. What better then a word that means “book of books?”

    P.S.–You sure need to learn your history better if all you learn about a subject (i.e. “king”) is one side of it…the bad side!
    Bret | Email | Homepage | 01.27.05 – 3:15 am | #

    Lighten up Bret!
    Don | Email | Homepage | 01.27.05 – 1:13 pm | #

    Lighten up? Why should I think Rusty should stir up an argument over something just for the sake of argument? My point is valid. I think his idea is great but that doesn’t mean he should throw away the rest.

    Anyway, the rest is just bantering to bug my older brother>8p
    Bret | Email | Homepage | 01.27.05 – 1:54 pm | #

    Your point isn’t valid Bret because you didn’t get the joke. If you thought I was serious when I said, “the Bible is really, really old and was written in a desert… they are dated and have no basis in our modern society” then you need a good lesson on irony… and you need to lighten up.
    Rusty | Email | Homepage | 01.27.05 – 3:06 pm | #

    Hey, everyone lighten up — remember the rule? No offending and no getting offended! (Come on, my bros… We all know Rusty was speaking facetiously in part to make his point, and so was Bret! I like this blog topic, and I like Bret’s take on it too. So “quit your whining” and just enjoy everyone’s personal Christ-centered symbols.

    Yes, mine is coming, Russ. Don’t worry.
    Amy | Email | Homepage | 01.27.05 – 5:25 pm | #

    This isn’t the most profound representation, but it is one of the most immediate symbols in my daily living. I’d have to say that Jesus is my Baking Soda. You know, the all-purpose cleaner. It works as a freshener (fridge, drains, diaper pail, litter box), a cleanser (sinks, toilets, you name it), a stain remover (clothing), a whitener (teeth), and a healer (soothes pain and itches).

    It’s much too simple for many people to recognize and take advantage of — they’d rather spend lots of money trying out fancy cleaners. But it costs next to nothing and is readily available.

    Basically, it cleans up the constantly-accumulating dirt in my life — with a little elbow grease on my part, but with deep-down clean and fresh results.
    Amy | Email | Homepage | 01.27.05 – 5:45 pm | #

    THANK YOU AMY for being the only one to realize I was being as facetious as Rusty!! Have you not read the post just below this one talking about this very subject of getting offended at stupid stuff? Good grief!
    I still stand by my type though, as well as my making fun of Rusty not learning about righteous kings!>8p
    Bret | Email | Homepage | 01.28.05 – 2:35 am | #

    Jesus is my Frutiger; which is more beautiful than Helvetica, IMO.

    Oh, by the way Rusty, your moon phases are incorrect. at least, they are technically. You may have chosen to represent them that way on purpose. In case you are unaware, the phases go from new moon to crescent moon to half moon to gibbous moon to full moon. Your logo skips half and gibbous.

    Kim Siever | Email | Homepage | 01.28.05 – 1:15 pm | #

    I think the psalms are a great place to import modernity. I live in Seattle so:

    The Lord is my Gortex; I shall stay dry.
    J. Stapley | Email | Homepage | 01.29.05 – 6:49 pm | #

    ECMO — Jessica was on it for three weeks before she died of liver failure brought on by failure to properly monitor antibiotic levels …

    Doesn’t quite do it for me.
    Stephen M (Ethesis) | Email | Homepage | 02.02.05 – 9:36 pm | #

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    Comment by Comment Restore — November 28, 2005 @ 1:07 am

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