In 2012 the world went nuts over a book of questionable moral virtue and almost equally questionable literary value. Since then EL James' erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has launched more spin-offs than the internet knows what to do with. It's not long before Fifty Shades hits the big screen for its much-anticipated, slightly odd Valentine's date release.
As ever, the Christian world has done its best to engage with this phenomenon and all of God's creativity has been unleashed on inspired Christian book titles, sermon series and daily devotionals. I'm all for redeeming culture, but maybe we don't need to be quite so literal about it...
1. Fifty Shades of Grace
Ok, testimony books are fine. Celebrating the work of the Lord also great. But why the need for it to tie-in with a book about S&M fantasies?
2. Fifty Shades of Pray
Again, not quite sure on the relationship between this and the original. I mean fan-fiction spin-off titles have a point, but this one is a book about growing old... I particularly like the fact that the author, Robert Roy Baird, has listed the Holy Spirit as co-author. Credit where credit's due.
3. Fifty Shades of Grace - Clayton Jennings' spoken word poem
Now spoken word at least makes a change from self-published books. But the main focus of at least the first half of the poem is on pre-marital sex and pregnancy, a little tangential, but ok.
4. Fifty Shades of Loved - a book for women about real love
Unlike some of these titles, this book is particularly taking issue with the idea of love presented in James' novel. I'm not quite sure whether there are 50 kinds of love though.
5. Fifty Shades of Grace
It's difficult to know what to do with this semon series on marriage and relationships. Well done Cornerstone Church for engaging with topical issues, but it's certainly an unusual step to plaster the front cover of an erotic book on a massive sign outside your church.
6. Fifty Shades of Serving
Why oh why? I appreciate that sex sells and serving not so much. But it's also slightly awkward that the only link I can see between the two is submission.
7. Fifty Shades of Grace - the daily devotional series
Here we go again.
8. Fifty Shades of Christ - the Christian novel
This really is the ultimate 'Jesus is my boyfriend' title. The protagonist, Amy, finds out what it means to have a realtionship with Christ.
9. Fifty Shades of Grace - the list of 50 biblical verses to do with grace
This is essentially the same as looking up 'grace' in a concordence. Who knew there were 50? In fact, there are plenty more, since this starts at John and finishes in 2 Peter.
10. Fifty Shades of Grace - the Christian self-help guide (to grace)
This title just doesn't get old.