My buddy Ted Kluck mentioned this video on his blog. It’s pretty funny.


I admit it’s funny because I like McDonald’s more than I like coffee shops. (I can get a filling meal at McDonalds for the same price as a thimble of hot chocolate at Starbucks). Some people don’t like the ad because they think it makes fun of jazz music, facial hair, and reading poetry. I like the ad, not because I think it makes fun of these things, but because it makes fun of the haughtiness that sometimes comes with these things. McDonalds has cheap greasy food, the atmosphere is utilitarian, and their coffee is pedestrian. But, hey, some people like burgers, fries, frugality, and bad coffee.

I mention all of this because so much that passes for spirituality these days is nothing more than middle class, 20something coffee culture. If you like jazz, soul patches, earth tone furniture, and lattes, that’s cool. But this culture is no holier than the McNugget, Hi-C, Value City, football culture that most people live in. Why does incarnational ministry usually mean hanging out at Starbucks instead of McDonalds?

Jesus came to save Grimace and Hamburglar too.

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22 thoughts on “Jesus Came to Save Grimace and Hamburglar Too”

  1. Ricky Alcantar says:

    I was intrigued with the ads too…thanks for helping us use the ads to say something helpful. All too often I can assume that Jesus only wants to save “cool” people.

  2. Dan Waugh says:

    I prefer Starbucks because I never worked there. Going into a McD’s induces bad flashbacks. It was a bad six weeks back in 1992.

  3. Richard says:

    it’s funny how every generation creates their own little uber-holy subculture that is so much “better” than the one before.

  4. Christopher Lake says:

    This ad is hilarious… and I love coffee shops, poetry (good poetry, that is), and art films!

  5. Christopher Lake says:

    I’m not emergent though– more of a Francis Schaeffer “art is good” Reformed Christian type of guy! :-)

  6. Stephen Willcox says:

    Loved it! I watched it twice. DeYoung thanks for pointing that out. It is so true that incarnational models are more often than not geared towards the more “civilized” society. Blessings!

  7. pugnaciousirishman says:

    This is a great post! You’ve got a point. I’ve noticed that those who lean towards “Emergent” type theologies and ministries tend to gravitate towards all things hip and chic. I’ve had the hunch for a while that, perhaps, a passion for the minors (starbucks, soul patches, etc) has unduly influenced someone’s stance on the majors (ecclesiology, theology).

  8. pointnine says:

    Well said, well said. Loved the Why We’re Not Emergent book, BTW.

    Along the same lines, have you considered doing a spot on Mac and PC guys? The Mac always reminds me of an annoying emergent relative of mine…who loves Macs and thinks PCs are so uncool and only used by unrelational nonmissional uncool people. Right now he is busy in Africa “just being.” (Ha, I hope he doesn’t track me down here!)

  9. Reformed Renegade says:

    Excellent! I was going to sell my Hamburglar costume but I think I’ll keep it now.

  10. Faithful Servant says:

    I saw this very same video posted on a blog attacking “incarnational” clothing. Man, talk about reaching for a stereotype. Realistically though, in my “hood” I can now drive to at least 3 Starbucks within 10-15 minutes, whereas before I had to travel north of 8 mile rd into the Posh burbs.

    Starbucks, is copying McD’s, and in my 3 years of management there, I’ve seen just as many “yups” buying 100% Arabica drip as I’ve seen grabbing at the “frou frou” of Starschmucks.

    I digress…McDonald’s has better coffee, why? Because you can buy coffee for you and someone else for less than 5 smackers…

  11. Joey D says:

    Greatest post ever my friend. I heard about you indirectly through Joshua Harris’s blog.

  12. Citizen Grim says:

    Pedestrian? McDonalds changed their coffee and the past couple years, it consistently ranks significantly better than Starbucks.

  13. Citizen Grim says:

    Oh, and PS, I agree with the commenter above who likes coffee, poetry, and art, not because of some hippie-trippy urge to be “relevant” but because “art is good” in a Francis Schaeffer sort of way.

    If the act of producing art is a small imitation of God’s act of Creation, does that make Postmodernism the equivalent of The Fall? Hrmm.

  14. E. says:

    Thanks for this reminder that Christians like us can fall into being classist jerks as easy as the next guy/gal.

  15. poopemerges says:

    That is my favorite blog post title ever…

  16. Mr. Poet says:

    Why are so many McDonald’s being refitted to be more like Starbucks, then?

  17. J. Randal says:

    Only in America is church ministry described and compared in terms of fast-food joints.

  18. Jason says:

    Kevin, you’re right–I didn’t see this post. It’s probably because I became a reader only more recently.
    You can be humbled to know, then, that your observation was right on. Welcome to the “say timely things that don’t get noticed” club. Of course, it’s arrogant for me to think I’m in there too.
    You’re a funny guy though. But why the rip on McD’s coffee? I’m loving it, seriously.

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Kevin DeYoung


Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church (RCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He and his wife Trisha have six young children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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