Logo & Brand Narrative
The title Christian Origins/Current Faith unites first-century Christianity with our need to trust in Jesus the Messiah today. In the study of Christian origins, biblical scholars apply modern tools to research the beginning of Jesus' earthly ministry and the foundation of his church. However, it is our faith in God today which makes him most relevant in our lives. Christian Origins/Current Faith is an ancient-modern appeal toward Christians to follow Jesus as his original disciples, without addition or subtraction from his lessons.
The word "current" has a twofold meaning, as it both refers to the contemporary as well as to the movement of a river. In the primary logo, a stylized river in "Judaic blue" and "Dead Sea cerulean" represents the ongoing "Jesus movement" that began in the first century and continues in the twenty-first. Water is a scriptural icon of baptism, death to sin, spiritual rebirth, and life in the Holy Spirit. The tilapia fish below this current of water symbolizes Jesus' call, "I will make you fish for people" (Matt. 4:19). Israelis today refer to the tilapia as "St. Peter's fish" because Jesus told Simon Peter to pay the temple tax by retrieving a coin from a fish's mouth (Matt. 17:24-27). Most scholars believe this story involved a tilapia because they often keep objects in their mouths to prevent their offspring from going back once they mature. Likewise, we are to mature in faith, not going back to things that stop us from growing in Christ. Therefore, the anchor represents hope, as the author of Hebrews wrote to us (Heb. 6:19).
The palm branch over the Christian Origins/Current Faith wordmark alludes to peace, especially when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey on the Sunday before his crucifixion. We remember this as Palm Sunday on the liturgical calendar. The palm branch also represents victory, from the crown that Greco-Roman athletes received for winning. Paul of Tarsus wrote, "Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable" (1 Cor. 9:25). The "eternal green" represents life and good health. The scroll points to Jesus as the incarnate Word of God, which he gave to us in both the written form we call "scripture" and in the sacrament of communion (Luke 24:35).
Finally, the Christian Origins/Current Faith script is the centerpiece of the logo. It tells you, the reader, what to expect from this ministry in terms of lessons and theology. "Christian Origins" takes priority over the modern period because God chose to send Jesus in flesh and blood at a specified time in human history. The New Testament is our primary source for the historical Jesus, as well as the model for how to conduct church matters today. Papyrus is the font for "Christian Origins" because it resembles the handwriting of ancient Near Eastern scribes on scrolls made from papyrus. Lucida Handwriting is the style for the "Current Faith" part of the wordmark, which is indented slightly to show the forward motion of Christianity to Jesus' return. This is to keep the same handwriting theme by a human being but in contemporary time.
One of my hobbies aside from Christian theology is sports logos and uniforms. I read the updates from SportsLogos.net daily, which includes a database of nearly all brands in professional and collegiate sports throughout North America. Over time, I realized I wanted an icon for Christian Origins/Current Faith that would fully convey my teaching and ministry goals. Through the years, I gradually moved toward the simplicity of an athletic-type logo. After all, the most iconic brands in the world such as the roundel of the Philadelphia Union, my favorite club in Major League Soccer, say quite a bit with very little. This was the concept I was going for. An even better example is the cross, which symbolizes Jesus and his church throughout the world. The anchor in the Christian Origins/Current Faith logo features a stylized cross. However, the early church preferred the fish, still in use today as an auto emblem.