Friday, February 01, 2008

Engaging in Conversation

Had to read a chapter called Conversing about Faith and Media in America for Mass Comm. It was really interesting. Went along with lots of thoughts I've been having of late. Had to write a response...

This is a fascinating chapter. Much of what Schultze discusses has
also been on my mind as of late. He brings concerns, ideas,
propositions, and observations in a fresh, well-crafted way. I greatly
appreciate his concerns for the interaction between faith and media in
America, and his ideas for improvement and growth. I will mention just
a few of his points that especially pulled at my heart and challenged
my thinking.
The first was his identification of the early American idea of being
the "city on a hill." He writes that the city on a hill is now under
construction. This is an interesting way of describing "current
conditions." I agree that there was indeed an early desire to be that
city on a hill. The early founders, reformers, leaders,
revolutionaries wanted to see America, built on strong faith and
morals, shine as an example to the world. But I have found myself
asking "Is America still that nation—still Christian?" The only answer
I get—from observing, thinking, studying, and listening—is "no."
Perhaps, at one time, America was the city on a hill under
construction. I believe it was. But I think that now it has become one
of those abandoned construction sites that is overgrown and forgotten.
I believe America is fast going the way of Europe—"beyond" the Gospel.
It is as if America whispers "been there, done that" and moves slowly
on. It is tragic. Faith seems to be divorced from daily life and made
shallow amidst a needy world.
I believe American's still long for the kind of faith that
characterizes a "city on a hill" sort of community. There is something
within the human heart that hungers for intimacy. I believe current
"Church-trends" show that my generation is not interested in the
mega-church. There is a hunger for the house Church—for genuine,
honest, real fellowship. If the Church, the local "tribe," jumped on
this yearning, I believe we could see great conversion. We just need
to jump into the conversation. We need to be creative thinkers and
ready engagers. America is hungry for something new but we as the
Church seem to be slow in seeing it, and even slower in responding to
it. All the many "new" forms of mass communication are not really new.
The excitement lasts for a little while but then everyone asks "what
With all the new technology we are implementing we are not "solving"
the issue of the longing soul and the empty heart (not that new forms
of information and technology are "bad" in and of themselves). I
believe American's are, in large part, "losing" a strong, bold faith
because we have too much going into our minds and too little coming
out. We are over-stimulated—to the point of paralysis.
The Church in America needs to wake up, take a deep breath, and start
doing something. The problem is (though it really shouldn't be a
problem), the Church is bombarded with information about a sinful,
hurting world (genocide, murder, soaring drug use, human-trafficking,
AIDS, abortion) and so it is paralyzed. I am starting to think there
is such a thing as being "over-aware." I think America will have to
face this problem in the coming years. The Church has a responsibility
to the world—to be the city on a hill. Therefore, the Church must know
her world, and know it well. I think we "know" our world (we think we
do) but really, we do not. We know a little about a lot of things but
we do not know a lot about a few things. If we did, we would be moved
to action. Only when we are affected deeply will we be most effective.
I think the Church needs to wield information well…we have a lot to

1 comment:

hannah said...

Solid response. Particularly enjoyed the statement, "We are over-stimulated—to the point of paralysis." Interesting. I very much agree.