My previous post about Moyers and Stewart brought to mind how much I long for readily available conversation in our churches, and media for our churches that go WAY WAY beyond and OTHER than the “Christian radio” and “Christian TV”. Where we can explore some faithful attempts to be a people of God, and talk about world and national events and issues from a perspective of “Resident Aliens”. Moyers is of the “Progressive Christian” flavor, but does not utilize the language of the church (as many “Progressives” avoid the same). Stewart seems to be a “secular Jew” , but seems to have an affinity for Christian progressives like Wallis, perhaps because they’re all speaking the same language.
A while back Jamie Smith expressed a desire for media “of our own” where we can consciously employ the language of faith, the insight and sensibilities of ‘a people of God’ to have conversation about what’s happening in and around the church. What is being done on “Christian Radio” and “Christian TV” is overwhelmingly nationalistic and so “status quo” as to make Christians into “nice pious people ” with no visible, social differences from the rest of the world, except for ” a little Jesus sprinkled in” (hat tip to that imagery to Shane Claiborne— author of “The Irresistible Revolution” which I am listening to on audio book as I drive to and from work starting this past week)
Jamie put it this way in a thread he started on the Generous Orthodoxy Think Tank blog:
the last thing we need is a bunch of theologians functioning as yet another para-church agency. We need to rehabilitate the tradition of the “doctors” of the church–which means that the seminary curriculum and ethos would be a good place to target for revolution.
This sort of questions the “Christian media” concept in the sense that so much of this is “para-church” oriented. Indeed, the conversation does need to be enabled and encouraged in the gathering; but then it wouldn’t hurt to have “alternative media” that speak from the location of the church, just as blogs like those I subscribe to and comment upon are themselves NOT an end-all or the “source” of conversation and authority, but means and channels that complement and EXTEND that which is needing to be done “on location” so to speak.
Maybe some “podcast” experiments to bring these kinds of conversations and story tellings to the blogosphere as a means of highlighting what church can be, should be, IS being (or is NOT being). Perhaps some podcast interviews with some of those sources calling for a kind of new “new media”, like Jamie Smith, as well as David Fitch, Hauerwas, Cavanaugh, people like Dan , Pastor John, some of my blog friends (see my sidebar) , and stories from places like The Church of the Saviour, The Simple Way, and various places with the flavor of The New Monasticism. Perhaps if I looked into some sources of those types of things around here in the Nashville area, I just might also find , in the process, an incarnate community of my longings over the past few years. And the process of podcast-blogging some of this may well be a way for me to help enable a network support for the kinds of “media outlets” that seek to portray and reflect the places where the Kingdom of God is being lived out.