Seeing Wycliffe In A Clear Light

Early in the missionary translation career of W. Cameron Townsend, founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators and related organizations (Summer Institute of Linguistics and JAARS, Wycliffe’s air and communications arm), a Cakchiquel tribesman of Guatemala said to him, “If your God is so great, why can’t he speak my language?”

Using that theme Wycliffe Bible Translators and Clear Light Productions developed a multimedia show, “If Your God Is So Great,” which had its premiere in Washington, D. C., last month during a celebration to honor Townsend, when he received the second annual Thomas Nelson Bible translators award.

Clear Light, which also produced CRY 3 (see November 24, 1972, issue, page 46), has blended the timeless message of the Gospel, and Wycliffe’s approach to preaching that message in an increasingly popular communications technique. God speaks, and throughout the thirty-minute production, his words are emphasized. From Apollo 8’s blastoff and the reading of Genesis from the spacecraft to the concluding words from the Book of Revelation, “And God said” reverberates in sight and sound.

Although the opening music by Richard Strauss, “Thus Spake Zarathustra,” seemed incongruous with the idea of God speaking, the movement of the music provided an appropriate climax to a three-screen spread of the earth as photographed from the moon by astronauts.

Modern technology plays a big part in how Wycliffe spreads the words of God. Bulldozers and computers, slide screens and projectors—all are part of the work of Wycliffe. A specially built mobile unit will carry “If Your God Is So Great” to schools and churches throughout the country.

Unlike some missionary films, this one avoids sentimentality. Humor ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.