Untangling the groping tentacles of this growing area of ministry will require new discipline and a discernment of motives.

Recently there has been a hectic rush into telecommunications by the religious community. Whether this rush is the product of a sincere commitment to present the gospel through all media and to serve the church, or the fabricated sentiments of a covetous desire to become celebrity evangelists presiding over billion-dollar satellite empires is impossible to say. What is clear is that this rush to telecommunications has both a good and a bad side.

The bad side, of course, is intricately related to the celebrity evangelist infection, which drives us to try to get anything on the electronic media, with total disregard for the rules and grammar of those media. So we clog the airwaves, satellite transponders, and cable channels with “vanity video” and “make believe mission” in the interest of saying, “here we are.”

The other side is related to a sincere commitment to the gospel, and involves understanding the electronic media and working carefully and intelligently to use them to proclaim the gospel in its entirety, to call people into the community of believers, and to minister to the needs of the church.

Before undertaking to communicate via video/television, we need to become thoroughly aware of its nature. We must understand that television promotes ontological nominalism, whereas the gospel of Jesus Christ demands ontological realism. Furthermore, television itself, not its content, causes cognitive impairment and inhibits imagination, concentration, delayed gratification, and so on. A course in Television Awareness Training or a diligent exploration of the major sociological and psychological investigations ...

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