Taming the Image

People engage electronic media an average of 8 hours a day. Do they really need more at church?

The band is rockin', arms are swayin', and you're about to come on screen in high definition with such stunning visual clarity that even people in the nosebleed seats can see your perfect smile.

Is this a rock concert? A beer commercial? Or just a typical Sunday morning?

These days, it could be any of the above.

Whether you're a questioning congregant, a concerned pastor, or a perplexed professor studying the effects of media on religious practice (like me), the use of technology in the worship setting is worth considering.

Media are not neutral. Like ideas, they have consequences, especially in the church. And some of these consequences should give us pause. In Technopoly media theorist Neil Postman writes, "A preacher who confines himself to considering how a medium can increase his audience will miss the significant question: In what sense do new media alter what is meant by religion, by church, even by God?"

Given the impact of new media, we should carefully consider the medium of Christ's ...

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