Monday, December 06, 2010

Amusing Christianity

As far as I can remember, I first started thinking about how our culture of amusement has shaped our culture of Christianity several years ago when I had a free Saturday night while I was traveling, and decided to drop in on a particularly influential megachurch. Though the time devoted to the pastor's speaking (it would be a mistake to call a social justice/economics lecture "preaching") was close to an hour, it was interrupted three times—twice with music and once with something about chicken coops. Though the segments were longer than you'd find in prime time, the commercial breaks were unmistakeable.

It wasn't until later that it struck me how much our culture of amusement has also shaped more traditional preaching, particularly the sort that travels around the country and pauses for the summer in a few special locations. Thanks, Finney.

All that to say this: The recent panel discussion at Southern Seminary on Neil Postman's book, Amusing Ourselves to Death, is well worth a listen. Particularly if you don't want to, you know, take the time to read the book. Surely Postman would be particularly pleased if you watched the video:

And yes, I do catch the irony that I'm writing about Postman on a blog.


pastor said...

I subscribe to SBS's podcast and listed to that discussion last week. I thought it was very good. I even thought that the slightly different perspectives of the panelists brought a good dimension to the discussion. Thanks for posting.
Jeremy Van Delinder

d4v34x said...

I read Postman 10 years ago; I need to read it again, but lent it to someone, and never saw it again. :0

I'm reading God's Children/Blue Suede. right now though, to keep the pop culture munchies at bay. ;)

Care to chime in on the AiG Ark Encounter plans in relation to this?

Ben said...

David, I must be out of the loop on the AiG thing. That was a big financial meltdown right? ;-)

d4v34x said...

Ben said...

Ha! That's great. I love that Amish are building the ark. Postman would surely love that.

Dan Breeding, the trainer at the park, spoke in one of my intro to evangelism classes in seminary. I remember that he brought a big snake and a chimp.

Anonymous said...

Breeding--found his chosen profession

d4v34x said...

My favorite was the Bible-themed zip-line and climbing wall.