Thursday, May 03, 2007

Christianity and Technological Surrealism

Lauren Winner's review of James Houston's Joyful Exiles: Life in Christ on the Dangerous Edge of Things concludes with the following excerpt from the book:
It is the supremacy of the technologically surreal to which organized Christianity has succumbed. Take, for example, the recent film The Passion of the Christ. People wept over its celluloid presentation as they never would have done in reading the Gospel narrative because it was so much more vivid to the senses. Was their response then hyper-real or real? Is the Sunday service more impressive when the PowerPoint presentation eclipses the preacher's sermon? Or does the message become more and more implausible with each technique used to market it? Does personal communication become muffled and withdrawn when the hearer is distracted by the medium?

2 comments:

dconnery2 said...

I prefer a verse by verse exegesis from a reliable translation by a preacher who knows more than I do. I do want to be able to hear him and see him so I am okay with a microphone and a large screen if the church is big. Beyond that, I don't care for any additional technology. I don't go to church to be entertained. I want to leave the service convicted, with the Word in me and with the Spirit working in me.

Rusty said...

Technology, in and of itself, is not to blame so much as a consumerist driven society fueled by the idea that we, as Christians, are pitching a sale to the person attending the church service. CG animation has allowed us to visually experience The Chronicles of Narnia, but at the expense of a thinking imagination? Such sensual satisfaction is never complete, though, and leaves us wanting more.

The message should not be overshadowed by the method with which it is communicated.