Go, Tell: Faith and the New Media Revolution

In Mark 16:7 an angel tells the women at Jesus's tomb to "go, tell." Christians in the 21st century are using new tools to "go, tell" and spread the word. Internet and social media use are on the rise in congregations across the country. Using information from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project and a report from Hartford Seminary's Dr. Scott Thumma, entitled Virtually Religious, Odyssey Networks examines the intersection of Christianity and new media. 

Mark GV Hoffman
April 04th, 2012 13:16 pm

As the video notes, the church has always been seeking to go and tell, and from its inception it has used various media to spread the Gospel. Paul wrote letters and referenced early hymns to Christ (as in Philippians 2.6-11). From early on, Christians employed symbols to express the faith, and iconography was the start of a profuse artistic tradition depicting and reflecting on the biblical message. Iconoclastic controversies throughout history have shown, however, that media is not neutral. Marshall McLuhan was certainly correct to some extent when he claimed that "the medium is the message," so if we really believe that the message is so important, we need to attend to the media we use. I am a seminary professor and personally am very much a pro-technology type, but even as I employ technology in my teaching, I am also trying to be thoughtful about using it faithfully so that it enhances rather than supplants the message. As we prepare leaders for the church, we are wanting them to be thoughtful as well, and to that end we are even starting a concentration in Religion and Media. This certainly is an issue that we must address, but we want to do so with integrity.
Mark GV Hoffman, Assoc. Prof. of Biblical Studies, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg

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