The Medium Is The Message
Not a bad idea. Apart from the fact that I would then have one more thing to add to my list!
I actually have significant concerns about recording sermons. While recognizing the potential benefit, I also feel that something is lost in the recording process.
Marshall McLuhan is attributed with the dictum, ‘the medium is the message’. My understanding of the statement is that we can’t simply take a truth and communicate it through various means without altering the truth itself.
‘Our tools shape us’ is another way of thinking about this. The T.V. is a tool for communication. It also has shaped an entire generation. The car. The computer. The internet. Think about how these tools, used by us to shape our world, have, in turn, shaped us.
No, really, take some time to think about it . . .
The medium is the message. When information about an event makes it to the evening news it becomes entertainment. The tool used to communicate the information (t.v. newscast) has also shaped the truth about the event.
God’s word communicated through a person is shaped by the preacher. Preaching is ‘truth through personality’.
But the preacher is not the only person in the room. The listeners also shape the truth. We alter that which we observe simply by our presence. There is no such thing as an objective listener.
The Spirit of Jesus present in the body of Jesus (aka church) also adds a dynamic that shapes the truth.
And so the message delivered from the Word by the preacher in the presence of the Spirit and in participation with the congregation is a truth-event that cannot be transmitted with accuracy through electronic medium.
If it is, the truth-event is then reduced to entertainment consumed by an individual.
Stay tune next week for my rant on note taking during sermons . . .
And come to worship on Sunday prepared to shape the message!