I enjoyed reading Phil Cooke’s article in the new issue of Collide Magazine yesterday. Phil has quite a bit of experience with both Christian and secular media (film, television, etc..). My take from the article? Phil believes that Christian media really is dying, but he calls for a new breed of communicators to stand up!
Stand up to what?
In the article it seems that Phil (and the resources he cited) believes that Christian artists have become irrelevant to our culture. Phil brought up points made by Charlie Peacock, hinting that the glory days of artists like Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman might survive, but that artists from the last decade are struggling when following in their path. Some of my favorite “Christian bands” (Red, Skillet, Thousand Foot Krutch) are writings songs about needing a hero, feeling like a monster, asking for life to be breathed into them, or suggesting that they are at war.
What is Christian Media?
Is a painting, film, website or song someone creates that doesn’t create a clear picture of the cross really Christian? Is it possible for someone who doesn’t believe or follow Christ to understand that He is the reason we live if every single thing we do doesn’t include His name? What do you think Christian Media is? If the call to go out into the world and preach the gospel is for all of us, are we jumping outside of the Christian bubble for temporary fame or profit if we just paint to paint or just make good music? Are bands like Coldplay, U2, and Mutemath more attractive (even to Christians) because their beliefs aren’t entirely clear? Are bands like David Crowder and Leeland staying clear while still sounding great?
What I would suggest is that we don’t try to jump to one side of the debate or the other, but actually start discussing this and not let it roll along too far without asking the tough questions. I applaud Phil for bringing this topic up, and doing so in an interesting and respectful way. Go subscribe to Collide Magazine if you haven’t already (once their site is back online)!
PRAYING for Christian consumers to dig deeper during confusing times. PRAISING God for speaking to others through the media we create.