Tuesday, April 18

Lacking in excellence

Cheryl and I were flipping through the channels on tv on Sunday night, and stumbled across a show called Inspiration Sensation. The show is a Christian music version of American Idol. Although it's a national cable show, it's based here in the Chicago area, and all of the contestants are local. Local pastors and radio DJs serve as judges, another pastor fills the role of Ryan Seacrest.

During one of the commercial breaks, we saw another thing that caught our attention. It was an ad for the Bible on dvd. At first, I thought it sounded cool - the idea that the entire Bible had been turned into a video. But no. It's nothing more than a voice reading the Bible with the text (in fancy print with some illustrations) are shown on the screen. It doesn't appear to have any study aids or extra features. Just a voice reading the words that appear on screen.

Both of these made me wonder again why it is that so many things, particularly when dealing with media productions, done in the name of Christ are so cheesy? This is not a new phenomenon. For years, if you flip through a radio dial, you could tell within the first few bars of a song, before the first lyric was sung, whether you were listening to a Christian-music station, or a secular station.

People are made in the image of God. And the very first aspect of God's character that we see in the Bible is his creative nature. So creativity is a God-given characteristic in people. Yet so often, when people attempt to use creativity on behalf of God, the result is a pale copy of the things done by the secular world.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not picking on the idea of a Christian-music version of American Idol, or creating resources that make the Bible accessible in more ways. And I understand that often there are not the same resources available to produce Christian materials (although that's another subject for another day). But lower budget doesn't have to mean low quality.

In today's society, media is important. Music, video and artwork are important parts of people's lives. Media productions can draw people to Christ. They can cause people, who might not otherwise encounter Christ, to listen or watch. But low-quality, cheesy productions will drive people away, not draw them in.

When God created people, he gave them the ability and desire to be creative. We have the ability to use that creativity to draw people back to God. To successfully do that, we need more excellence than has typically been the case in Christian media productions.


Karchy said...

Cody is going to win!!!

Scott Wilder said...

Just some kneejerk thoughts:

1. Inspiration Sensation??? Where were the corny title police when they thought of that title?

The concept itself is rather silly. It seems these days that just about any song with the words God or Jesus get airpaly on CCM radio. Or the song can have nothing to do with faith and get airplay as long as it's done by a CCM artist. I've heard a handful of songs that were remakes of secular songs that are getting play on CCM radio.

CCM is going through an unprecedented boom these days. And not everything that is a result of the boom is all that great. Now I personally think that anyone that can make it into the "Big Leagues" in the music business deserves all the success that comes their way. But lets not pretend that just because it christian music; that it's good music.

2. The Bible DVD thingy. At first I thought "Wow, this would be cool for blind people who don't have a brail bible that must be the size of several regular bibles. But then I thought "How would they navigate the onscreen menus?"

It's a DVD. So there must be some images or video that accomany the reading, right???

I would be interested to knwo who is buying this DVD.