Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Chapter 4

As I travel back to chapter four in my readings of U.E.M. I can't find anything I particularly disagree with in this chapter. The chapter was called Moving from Film to Digital Movies and it basically gave a brief overview of some major Christian movies released over the years. It then moves to the rise of Internet phenomena such as Youtube.

Being an Aspiring film maker my self, seeing Christians being successful in the film industry excites me. Though there will always be the "tribe" oriented content over quality films like Left Behind, I am amazed to see films like Chronicles of Narnia hitting the mainstream theaters and doing quite well. My main concern with these films though is that they may be loosing part of their message. Many people will go to see a film like Narnia and go out of the theater saying, "wow that was a great movie," and miss the messages of Redemption and faith that run through these stories.

I believe film makers are noticing this trend too and may be using it for money. This can be demonstrated by the second Narnia installment, Prince Caspian. The Plot starts somewhere around the fifth chapter of the book and takes large deviations from the original story. These changes cause many of the key elements of the book to be missed. In both films many of the dialogue from the character Aslan is removed, thus rendering the movie into nothing more than a fantasy war film.

This I believe is something that Christians in the entertainment industry have to watch out for. I do think that, many times producers miss the mark and focus on persuading more than entertaining. The opposite seems to be happening more and more frequently, a focus on entertaining at the expense of the narrative and the message.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Let us start this entry by looking at some statistics from the wonderful book we have been following. If you would turn with me in your "U.E.M. Bibles" to page 138, chapter 10, Verse 1. "How Americans Use Internet For Religion."

1. The first stat is that 38% of 128 million users send and receive email with spiritual content. "If you don't reply to this email in 10 minutes you will have bad LUCK."
2. 35% send or receive E-cards related to religious holidays. "HAPPY X-MAS, from the Bay! Don't forget to check out our X-MAS SALE! You will find prices up to 10% off."
3. 32% go online for news accounts of religious events and affairs. "Today Islamic fanatics blew up a coffee shop in the Gaza strip."
4. 21% seek info about how to celebrate religious holidays. "Mom! I lost the instructions for our fake tree! Can you look them up on the Internet for me?"

Don't you just love stats?

Schultze sticks to his guns with his whole teaching, persuading, and delighting schema. In the teaching section he writes about how evangelical churches post their sermons on their own personal church website...viewed only by their congregation... or may be some pastor friends. He also mentions book databases full of "Christian" works and password-protected websites. "Wow look at all of these new Christians we are converting with out brand-spanking-new password protected website!"

Next comes delighting, where evangelicals can go online and spew out their "well informed opinions" to who ever happens to be trolling their particular forum. Thus being teamed up with the whole persuasion aspect and we have a great thing going.

Here are some replies to a comment on Catholic acceptance of evolution:
- "Shut up"
- "What's wrong with monkeys?"
- "The problem is that most of the crazy nutball evangelicals that are fighting evolution in our schools don't even see catholics as being real christians."
- "Also christians are mad stupid. That's a problem too."
- "angels and demons was a pretty good book"
- "Oh my. This is disturbing. Come Jesus. Come Lord. Come take your world from the grip of satan."

Comments found on: www.tribalwar.com

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Evangelical Porn for Girls....

Evangelical Romance novels have become vastly popular over recent years. This is because they are considered to be much more "tame" than their Harlequin Romance counterparts. Many claim to have a "Christian" message and focus on the main character's relationship with their god. But being that it is a romance novel what are the characters doing after they pray? The main characters might not be running out to bed the nearest shirtless muscle master, or scantily clad damsel in distress. These books usually show the main couple in ways that could not be described in any words other than "lusty". Christian romance novels do what all other romance novels do: give a false view of human love and intimacy.

This brings me to my main question, what makes a novel "Christian"? In Schultze's book Micheal A. Longinow points out that books written by gay Christians, books with swearing, or books that may be a bit edgier than normal, don't get published. Yet one of the authors of Left Behind isn't even a Christian and his books can be published and sold in all Christian avenues. Does the fact that a non-Christian author can write one of the biggest selling evangelical series not worry anyone? Might I add that many people think that what this story talks about is exactly the way future events are going to take place.

Then there are books like, Saint by Tedd Dekker, where there are but minor mentions of little biblical stories. Hood by Stephen Lawhead is another example the only Christian references in these books are the fact that the characters believe in God and Friar Tuck prays. Yet these are praised as being great Christian fantasy novels. It would seem that this aspect of Evangelical media is focused too much on delighting the reader more than sending a message. Is this even something that Evangelical books can do? Considering the minimal Christian content of these books, could they not be considered secular with Christian influences? They have as much Christian content as some lyrics from Limp Bizkit, but you don't see him being signed to Dove Records.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Save Me From My Self

In 2005 Brian "Head" Welch left his position of guitarist for the band KoЯn and pursued a new life as a Christian. He has since gone solo under his psudoname Head. His album was released a few weeks ago called: Save Me From My self.

This album is AMAZING! It has all the great aspects of the Nu-Metal genre and a very edgy, thought provoking message. Many of the songs on this CD show Welch dealing with his personal problems of drugs and abuse and his turn to God.

"I always loved that Korn's music helped kids let out aggression. But with my new music, I want kids to know that there's more out there. I want to show them there's a light at the end of the pain tunnel. That there's more out there than just aggression. I want to say to them, 'Hey kids, come over here. Let's bounce back and forth and have fun.'"
— Brian Welch

I recommend checking this album out. GO BUY IT!

(I'll post some lyrics when I have time to type them out. I can't find any on the net)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Buy my frickin prayer cloth or no healing for you!!

As I was reading through the third article in Schultze's collection I got caught on a sentence about a certain television evangelist. "The late TV preacher Jerry Falwell said that 'there's no need for the church of Jesus Christ to be wasting its time gullibly falling for all of this global warming hocus-pocus.'"

First off I would like to point out that "gullibly" is not a word. Secondly I would like to state that I think that global warming is a natural cycle of the earth due to changes in the planet's orbit and axis. But when did it occur to Christians, that just because we might have some conspiracy theory that the world is going to end soon so we don't have to take care of it. Are we not told to be good stewards of everything we have been given? Even if global warming may be a hoax it does not mean that we shouldn't care about the amount of pollution that is being poured into the atmosphere.

The amount of politics that is in Christian media today frustrates me to no end. Not only does it lead to the conclusion that most Evangelicals are as crazy as other religious extremists, but it just seems to be not very Christ-like. Whether a person votes conservative or for those "crazy hippies" from the NDP, this should not have any say on if a person can stay in their church or get ostracized over it. I was under the impression that we were past the days of killing each other over who should lead the church, let alone our "democratic nation".

In closing I will remind you to go out and vote on the 14th of next month.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm Tired of Mr. Smith and His Alleluias.

As I delve into "Evangelical Media" I will first comment on the second chapter of the book. This is because I was so utterly confused and frazzled by the assumptions the first chapter brought forth that I couldn't think of words to describe it. Oh I think I'm going to enjoy this one.

Thankfully, as I looked through the second chapter of Schultze's book, I found less strange comments on what makes up American Evangelicalism and more about actual media. This fine chapter was about Evangelical radio. Now Christian radio and I have an interesting relationship. That is, we stay as far away from each other as we can as to not start an interstellar war.

I agreed with most of what Paul Creasman said in that Christians have not been using radio properly in the recent decades. In my opinion Christian radio has quite a narrow audience so the apparent failure of stations going, "mainstream" does not surprise me. As I have studied media and listened to "secular" radio I have come to realize that mainstream is also a failed use of the medium. Some could argue that it is as repetitive in its content as Christian propaganda. Unfortunately Creasman offered us no alternatives.

So how can radio be changed? Should we revert to formats used in the 30's-60's? Though some of that might liven up mainstream radio I do not believe it will work for Christian radio. A whole new format is necessary to attract the generation that no-longer wants the revival teachings spewed at them all day. I don't really have any Ideas as of yet on what this format could be but I'll be thinking on it.

*(Word Count Starts Here)

Greetings and Salutations

Welcome to my new little corner of the internet. For my first post on this very limited website, I'm going to share an article I discovered on the web comic Apple Geeks. The article is called, How I Learned to Love Game Pirates. It is written by a game Dev. who actually used his brain for once and asked, "Why do people pirate and share video games?"

Now that you have had a chance to read the article, I will explain why it excites and angers me. I'm glad that someone has finally taken their head out of the sand and realized that gamers are tired of wasting their money on poorly made games. Now why haven't other gaming companies realized this fact before? It seems that they value their profit margins and their "artistic license" more than their customers. What is the point of trying to protect your "art", when it is so poorly put together that people don't want to spend money on it in the first place? It's like Anne Rice expecting to make money off of her Sleeping Beauty trilogy. Just because you think you have a good marketable idea it doesn't mean your target audience will share that sentiment.

Though John Keats may say, "Don't be discouraged by a failure" I believe that the gaming industry needs to step back and take a look at what they are doing wrong. If they don't their Canadian gamers will be jailed for not being able to pay off their fines. Five hundred dollars a download will build up quickly for your average pirate.