Thursday, May 04, 2006

Studio Church

I have written on Video Church in previous posts, but this story from CNet writer Greg Sandoval is even more horrific. Here is the lead to the story:

Companies such as Sony, Panasonic, Avid and Hitachi are helping churches spread the gospel as part of an effort to cash in on an exploding market known as "house of worship technology."

It only gets worse from there. Church is steadily becoming a form of entertainment:

"Let's face it, we've all experienced the occasional sleeper on Sunday morning," says an Internet advertisement from Audio Visual Mart, an online media tools store. "But it doesn't have to be that way. Technology can inspire your congregation in new ways."

What we are beginning to see is a new manifestation of Finneyism--a brand of "evangelism" that focuses on results and the means to those ends. Churches are becoming like theaters or arenas--no longer places of reverent worship and communion.

Emotions are tugged, theatrical techniques, dramatic lighting, and sound equipment are all designed to supply an emotional experience to the churchgoer. The artificial is used to create an illusion of the real. Sandoval writes, "Sometimes special lighting and sound can turn a larger venue into an intimate setting, said technicians."

How long will it take for the church to realize that technology does not come without strings attached? How long will it take for us to recognize the dangers of technologizing church?

I haven't read Mark Dever and Paul Alexander's The Deliberate Church yet, but I have heard some good things about it. Perhaps books like these will bring true revival to our Lord's church.



Bob Brown said...

Here's another good one.

John said...


Nice to see you stop by. That reeks of commercialism and is done in very poor taste.

Don't get me wrong--there is nothing sacred about having volunteers pour out grape juice from a plastic bottle, into little plastic cups.

Yet there is something wonderfully simplistic and communal about having those same volunteers pour the cups and break the bread together.