Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Christians on TV

When Rachel Held Evans goes on American talk show The View to discuss her book about how the church does and ought to do biblical hermeneutics (or to laugh at how zany the Bible can be sometimes), is a Christian carrying out her role as witness to the world or is this little more than a profit-grabbing book promotion? Or worse, have we made it intelligible for the one act to accomplish both?

When Anthony Thiselton is brought on The View to discuss New Horizons in Hermeneutics then perhaps I won't be so sceptical.


  1. I like Rachel Held Evans and her new book is funny, humble and exposes the weirdness of the idea of biblical womanhood that has been used against me and many of my Christian sisters. Have you read the book?

  2. Read her book? I'm blogging about it, so of course I haven't read it.

    Besides, whether the book is good or bad is not the question for me. What I do question is Christians using a church thing -- and biblical interpretation is nothing if it is not a church thing -- on a platform intended to drive profits up.

    By all means write a novel or a memoir and seek to get it sold, though of course as a Christian the money you earn is surely of interest to the church. But writing a book for the church is a different kettle of fish, and only in America could a show like The View have something to do with that task.

    To my mind, it's like making money off of "worship music". Or am I missing something?

  3. I think it is pretty cynical to think she wrote this book only to make money. And I'd see a difference between the money-making machine that it is Hillsongs and RHE writing about her experiences as a Christian woman - she and her husband struggle to make ends meet. Also, she didn't seek out these TV spots, they contacted her.

    People inside and outside the Church need to know that God doesn't hate women and that is what RHE is trying to communicate.

  4. Which brings us back to my original question, to which you would answer "She is carrying out her role as witness to the world." Maybe that's the long and the short of it.

    I am cynical, but I think the history of the marriage between Christians, TV, and money gives me justification!

  5. Yeah but the history of the marriage between Christians, money and anything else is pretty shocking too, is it not?

  6. True. Christians -- and this is obviously a sweeping generalisation -- go on TV to make money. Hence my cynicism with regard to RHE's TV appearance. Her cause is surely just, but I'm not sure that justifies the form, which I think is almost inherently corrupt and corrupting.

  7. You're right: it is a sweeping generalisation :)

    Only sin is "inherently" corrupt and corrupting, not the tools we use to engage in it.

  8. I agree with Declan on this one. The tools and forums that we use to spread our messages are not neutral.

    Although Dec, "By all means write a novel or a memoir and seek to get it sold" ...I would adjust that to "seek to get it read".

    This is along the same lines for me as, as you mention, making money from worship music. I strongly disagree with that practice.

  9. "Seek to get it read." Yes. An excellent adjustment.