Post-Literate Culture

Telling the Good News Today


So many ways to communicate Good News. I love the proclamation, the word of mouth, even as I remember the challenge of St. Francis of Assisi: 'Preach the Gospel -and, if necessary, use words.'

Beyond that joy and sometimes also the discipline of writing words, I welcome the privilege of living the Gospel as incarnationally and holistically as possible and - even further, the opportunities in our day of utilizing art and symbol, music and story.

Movie, anime and photo too can take the Church back - and forward, to where it was/is before Gutenberg's creation made ubiquitous the spreading of the printed Word.

Apple and Nike know the power of symbol. The ancient 'forbidden fruit' (just as via Eden's apple, if just tasted) will transport one (one hopes) to a powerful, insight-full world. And even to a place beyond information, to inspiration and transformation.

Nike, Inc. 'borrowed' the ancient Greek winged goddess of victory, Nike (Victoria to the Romans) who flew over battlefields and if you prayed to her, it was thought, victory was assured. At first the modern Nike usurpers of the name used both the swish and the title; now the mere symbol is enough to 'take you there.'

The visual is vital today, and so is active involvement and engagement, rather than merely being familiar-with. Eddie Gibbs, in ChurchNext, writes that many GenXers learn by being involved, not by passive observation. "Their spiritual appetites are more likely to be whetted by life situations that leave the involved onlooker grappling with an unsolved problem because they know that life is not tidy or filled with predictable, happy endings. Their spiritual awareness is triggered by symbols and rituals both ancient and relevant. If the Christian church fails to rediscover its own rich heritage, created in pre-literate societies, it will find it increasingly difficult to hold a generation shaped by a postliterate culture."

More Inspiration: