Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Where Are You God?

Over at BeThinking .Org I read an interesting article about the relationship of media and our ability to hear God. I think Dr. Lowman's premise of If There is Really a God Why Don't People Notice? is exactly right. It is a rather long piece so I will share with you a few excerpts with you to help you decided if you want to go and read the whole thing or not.

One thing that distinguishes our generation's consciousness, in the west, from that of those who went before, is its remarkable saturation by mass media. It is uniquely true of us that many of our most intense experiences come, not from direct sensory experience of our own surroundings, but mediated through the electronic universe - cinema, CDs, television, the digital world. It is possible now for regular viewers of TV soaps to find what they watch on the screen more compelling than the lives of their neighbours, or even of distant members of their own family. CDs outclass live musical performance; landscapes and exotic foreign scenes come to us mediated through mass communications rather more often than by direct sensory experience.
He goes on to write:
So have we created an alternative electronic universe - or a vast array of universes - that are essentially god-less places - worlds from which He is entirely absent? Does our sustained immersion in these alternative worlds deafen and blind us to the hints of His presence in the real world? Is this a major reason why we’re tone-deaf to God, unable to hear Him or believe in Him?
One more excerpt:
We can compare our culture to someone walking down a country road, wearing a noisy walkman. Outside, the birds are singing; but they can't hear them - their attention is totally taken up by the intense experience of an alternative, fabricated universe. Because of that, they are deafened to the real, external universe - whether it is birdsong or an oncoming truck. (We might add that they are also deafened to the real internal universe. One of the tragic consequences of the rise of contemporary media is that we are robbed of our silence. Indoors there is the stereo and the TV, outside the MP3; for not a few people this means they need never have a moment alone with their thoughts. Which is what some, in their emptiness, might even wish; yet we know it is at these moments that the voice of God often speaks; and to lose that possibility is a massive impoverishment.) Lost in the dreamworld, we are deaf to God's reality.

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