Notes from Paul Thaxter

Author: Paul Thaxter.

Abstract:

We need some reflection on mission and media – there is a plethora of issues to be understood here e.g.

• the implications of a networked society for short and long term mission
• inclusion and exclusion in a digital world
• advocacy for mission in a mediated society – what are the current stories that need to be articulated?
• e-learning and e-training in mission discipleship
• examining the impact of radio, TV and internet as instruments of mission in countries where it is difficult to share the gospel openly compared to those in which Christian media is openly welcome (God TV, tele-evangelism) or where Christian issues are of wider public interest e.g. the Monastery series or that of Vicars’ wives on British TV.

We need more missiological thinking on handling the Christian story in a mediated society. What are the guiding principles for Christian mission in the media? How do we effectively engage in politics, public discourse and power? In what ways can the church in mission be a prophetic voice to the unhealthy dynamics of tribalism, nationalism or imperial ambition? Given the number of wars in the past fifty years involving ‘perceived’ Christian nations, and significant genocide in places which espouse a Christian gospel e.g. Serbia and Rwanda, does our Christian mission actually make disciples that work for the peace and protection of others? This is not just a Christian concern. Rising fundamentalism of several faiths – Christian, Islamic and Hindu has led to the charge that religion seriously damages your health and its missionaries are the harbingers of sectarianism and cultural oppression.
Discipleship, Conversion and Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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