Monday, November 3, 2008

A Guide To The New Media For The Church

The New Media Frontier
Blogging, Vlogging, and Podcasting For Christ
Edited by John Mark Reynalds & Roger Overton

Is it possible to communicate the fullness of the ever changing, ever expansive category of “New Media”, using a book? That is just what John Mark Reynalds & Roger Overton attempt to do, as they bring together some of the best voices from the Christian movement in online media and blogging. The results are a fascinating and informative book, that for now is a complete and relevant guide to the things Christian media creators should know and should care about.

The book is written by a team of well-researched writers, who speak from experience. It begins especially well, and explains the history and the relevancy of the New Media from a Judeo-Christian worldview. From there it continues to build the case for Christians to learn to use the new forums of communication now open to us.

The points it raises are fascinating, and to the point. Each question is handled well, and nothing is simply dismissed or glossed over.
It explains why Christians should err on the side of liberty when it comes to the new media, and at the same time explores the pitfalls and weaknesses in the New Media movement.
The communication style of each writer is easy to read, but very well researched and full of information. I found myself highlighting and marking sections of the book to come back to. There possibly couldn’t be a better resource available for the Christian interested and/or involved in producing for a new generation highly attuned to the ever changing world of media. The author brings out this quote that; “as long as Liberty prevails, a chance for more entrepreneurial activity in information distribution will exist.”
The incredible tools that the New Media bring to the table will need to be defended, for freedoms sake. True Christianity has and will do well under the microscope of free information access.

If you are new to the realm of online media and blogging, this is a great start, but without mentioning up and coming and widely popular and spending so much time on the awful Youtube, rather than the more relevant and high quality sites for video available (where is in this discussion?) I wonder how long this book will last before needing to be republished?
Of course that is the point… Technology changes, and the old media can only take the church so far before we are irrelevant.

I work in producing media that falls into both the old media and new media categories, and I found this book to be extremely relevant to the questions I had in trying to navigate the expansive waters of the internet revolutions aftermath. Great discussions will come from reading this book, and I imagine most of them will be communicated, like this review, via the internet. This is the New Media Frontier. Have we missed it?

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