Preaching In A Visual Age: a conference

"Wittenberg Altarpiece," the predella of the altar, by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1547)

Good friends, I have the privilege of participating in a very exciting conference, occurring on November 1-3, 2012, at Ecclesia, Hollywood. The conference is part of the 2012 Brehm Lectures in Worship, Theology and the Arts. Fellow plenary speakers include Pete Docter (director of Monsters, Inc and Up), Bobette Buster (creative director for folks like Tony Scott, Larry Gelbart and Ray Stark), Bill Dyrness (author of Reformed Theology and Visual Culture: The Protestant Imagination from Calvin to Edwards), Ralph Winter (producer of X-Men movies and the early Star Trek films) and Betsy Halstead (maven of visual arts at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship), among others. I've included below the opening description of the conference, penned by organizer and fearless leader Mark Labberton. For all info, see here. Oh, and the inimitable Brian Moss will be there too, thank God.

(The painting above and the video below are the kinds of things I'll be interested in exploring within the context of the corporate worship space.)

“In our world we sleep and eat the image and pray to it and wear it too,” novelist Don DeLillo observed. Images, Susan Sontag concludes, have turned the world into a place where people “become customers or tourists of reality.” And now, with sophisticated technology everywhere—right down to the phone in your pocket—we have become creators and producers of reality as well.

From St. Augustine to Martin Luther, and from George Whitfield to MLK Jr., preaching the gospel has been the very heart of the Christian church’s approach to renewal and engaging society with the claims of God and God’s Kingdom.  But things are rapidly changing, not least about communication.  Many preachers and Christians wonder:
  • What place does “preaching” have in our image-shaped world?
  • How do we bring the gospel word to people inundated by images?
  • What does Jesus —‘the Word made visual’—teach us about the living Word?

Preaching in a Visual Age invites pastors, theologians, visual artists, filmmakers, media professionals, and Christian leaders to come together to grapple with these questions and more.  Speakers, music, art, and digital media will be drawn from in order to help paint a picture…a picture of what preaching the gospel needs to consider in a visual society.

Whether you are a pastor, an artist, part of the entertainment industry, or simply someone who is passionate about engaging your world with the gospel, you will find this conference inspiring and thought provoking.  We encourage you to join us as we explore what it means to be Preaching in a Visual Age.


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