Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Facebook Conversation: The Reading Dearth

Pastor/teacher Jack Niewold said:

Here is what I find among FB friends. The typical Christian has a dozen or more well-identified music favorites. On the other hand, they typically have no favorite books, other than the Bible, or only popular fiction. Here is one of the great problems with the church.We are entertainment-oriented, emotion-driven, and spiritually lazy.Until we begin to read again, we will have little to say to a perishing world.

My reply --

Spot on, Jack. The decades of a "surround sound" culture (TV, movies, video games and now the assortment of ever-present audio/visual technology) are also the decades where public education abdicated its responsibility to teach grammar, reading skills and literature appreciation. Among the results? People who cannot comfortably, effectively read even when they want to.

It has even limited our capacity to listen, to sit still, to think. So, we turn instead to the things that can "move" us -- music, movies, emotional church services -- and leave the content-oriented religion to the old folks. Sigh.