Thursday, July 8, 2010

Where is Mars Hill?

Where is Mars Hill?
No I’m not asking about Mark Driscoll’s church in Seattle, which seems to be enjoying great popularity despite the man’s apparent affection for Lutheran theologians such as Forde.
I’m asking, where is the public square? Where is the place where people go to discuss idea’s rather than preach to choirs.
This is a question that occupies my mind a lot. I blog, I facebook, etc. But it seems to me this is more or less preaching to choirs. My friends get my posts on face book, but evidently that forum is to dangerous to let anyone who wants come over and see your post and debate with you. Blogs? Well if someone looks up a subject maybe he finds it, but then he is already interested.
In Acts 17 it seems Mars hill was a place for people to gather and hear new ideas, and discuss them. Evidently you didn’t know what was going to be discussed when you showed up. I want to know where that place is. Where does one go today?
Radio I’ve been told is a bygone. (This coming from a conversation I had with Dr. Rod Rosenbladt last week.) Even with talk shows on the air it seems most just down load and listen. Of course, people who do that are already interested. So I enjoy immensely the work of White Horse Inn, and Issues etc. But are they reaching anyone? They have an immense following. But how does there listenership increase? Does it? If it ever was people scanning through dials or failing to do so when their favorite program was over, it seems that is no longer true. I mean I thought it might be a good idea to get these programs on the air here in SLC. But I am meeting with mixed reviews on that. Perhaps if it is cheap enough?
So radio is no longer Mars Hill? Is TV? That would depress me. We have no presence on TV. I know of no Confessional Lutheran talk shows on TV. Trying to think of what that would be like. But even there I doubt there is much a Mars hill. People watch what they want to watch. Suppose maybe that is true with radio too.
So I wonder what are we to do who want to use programs like this to reach others or just get others interested? Bulletin announcements are great. But then pastors are often skeptical of their worth. Perhaps sharing episodes through Email? Maybe through Facebook posting links? Any other ideas?


Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Go and just shoot the bull (the bull being Ba'al, and slaying him with the Word) with the people you come across. The Co-op or the coffee shop, the student union. Interact with folks. I guess?

Bror Erickson said...

Sure, but you don't live in Utah!
Amazing thing here is Mormonism has basically shut these venues down. The only real coffee shop in town here is a drive through, so people don't actually see you going in...
It is hard to find a place where people gather just to shoot the bull, and it is discouraged among Mormons.
I keep working at it though.

Bryan said...


It sounds like you ought to open up your own place there in Tooele, where folks go to shoot the breeze and discuss "stuff". Or just get into SLC more often.

Bror Erickson said...

Don't have the capital to do either Bryan.

Bryan said...

When St. John's is all filled up with rich benefactors of the gospel, I'll send some capital your way too.

mollo said...

So I enjoy immensely the work of White Horse Inn, and Issues etc. But are they reaching anyone? They have an immense following. But how does there listenership increase?

We individual churches are loathe to spend advertising money on something not directly related to our personal church. A billboard for issues etc or LfL pregnancy hotline are backburner issues.

Tonight I was at our Board in charge of advertising and we talked about a billboard, but we seemed more excited at the idea of church t-shirts, making each person an individual billboard.

Bror Erickson said...

I checked on Bill boards once, the sticker shock discouraged me.
T-shirts for VBS I can get through, and am happy for them.
It would be nice though to have a program that might reach out to the community with solid teaching, and maybe then draw them into your church.