Sunday, January 07, 2007

Why Canada needs The Word Guild

Once upon a time, in Canada and elsewhere in the West, the shared worldview was overwhelmingly Christian. Authors and artists engaged in an ongoing conversation with the greater Christian Story. Whether they personally agreed with that Story or not, they knew their Bibles, they knew their religious tradition, even if they argued against it.

Then a movement began in literature to shake off the Scriptural canon and to appropriate words like epiphany and strip them of their original theological meaning. On Jan. 6, the Western Church celebrates the Epiphany, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as the three kings brought gifts to the infant Jesus. Now the word epiphany is used to describe a sudden insight or realization. The word has lost its meaning as a manifestation of God.

When academics and critics decided the Scriptural canon was old hat, they threw it out in favor of a literary canon of great authors one must read and know to be considered educated. Now in academe, postmodernism has taken hold and thrown out the idea that any one canon can provide truth. Subjectivity and relativism reign, yet strangely, the doctrine of relativism has its own high priests and fundamentalists.

In journalism, there are still vestigial claims to objectivity, as if some notion of truth exists "out there" to be discovered. But more and more, the mainstream media seems to be shilling for certain points of view, acting as a kind of intellectual vanguard for social engineering. And often Christians are portrayed in a negative light as fundamentalists, goofs, and hypocrites.

It's been clear for a long time that the Christian worldview seldom gets a fair shake in most of the mainstream media. The conversation with the Story still continues among some authors, but the books and movies that steal the limelight--such as The Da Vinci Code--are likely to be anti-Christian. We live in a society that still has Christian vestiges, but many resent those vestiges, especially any moral strictures surrounding sexuality that might impinge on individual freedom.

Yet for those of us who have found Christ and come to understand that true freedom exists only in His service, we see how confused, hopeless and self-destructive the messages the culture is sending to the next generation.

Hence the need for an organization like The Word Guild. It's time to take back our culture, book by book, movie by movie, article by article, blog by blog.

We have formed a national network of writers and editors who encourage, mentor, and recognize excellence among those who profess the Christian faith. Also developing in Canada are parallel Christian media, such as the Christian Week newspaper network, the Crossroads Television System, the Canadian Catholic News cooperative, the Miracle Channel, several Christian radio stations in major cities across Canada, the Evangelical Fellowship's excellent magazine Faith Today are some examples. The need for this kind of media is growing as the MSM (short for mainstream media) grows more and more shrill advancing the secularist agenda. And as these outlets grow more shrill, even respect for facts seems to be up for grabs.

Little online news service recently exposed an erroneous story in the New York Times that prompted the paper's own ombudsman to write recently that the "paper of record" got the facts wrong. In that story, the Times wrote that women were serving huge prison terms for aborting their fetuses, and cited a woman who was serving a 30 year term for aborting her baby at 18 weeks. got ahold of the court records to show that the woman in question had been convicted of strangling a full term infant.

The New York Times has finally issued a correction to at least part of its original story, but it took some time.

This is one example.

Developing our own Christian sources of news, of literature, of movies and entertainment is not only meant to inform, edify and build up the Body of Christ in Canada, though God knows the Church needs lots of encouragement these days. No, we want to do more than that. We want to pursue excellence in our craft so that we can take back the ground we have lost to what the late Pope John Paul II called the "culture of death."

Not everyone is going to be probing and exposing like In the Body there are many different gifts and callings. Some of us write devotionals. Some of us write mysteries. Some of us write for our church newsletter. Some of us are working on a screenplay. But all of us are tired of complaining about the wider culture and pulling up our sleeves to hone the skills to compete in every arena with hope-filled, truth-laden, transcendent words inspired by the Word Himself in every arena.

Want to join us?


N. J. Lindquist said...

Wow! Great words, Deb!

N. J.

D.S. Martin said...

Deb, I totally agree with your assessment of the transition towards subjectivity and uncertainty in Western thinking. You have concisely and clearly outlined a transition that has taken years — slipping down a slope from James Joyce to Dan Brown — and you have expressed this unfortunate situation well.


Marci said...

Inspiring, Deb. Thanks. Marcia

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