Anyone familiar with 1984 knows technology deserves to be distrusted. It threatens to overtake everything, and not just the existing establishment. Eventually, the lives we once led are fundamentally changed, and not always for the better.
But check out how all our lives have been changed by the Internet. We’re seeing the overthrow of existing media outlets and the power centers redispersing to ordinary citizens like you and me. Blogs are leading the way, as are places like amazon.com and online forums, where you can get all sorts of opinions on all sorts of interesting things.
It’s even changing book publishing. Many publishing professionals think books are exempt from these surges of change since quality and “long gestation periods” are still the modus operandi in publishing houses. But even print media will fundamentally change from it’s existing form in the emerging demand for greater, newer, fresher, and more meaningful art than the old sources currently supply. This means we’ve got to be better than the common secular writers and artists who now dominate these outlets. We’ve got to be sharper and more flexible, quicker to adapt, and more patient in the change-over process. Ultimately, we’ve got to plugged in to this new community while we work to hone our skills. You with me?
Toward this end, the new writer’s group I’m talking about must continually evolve and develop. So far, there are only a few dominant voices out here, trying to engage with the community. But I estimate for every active voice, there are hundreds more who have yet to tune in and make their presence known. They’re the ones we need to be going after, rather than reacting with dismay when some new “competition” comes on the scene. In a very real sense, the emerging Christian writing community is a single spirit, a body struggling to break out of its current form. We all struggle against the same phonies, the same sensational distorters attempting (and succeeding) to titilate the purient interests and baser nature of our culture.
Yes, we’re all writing different books. But they aren’t competing books. We all have unique callings. God wants to use all of us, not just the loud ones or the sell-outs. The central aim is change, progress, and unity. I know I sound like a politician, but maybe by banding together we’ll gather steam and resist the industry forces that would require us to bow to clichés and gimmicks. We can change the common perceptions of Christian publishing. But to do it, we have to have information and a community in which to share it.
The answer is more active voices.
So get out here, Christians! You’ve got a calling to fulfill.