Friday 31 October 2014

The lecture as a medium for spiritual awakening

Continued from:

If there is to be a possibility of a mass Christian revival (or, some other form of Christian revival) - I think it would be more likely to happen by the medium of lecturing, rather than from books, TV or the internet.

There is a gross underestimation of the power, the potency, of the lecture. It is regarded as all-but obsolete. Yet hard historical evidence shows that, in the right (or wrong) hands; the lecture - reliant upon the power of a person and his words, with an attentive audience, happening here and now - has power to create and sustain new movements.

And this has happened, and could happen, very quickly, and under the radar - since face to face lectures are outwith the tyranny and distortions of the mass media.


Such a movement is in principle as likely to be wicked as good; Antichrist-ian, as well as Christian.

But now purposive evil holds the megaphone of the mass media, and has groomed the mass population into a very complete state of addiction - a population now scarcely able to tear themselves away from the drip-feed of stimulus, intolerant of solitude, unable to concentrate - so there is little reason for the dark forces to look elsewhere.


By 'lecture' I am not talking about demagogues haranguing vast crowds by use of electronic amplification, video screens, visual gimmicks etc - that stuff is mass entertainment, part of the mainstream mass media.

I am talking about face to face communications in a room where the participants are in direct visual and auditory contact, when all can look into the eyes of the other - dozens of people; not hundreds.

A travelling lecturer, and the triggering of new lecturers (lecture upon lecture, snowballing) may lead to extreme rates of growth; and as with all exponential processes - by the time the new movement is first noticed as significant, it will already be large, and have developed considerable momentum.


The mass media is the major locus, focus and enforcer of evil (that is, the destruction of Good) in the world today; but it could be by-passed - and suddenly swept aside, in the lives of many; by something very like a lecture.


Anonymous said...

Have you followed any of the movement surrounding Denver Snuffer and the other neofundamentalists in Mormonism at all? There’s a lot of internal complexity and identity politics, particularly since Snuffer was excommunicated, but he delivered several lectures over the past year claiming to have been commanded of the Lord. This and his books have as much as fomented a movement within the movement over the past decade—he’s not the only player, but everyone involved is pretty much all outside of the hierarchical leadership.

That’s what resonated with me from this post—working in academia, I see mostly mediocre or evil-oriented lectures in your sense—but Snuffer is a master and delivers a potent message of repentance and hope (his putative unorthodoxy notwithstanding). So there is perhaps at least one person working righteousness in this vein abroad in the world.

Bruce Charlton said...

@rb - No, I don't know anything about this, never heard the name. But since he has been excommunicated I am in not in any doubt that he is indeed apostate from the CJCLDS.

Bookslinger said...

Mormons already do this. Mormon lecturers are called full-time missionaries.

But they only lecture to one at a time, although ocassionaly to nuclear families.

It would be a good trick if they could figure out how to lecture to dozens at a time like you envision.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Books - No, lecturing is a mass medium, different from talking with people.

Sylvie D. Rousseau said...

After I came back to the faith, I was re-catechized in a few series of lectures: they do just that in Christian retreats and Christian organizations. Though good lecturers are very rare, I was lucky to have two very good ones for a few years.

The next best thing, if someone is rarely in a position to attend real interesting lectures is some places on the internet. Your blog is part of the handful I consult regularly.