A few of us in the Blue Ocean conversation have been discussing what role media and the creative arts might play in helping to both pitch Stage 4, Centered Set Faith to the wider culture and also invite them to experience it on their own terms. For those of us who are pastors, we aim to do this in our own churches. For those of us pursuing Stage 4, Centered Set Faith, I’d imagine that we aim to do this in our personal spheres. Moving beyond that, the discussion has moved to the question of how we can engage a much wider, ideally secular, audience in a meaningful way related to this type of faith.
I’ve seen some examples of others attempting to promote faith in a wider way, like Rob Bell’s Nooma videos or the recently discussed “Why I Love Jesus But Hate Religion.” But, to many of us, Rob Bell seems to be addressing a predominately Stage 3 crowd and the author of the latter a considerably more Stage 2 crowd. In my mind, neither of these seems to speak about faith in any meaningful way to a wider, predominately secular, culture.
Then, I came across this TED talk, which intrigued me in a significantly different way. Very poignantly, Alain de Botton posits what aspects of religion atheists should consider adopting. He suggest a sort of “religion for atheists” – calling it Atheism 2.0 – that incorporates religious forms and traditions to satisfy the human need for connection, ritual and transcendence. I must say, I found it very compelling and inspiring.
As I watched it, I had sort of a Eureka experience. I thought, “Oh, my gosh, THIS is exactly what I have been wanting to do” only from a Stage 4 faith perspective. De Botton’s pitch is for a sort of “New Religion” – in this case Atheism 2.0 – in a medium that is very familiar with wider culture – the excellent TED talks – and engages the audience with a thoughtful, progressive idea worth considering and responding to. I’m not sure that he’s converting masses of people to atheism as a result, but, in the very least, he is contributing to the conversation in a relevant and helpful way. Among other things, it encouraged my larger thought that media can be used to communicate something meaningful related to religion (or lack there of, in de Botton’s case), specifically Stage 4 Faith, to a wider audience in a meaningful way.
So, my questions for you, oh blog friends, are: How might we utilize media and the creative arts in a wider scope to both communicate Stage 4 Faith and invite people in to a conversation or a potential response to it? What might it look like specifically to produce a similar video pitching Stage 4 / Centered Set Faith? Is anyone interested in helping to create said video? Are there other mediums that may be used in such a way?