Media Communicators

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2017 European Media Communicators Network

In today's world, journalism, film, television, and the Internet dominate the way we, as an increasingly global community, understand and relate to the world and each other. If Christians wish to continue making a meaningful impact upon the world, gifted communicators who want to relate biblical Christian faith to contemporary culture through these media platforms will be greatly needed.

This Network seeks to encourage and equip such existing or emerging leaders who can speak with authenticity and relevance from within these influential cultural arenas. It will also focus on biblical foundations and models, worldview analysis of media and popular culture, and critical reflections on creative communication in contemporary media contexts.

Applicants should be current or potential leaders who are gifted communicators in the media (in such creative fields as journalism, film, TV or Internet), media commentators, media critics, media teachers or media scholars. Whatever the role, the common missional vision should be the wish to relate biblical Christian faith to contemporary media in a way that is authentic, appropriate, and relevant.

Prior preparation will be set for all applicants.
 

NETWORK LEADERS

Lars Dahle is a theologian, educator, preacher, and apologist. Having a long previous experience in various academic leadership roles, he now works as Associate Professor in Systematic Theology and Christian Apologetics at Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication (NLA Kristiansand), where he has lectured in worldviews, ethics, and apologetics since 1991. Lars wrote his PhD on Acts 17:16-34. It is entitled An Apologetic Model Then and Now? (Open University, UK). Since 2013, he is also the Lausanne Catalyst for Media Engagement. Lars has written several academic and popular articles on apologetics, media engagement and missiology and was a co-editor of The Lausanne Movement: A Range of Perspectives (Oxford: Regnum, 2014). He is also the Founding Editor of the peer-reviewed Nordic apologetic journal Theofilos. In addition, Lars co-leads the European Leadership Forum Media Communicators Network with his wife, Margunn. Follow Lars on his blog Media Messages Matter or on his Twitter account @LarsDahle.

 

Margunn Serigstad Dahle, the co-leader of the European Media Communicators Network, is Associate Professor at Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication, NLA University College, Norway, where she has taught in the fields of communication, media and worldviews since 1991. She is Programme Director for the Communication and Worldviews Bachelor Program, which is designed to equip evangelical communicators and apologists in various fields for the contemporary Western cultural context. Especially connected to her Damaris involvement, she is a regular lecturer, speaker and writer in various contexts in Norway and beyond. She was a co-editor of The Lausanne Movement: A Range of Perspectives (Oxford: Regnum, 2014). Margunn formerly served as Chairman of Lunde Publishing House.

 

NETWORK SPEAKERS

Ramez Atallah was born in Cairo, Egypt and emigrated with his family to Canada when he was sixteen.  He came to know the Lord through a local church in Montreal and was discipled as a student through the Inter-Varsity group at McGill University. From 1972 to 1980 he developed and directed the ministry of the Groupes Bibliques Universitaires du Quebec. In 1980 along with his wife and two children he returned to Egypt, where he became the IFES Regional Secretary for the Middle East. He attended the first Lausanne Congress and was appointed as a youth representative to the Lausanne Committee in 1975.  He served on the Committee from 1974 to 1994.  In 2006 he rejoined Lausanne as Program Chairman for Lausanne III Cape Town Congress.  After the Congress, he was appointed as one of the Deputy Chairs of the Lausanne Movement until 2015. Since 1990 he has been the General Secretary of the Bible Society of Egypt, the position he still holds until now. 

 

Lord Robert Edmiston was born in India in 1946, the son of a war time fighter pilot, and came to the UK at the age of three and subsequently spent five years in Kenya before returning to the UK in 1962.  He started his career as a bank clerk but today owns companies in the property, motor, and finance sectors.  He is a father of a grown-up family and has ten grandchildren. He is married to Tracie and together in 1988 they founded CV, an international charity with offices in 22 countries working to support the Christian church in the areas of evangelism and discipleship in both the online and offline space. Lord and Lady Edmiston also sponsor three senior schools.  Lord Edmiston, having been a member of the House of Lords, retired in July 2015 to devote more time to his charitable activities.

 

Rudolf Kabutz is a media foresight strategist working with TWR Africa and the Lausanne Media Engagement Network. He is passionate about reaching people globally through strategic collaborative media networks. After training in nuclear physics and working as medical physicist, he joined TWR to utilise media for equipping communities in Southern Africa. Through various roles he has contributed towards people connecting with media resources and being equipped to utilise media to influence others. Rudolf has interacted with a variety of ministry and media networks in Africa, promoting close cooperation between networks of media professionals and networks of locally impactful initiatives. His focus is continually on the future, which he explores more carefully using strategic foresight. He hopes that the Media Engagement Network as an Issue Network of Lausanne will inspire and equip Christians in various professions and walks of life to engage with the media on multiple levels towards shaping and transforming society with the peace and truth of Christ.

 

Finny Philip, based in the city of Udaipur, is serving as the principal of the Filadelfia Bible College, a leading graduate school of theology in North India with over a thousand five hundred graduates. Well-known for his keen insights into the message of the Scripture, Dr. Finny Philip completed his PhD in New Testament from the University of Durham under the mentorship of esteemed New Testament scholar, James D.G. Dunn. His academic works include The Origins of Pauline Pneumatology (Mohr-Siebeck, WUNT Series), and he has served as one of the theological editors for the recently published South Asia Biblical Commentary: A One Volume Commentary on the Whole Bible (Open Door Publications, 2015). Dr. Philip is the Mission Director for the Filadelfia Fellowship Church of India, which has a network of 1,600 churches, and serves as pastor of the Rajasthan Pentecostal Church. Apart from other national responsibilities, he also serves as the regional director (RD) for The Lausanne Movement, and as the editor and director for Christian Trends, a bi-monthly magazine that tries to bring evangelical Christian thinking and writing at a popular level.

 

Peter Saunders was born in New Zealand and originally trained as a general surgeon before serving with the Africa Inland Mission in Kenya and completing two years mission training at All Nations Christian College in the UK. Since 1992 he has served full-time with Christian Medical Fellowship, a UK-based organisation with 4,500 UK doctors and 1,000 medical students as members, first as Head of Student Ministries, and since 1999 as Chief Executive.  His current work involves leadership training, teaching evangelism and ethics, medical mission, writing, editing, and media work. He has been a member of the ICMDA (International Christian Medical and Dental Association) Board since 2003 and is also Campaign Director of the Care Not Killing Alliance, a coalition of over 40 organisations in the UK promoting palliative care and opposing euthanasia.  His wife Kirsty is a community pediatrician and they have three sons, Christopher, Benjamin and Jonathan. They are members of Spicer Street Church, St Albans. www.cmf.org.uk; www.carenotkilling.org.uk; http://pjsaunders.blogspot.com/

 

Khaldoun Sweis is the former Chair and current Associate Professor of Philosophy at Olive-Harvey College in Chicago and serves as a tutor in philosophy with Oxford University in England.  He was born in Amman, Jordan.  His experience entails teaching philosophy for over a decade as well as speaking at conferences both nationally and abroad such as in Hong Kong, Romania, Australia and England. He has three books including Debating Christian Theism, co-edited with Chad Meister and JP Moreland (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Christian Apologetics: An Anthology of Primary Sources co-edited with Chad Meister (Zondervan, 2011). He recently completed Killing God: Addressing the Seven Most Common Objections from the New Atheists (forthcoming). He is a member of the American Philosophical Association and the Evangelical Philosophical Society. Khaldoun’s greatest achievement is getting Luciana to marry him and being the father of his two precious children, AnaKaterina Cosette and Daniel Zacharias.

 

Tony Watkins is a speaker and writer on media and culture. Previously with Damaris, he now works both independently and in partnership with several organisations. He is the Network Co-ordinator for the Lausanne Media Engagement Network, and teaches regularly at Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communications, Norway, and the Norwegian School of Theology.  Tony has written, or co-written, several books including Focus: The Art and Soul of Cinema and Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan’s Guide to Philip Pullman. Tony and his family are involved in Above Bar Church, Southampton, where he is part of the leadership team.

 

NETWORK PROGRAMME

DAY 1

Teaching Media Literacy Across Cultures: A Missiological Approach
Margunn Serigstad Dahle

A plurality of media technologies and media messages are increasingly shaping our everyday lives. This is becoming a key global challenge for mission and discipleship, resulting in an urgent need for relevant teaching and contextual educational resources. Based on wide experience from a variety of cultural contexts, this lecture proposes a missiological approach for teaching media literacy, analysis and critique across cultures.
 

The Internet: The New Gospel Highway
Lord Robert Edmiston

Jesus commanded us to 'go' and throughout the centuries Christians have gone on foot, on horseback, by land and by sea. They have taken the spoken word, the written word, the printed word, and in more recent times used radio and TV to fulfil His command. Now a new global network exists that is accessible to everyone: the internet. Most churches use the web to provide information about their services and events, but many have not grasped the opportunity for global evangelism that it presents.  How can we strategically communicate the Gospel on today’s pathway?


DAY 2

The Prophets in a Media World
Tony Watkins

This session will explore the relationship between the biblical prophets and today’s media world by exploring themes which are central to both. These include truth, justice, values, relationships within society, and right foundations for life. These are issues with which journalists, as well as filmmakers, writers, and other creatives regularly engage, and which fuel heated debates within social media. We will consider how both the biblical prophets and the contemporary media prompt people to reflect on their current reality and present alternative possible futures. This leads to some final reflections on how the biblical prophets can serve as role models for communicating truth in today's media world.
 

Communicating Biblical Truth to a Secular Culture through the Media with Clarity, Creativity, and Confidence
Peter Saunders

In today’s global cyber-village stories on issues at the interface of Christianity and culture generate a huge amount of media interest and publicity. This creates great opportunities to impart a Christian worldview perspective for those who are willing to take the necessary risks and seize the opportunities on offer. It is essential that a Christian view is heard clearly and is able to shape media dialogue and public policy and yet many Christians seem reluctant to put their heads above the parapet and speak out. Responding effectively to these opportunities requires courage, planning, monitoring, wisdom and grace. Training can help but the best way of learning is to get involved and learn on the job. Based on extensive experience in the UK campaigning and speaking on issues at the interface of Christianity and medicine this seminar will examine how to get involved with attention to messaging, media training, consultancy, delivery and use of social media.


 

DAY 3

Strategic Lessons Learned in Media Communication from the Global Church
Rudolf Kabutz and Finny Philip

How will the future direction of media communication equip and enable the Global Church to have an impact on society?  While media is becoming increasingly automated through the use of robotic algorithms that shape the consumption of media and the generation, the human relational aspect of media may be reduced. How will media communicators and church leaders be able to complement each other by utilising the media to share each other’s stories, interacting with each other, and learning to relate to God? What insights from our past experiences in media communications can equip us for equipping the church of the future? And how does a global perspective of the Church shape expectations in media communications?
 

Opportunities and Challenges Facing Scripture Distribution in Egypt: Lessons for the Global Evangelical Community
Ramez Atallah

Over the past 25 years the Bible Society of Egypt has been able to find creative and effective means by which to spread God’s Word across Egypt in spite of the many legal, social, and political restrictions imposed on Christians.  This talk will explain and clarify how this was possible and hopefully provide some transferable concepts to be used in other similar contexts.

 

DAY 4

The Theology of Daredevil, Batman, and the X-Men:  Engaging Secular Society with Modern Mythology
Khaldoun Sweis

People need stories to make sense of life. Sometimes these stories or myths are true and other times they are fabrications or caricatures of reality. The people of old used myths and spiritual folktales for entertainment, and then these evolved into narratives to give coherence to the world they inhabited. Fyodor Dostoevsky said it best; "At first, art imitates life. Then life will imitate art. Then life will find its very existence from the arts." Today these myths are told in many forms with the most popular form being that of superheroes: Superman, the Avengers, and Spiderman to name a few. This talk will discuss effective ways to engage this secular culture using the modern mythos of superheroes.

 

Group Discussion
Lars Dahle and Margunn Serigstad Dahle

In the final session of the Network, participants will be able to share their work, discuss the challenges they face, and plan to implement the lessons learned from the week.

 

 

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