Media Communicators

2018 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

Paul Copan (Ph.D. Philosophy, Marquette University) is the Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Florida. For six years, he served as president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society.  He is author and editor of over thirty books, including works such as The Rationality of TheismThe Routledge Companion to Philosophy of ReligionCreation out of Nothing, Philosophy of Religion: Classic and Contemporary Issues, The Zondervan Dictionary of Christianity and ScienceA Little Book for New Philosophers, and The Cosmological Argument (a two-volume anthology). He has also contributed essays to over thirty books, both scholarly and popular, and has authored a number of articles in professional journals. In 2017, he was a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University. Paul and his wife, Jacqueline, have six children, and they reside in West Palm Beach, Florida. His website is www.paulcopan.com.

 

Steve Lowisz is a widely renowned and trusted entrepreneurial business expert. A highly-rated speaker, author and educator, Steve has served as a consultant across the globe for many Fortune 500 organisations. Having founded and led multiple businesses in the field of Human Resources and Human Development, Steve currently serves as the CEO of the Qualigence Group – the holding company for multiple brands focused on the attraction, influence, engagement, and development of people.  In addition, Steve is also the principal consultant for Lowisz Consulting, which provides both group and individual leadership development consulting and individualised goal planning with practical execution.  An early adopter of social media, Steve has spent a decade understanding and implementing these tools to communicate specific messages and influence human behaviors and responses.   

 

Amy Orr-Ewing is EMEA Director for RZIM and Director of Programmes for the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA). She gained a first class degree in theology at Christ Church, Oxford University, before receiving a master’s degree in theology from King’s College London. She recently completed working on her doctoral thesis at Oxford University looking at the work of Dorothy L Sayers.  Amy speaks and lectures on apologetics worldwide and has written two books exploring key questions in apologetics: Why Trust the Bible? and But Is It Real?. Her most recent publication is Millennials, which she co-authored with her husband Frog. They have also published Holy Warriors: A Fresh Look at the Face of Extreme Islam and Deep.  Amy and her husband lead a church in Buckinghamshire called Latimer Minster, which they planted in 2010.  

 

Espen Ottosen has worked as the information director for Norwegian Lutheran Mission since 2003. In that capacity, he has frequently appeared in debates on national television and radio. Also he has written essays and articles in a wide range of Norwegian newspapers and publications. For many years he has been writing a column regularly in Aftenposten (see www.ap.no), currently the biggest newspaper in the country. Ottosen has published about 20 different books and pamphlets in Norwegian and in Spanish mostly on popular theology. Before taking the position as information director, he was a missionary in Peru together with his family.

 

Tony Watkins is a speaker and writer on media and the Bible. He works alongside several organisations including Damaris Norway and the Lausanne Media Engagement Network (as Network Co-ordinator). He teaches at Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communications, Norway, and the Norwegian School of Theology. He is doing doctoral research in the relationship between the biblical prophets and today’s media. 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.

 

Richard Weikart is professor of modern European history at California State University, Stanislaus, and Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture.  He has published six books, including most recently The Death of Humanity: And the Case for Life and Hitler’s Religion.   He has also published extensively on the history of evolutionary ethics, eugenics, social Darwinism, euthanasia, and scientific racism.  He has been featured in several documentaries, including Ben Stein’s Expelled, as well as on many radio programs.  He recently produced a documentary to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation called Exploring the Reformation and Revivals in Germany.

 

 

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.

 

How to Navigate a Fake News World
Tony Watkins

We live in a 'post-truth' society, amid an epidemic of fake news. In the media world, Jeremiah’s words seem to ring true: ’Truth has perished; it is banished from the lips’ (Jeremiah 7:28). Why is there so much fake news? What psychological and sociological factors make fake news spread rapidly while truth ’stumbles in the street’ (Isaiah 59:14)? How can we respond?


DAY 2

Understanding the 7 Keys to Driving Influence through Social/Digital Media
Steve Lowisz

Digital media, including social media, influences more individuals across the globe than TV, Radio, and all other methods of marketing and communication combined.   The world’s best-known brands spend millions of dollars per year in targeting, engaging, influencing, and driving action from groups and individuals through the use of digital media.   In this session we will review the seven keys marketers employ to drive you and me to accept their products or ideas and remain loyal to their brands.   Properly communicating your message, capturing an individual’s permission to engage, and then converting their mindset are just some of the techniques we will explore.

 

Social Media Case Studies
 


 

DAY 3

Nazi Propaganda: An Historical Case Study on the Ethics of Communication 
(Joint session with the Politics and Society Network)
Richard Weikart

The Nazis masterfully used speeches and the media to manipulate the German people by preying on their wounded pride, resentment, and feelings of superiority to win their support. Nazi propaganda tried to avoid rational discourse to appeal to irrational impulses. Weikart will also demonstrate that Hitler and other Nazis deceived the German public about their religious stance, bringing many to falsely think that Hitler and his party were more in harmony with their own views. This will be a joint session with the Politics and Society Network.

 

How to Communicate the Christian Worldview in the Public Square
Espen Ottosen

For more than ten years Espen Ottosen has been participating regularly in debates of various kinds in the media in Norway. In a country like Norway, which is very secularized, standing up for a Christian perspective on same-sex marriage, biotechnical issues, and gender issues is a big challenge. In this lecture Ottosen will share some of his own experience focusing on how to engage people in the public square who have little knowledge and/or many prejudices about classical Christian belief.


DAY 4

Panel Discussion: How to Communicate the Christian Worldview in the Public Square
Moderated by Lars Dahle with Espen Ottosen, Amy Orr-Ewing, and Paul Copan

Many parts of today's Europe are characterized by a secular and pluralistic public square, whether the arena is the media, the academy, or the workplace. As evangelical Christians, we are often marginalized in such public contexts. How can we communicate the Christian worldview with biblical authenticity and contemporary relevance in this public square? The panel discussion will relate this key task to challenges from competing current views of (a) values, (b) humanity, (c) reality, and (d) faith commitments.

 

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 leaarned from the week. 

 

 

 

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