Saturday, September 05, 2009


Paying attention to the news is complex since reporting is always subjective, even when trying not to be. What is reported and left out, and how people on a given issue may differ, all these play out and are heard differently by each of us.

I agree with John R.W. Stott that Christians need to be both in God's word/Scripture, and in God's world, which includes the news. It is important that we try to get some idea of what's going on, and who is thinking what. We do well to listen well to others. But in all of this we need to be those who are in the word and prayer, so that we can have discernment. And we must be humble in all of this, because Christians of equal conviction and learning are often going to disagree on key issues. Though the ninety-nine percent we do agree on can all but get lost in the shuffle over the one percent we don't agree on.

What is crucial as we take in the news is the paradigm out of which we are evaluating it. The question we need to ask ourselves is: Just how Biblical is my paradigm? Do we see all in light of the kingdom of God come in Jesus, in terms of the gospel of God's reconciling grace in Jesus, and according to the God who is love and has sent his Son in love for the world? Or do lesser factors determine much of our thinking in regard to this? Though some such factors do have some value. We have to weigh all of that in the light of Scripture with the help of the Holy Spirit, not only by ourselves, but from others who will help us see more than we could see on our own.

We don't want to get drowned over much news. Some will want to take in more than others, of course. And we need to be those who are steady in God's word, and endeavoring to walk truer and truer in the truth as it is in Jesus. So that in Jesus by grace we can be more and more a part of God's work in this world.

What do you think of the news? Does it get you down? How do you evaluate it? Or do you simply avoid it? Is that good? Why or why not?


Anonymous said...

i guess that most people like to hear the stories about other people, events, sports and such.

some reporters and writers do a better job than others, as well as certain magazines, papers, web pages and the like.

you are right in that it is next to impossible to get the true facts about anything that is reported.

so with what we have to work with, it can be a bit discouraging to those that pay attention and are trying to find out the truth of a matter.

i myself step very lightly across the stories that are reported.

i think that i am always in the world, and God is righ there being in the world with me.

as for not being a part of the world, i think that this is the act of my recognition that i belong to God and not to the world. to remember who i belong to and act accordingly.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Good words, nAncY.

I'm not saying that we can't get a trustworthy account of the news. Subjectivity is part of being human. I look for sources that try to give a balanced view on controversial matters, and avoid those who don't. Of course even that is from a judgment based on our own subjectivity. But so it goes, and that is life.

Anonymous said...

if we look for writers that consistantly report on things in a more balanced way and try to be fair to the reader, then one can read that, and also read a couple of others.

the main reason to see things in a balanced way, is to try to keep a balance on the truth of what we are seeing.

and yet a lot of what we see is not what we would like to see, for we have a desire for rightousness.

sometimes when we read or watch what is going on in the world, it is even more important to remember who we belong to.
like you say...that is the balance maker for our views.
because we can easily get caught up in something and forget to walk in the light as we do it.
i think that we can be involved in what is going on in the news only if we take God with us.

can you imagine what God would say as a reporter of the news?

what do you think that He would be saying about the events taking place? what would He be saying to his children and disciples?

if we paid as much attention to God as we do to the news...

which, i think, is what you were saying in your post.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Interesting points, nAncY. And I think I track with you.

I think you can look at Scripture to see what God might say about present day events, and about all else going on, in our churches and in our lives. God is not just about reporting facts, but about bringing his shalom, through his kingdom in Jesus, to all.