My blog post of three days ago “When did evangelicals get popes” (http://wp.me/p2Gq9e-kb) has generated more hits in less time than any post I have put up before now. Apparently, however, I don’t exactly have my facts straight…
Someone in North Point’s media team is demanding a retraction for three things: 1) They do not have a holographic Andy. 2) They do not have security for holographic Andy and 3) They actually do develop lots of preachers, as Andy isn’t the only one preaching. I do want to be fair, so let me retract each of these inaccuracies with the care I was accused of not giving:
1) No hologram: I was told by a seminary professor who sat in the front row at the North Point main campus one Sunday that the video at North Point has Andy in “a holograph so lifelike that they have security to keep people from going on stage to play with it…it took a million dollar investment from a former CNN employee.” This was also described as “holographic” on multiple media outlets (Slate, CNN, MSN). Apparently Andy is actually broadcast on a very high definition giant screen in 2D. According to North Point’s media corporation website, “It …portrays the communicator in life like proportion – literally walking back and forth about 6′ tall.” This was mistaken by my acquaintance, CNN, Slate and MSN as “holographic 3D,” …but is in no way like what they did with Tupac at Coachella, which has been described as “lifelike” and “literally walking back and forth.” Henceforth I shall refer to this technology as “lifelike, super-high def Andy.” It is interesting that this person made no mention of my million-dollar figure.
2) No security. The person demanding the retraction did confirm the North Point does have “ushers” that protect the front of the stage and prevent people from going on stage with the non-holographic but utterly lifelike, super-high def Andy. But NO security.
3) North Point actually does develop preaching leaders. Since real Andy is not the only one on the preaching rota, they are not failing in my actual argument – that video-venue is idolatrously man-centric, GMO crop-like dangerous in its lack of diversity, and fails to develop other preaching voices, making it a long-range train wreck for the Church. According to North Point’s Wikipedia article there are 41 churches and “strategic partners” in the US and abroad. From a survey of 9 of those “partners” websites, part of being a partner is video-Andy. So we have 41 facilities with “site pastors” all watching Andy (or the other select few on the rota) preach. However, I am assured, this IS developing preaching voices just as if each of those 41 churches had 41 preachers preaching their own messages each week. Yeah, that math makes sense to me.
North Point’s strength has been its ability to poke fun at itself (“Sunday Morning” parody & the ipod band). I was thinking that NP would be the video-venue church that with the ability to be self-reflective. Perhaps my critique hit a bit too close to home. At least North Point is reading stuff other than their own. I have suspicions the others I named don’t read anything not written by themselves. But perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps we aren’t just watching Big Brother? Perhaps Big Brother is watching us too?
Whether or not andy is in 3D or 2, I still maintain that the video-venue church is like the really pretty girl with tons of issues. You know you shouldn’t date her, you know it won’t end well, but you can’t help yourself, she is just so darn attractive you can’t say no.