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How should Christians use Google to preach the Gospel?

Have you seen Current TV yet? Although not on all cable and satellite networks just yet, Current TV represents a paradigm shift in how we will see television. Viewers upload their short less-than-ten-minute-long documentaries to the Current TV website. Viewers then vote on what “pods” should be broadcast on cable television.

You can see where this is headed when you realize that Google just bought YouTube.com and it soon vaulted to one of the top ten ranked websites. The way we will view television in a few years may be based on RSS “feeds” rather than a schedule of programs on certain channels. TiVo and other DVR cable and satellite services are part of this shift. In a short time, you will be able to view a channel that has both video on demand and scheduled programming.

A friend of mine recently responded to my gushing over the ability to create a Forerunner TV channel using YouTube as a host.

“How should Christians use Google to preach the Gospel?” he asked.

I first assumed he meant that Google is evil and I shouldn’t publish my videos there. Later I found out it was a sincere question. Most likely I took a defensive posture because I know all too well that most media conglomerates don’t promote anything like a Christian agenda. I’ve had similar comments about the recent monetization of the Forerunner.com website. Since 1996, I had just plain text on most pages. Now Google ads, DVD ads, and embedded YouTube videos abound. Some claim to be offended by the overt commercialization of the site. Google also pays me a few hundred dollars a month for the Google Ads you see on nearly every page on the https://www.forerunner.com website.

It does cost money to do all this and after all is said and done, I’d like to do much better than break even. My goal is to have a great impact for the Gospel through the media and to do that, I need to increase our budget.

Why should I use the Internet? Why should I use video at all? Should Christians not use the media? In my view, not using Google’s new services would be like having a Christian TV station that doesn’t broadcast. Podcasts and feeds are the direction in which all media is headed. I would be foolish not to go that way too.

Since 1993, I’ve had a dream to produce a weekly web-based television program. The technology to do this has been available for years. However, in the last year or so we have turned the corner. Already the number of people viewing video blogs and web based TV channels is in the tens of millions.

The reasons I decided to use YouTube to take advantage of this phenomenon:

1. YouTube is free. You can register and start podcasting your videos in just a few minutes.
2. It is one of the highest ranked websites on the Internet.
3. So many people are viewing videos on YouTube that it has created V-log stars overnight.
4. Some Podcasts are viewed by more people than most successful television shows.
5. Google is exploding right now and I intend to ride the Google bubble until it bursts.
6. It takes a lot of server space and extra money to stream large video files from my own site.
7. The traffic I get on YouTube is tremendous compared to the same videos posted on my own web pages.

If you decide to do your own Podcast in audio or video format, you will want to use a service that publishes and promotes your Podcast. You will get a larger, more immediate audience.

I began to realize the obvious only within the last few months. I was stuck in the 1996 Internet paradigm and I’ve just now begun to make the shift.

I publish my own RSS feeds, but I would have to do an incredible amount of advertising in order to equal what I get just by being on YouTube. In fact, my plan is to publish everything both at my website and through secondary RSS feed sites.

I use Google to publish my Blog at Blogger.com. The RSS feed is served from my website, but gets indexed faster and ranked higher if I publish it via Google.

I am looking at publishing my Podcasts to Apple ITunes as well — for all the same reasons. The idea is to take advantage of all media that is available to reach the most people.

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

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Running Time: 145 minutes

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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.

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Abortion Clinic 911 Calls (DVD)

Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!

These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.

Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.

Watch these pro-life videos on-line.

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— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

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