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 http://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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Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
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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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Download the Free Study Guide!
God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
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Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
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Running Time: 130 minutes
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A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
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