In God's Name

Stephan Crasneanscki, ©2007
Update: For more information and for a six-minute trailer, visit www.elca.org/ingodsname.

I was browsing the ELCA website today and found a press release about a special entitled In God's Name that will air on CBS on Sunday, December 23.

This show will document 12 different religious leaders from around the world, each of them speaking about their faith and their faith-laden worldviews. It's a diverse list of people and faith traditions (including the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA), and I am beyond excited to watch it.

At other times I've openly bemoaned the skewed media perception of faith and religion, especially in terms of American Christianity. I do get tired of feeling that the media assumes Pat Robertson speaks for all Christians, or that the non-Pat-Robertson side of Christianity in America is easily represented by Catholic priests. This is quite the generalization, I know, but I feel that when you watch the
History Channel or CNN seek out a faith-viewpoint, more often than not you get either a spokesperson from the far Christian right or you get a Catholic priest. I honestly feel that a "mainline" perspective is often lacking.

This show, however, looks like it will bring a new and refreshing public face to faith in general and to Christianity. The Christian leaders in this special represent the Catholic Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Church of England, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Southern Baptist Convention. What a nice mix of Christian traditions and viewpoints!

I have high hopes for this special. Not only do the pictures on the website give me hope that it's going to be aesthetically pleasing, but also the vibe I get from reading the intent and synopsis of the special gives me hope that it can reveal some underlying truths about the profound power of faith-laden worldviews. In a world that more and more needs a renewal of hope, these faithful voices can remind us that God indeed is in the business of resurrection, renewal, and recreation.

Am I expecting too much from this show? Probably. But does it yet make me curiously excited? Without a doubt!

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us. May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him. (Psalm 67)

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