In HOPE 7.5                                  back to home                        David Timms

Ministry Resource

Ever wondered how technology might be shaping our values, worldview, faith, and churches? Building on the prophetic work of Marshall McLuhan in the 1960s and 1970s, Shane Hipps writes a provocative and powerful analysis of our techno-culture. McLuhan's maxim that "the medium is the message" challenges those of us who immerse ourselves indiscriminately in the latest gadgetry.

Hipps builds on McLuhan's philosophical work. He lays out a compelling and unsettling proposition: over time, the way we communicate dramatically affects our message. 

This book is an eye-opener and page-turner. It throws down the gauntlet to any of us who believe that we can use any medium without changing the message. The implications for the gospel and the church are enormous.

The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture, Zondervan, 2005 (176 pages).

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831

"When Jesus approached Jerusalem,
He saw the city and wept over it ...." (Luke 19:41)

Before the Altar

Centuries before Christ, the prophet Joel looked around and saw drought, locust plagues, famine, and destruction at every turn. The land of Israel was anything but "flowing with milk and honey." Misery and anguish afflicted the people of God. 

Throughout his prophetic word Joel called the priests to mourn and lament (1:9, 13). "Let the priests, the Lord's ministers, weep between the porch and the altar" (2:17).

The priests were not to blame for the devastation, but Joel understood that the Lord responds to their grief and intercession. "Then the Lord will be zealous for His land, and will have pity on His people" (2:18).

Who knows the mind of God? Who understands His heart? Who can explain why the tears of the priests should move Him?

The Lord invited Israel to "return to Me with all your heart" (2:12). But in the meantime, the priestly function -- to stand between God and the people as grieving mediators -- apparently made a difference.

In all likelihood, few of us have read through Joel's prophecy in recent times. His short book hardly makes priority reading for New Covenant people. But we should not dismiss his words too quickly or too lightly.

The Apostle Peter describes us as "a holy priesthood" and "a royal priesthood" (1 Peter 2:5, 9). St. John saw God building us into a "kingdom of priests" (Revelation 1:6). And it begs the question: What do priests now do, without burnt offerings to sacrifice or temple areas to maintain?

Among their duties, they weep.

They grieve over a world devastated by spiritual drought, poverty, oppression, conflict, and destruction. They lament communities where children are abandoned, neglected, and abused. They mourn for marriages and families collapsing under raised voices, harsh words, cruel taunts and strained conversations. They stand before the altar with broken hearts and pray earnestly.

Priests are needed more than ever.

We are needed, not to solve the problems but to present them to the Father with the very same brokenness that He Himself feels for His fallen children. We are needed, even when no-one can explain how our tears move the heart of God.

Our complacency or exhaustion prefers to avoid the lamentable realities of our day. Our priestly calling thrusts us into the fray. "Then the Lord will be zealous for His land, and will have pity on His people."




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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.