Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

“In the beginning…the Word was God”

Written by: on April 18, 2013

Murray Jardine, in his book The Making and Unmaking of Technological Society: How Christianity Can Save Modernity from Itself (The Christian Practice of Everyday Life), argues that the values found within Christianity have not kept up with modern technological advances thereby creating a moral crisis within society.  This moral crisis includes consumerism, marital dissolutions, and a variety of other societal ills.  However, as Christianity is arguable the source of modern science and technology, a deeper understanding of these may be found in within Christianity.  The Protestant ethic has spurred Christians to create more and more “stuff” while at the same time emphasizing the ethic of moderation.  Marriages have followed a market philosophy in the way we pick, choose, discard, repeat.  One solution Jardine envisions as a solution to these problems is that of creating new spaces where face-to-face interaction occurs, more leisure time happens and a return to the ethic of unconditional love and compassion occurs.  In his discussion of the face-to-face interaction he explains, “we live in a culture that is extremely visually oriented and relatively closed to the sound-dimension of human experience. Thus it is essential, if we are to develop a moral sense that can enable us to deal with technology, that we recapture a much richer sense of what we are doing when we speak and listen to other human beings. This in turn implies that we must rebuild local communities characterized by face-to-face contact—that is, where speaking becomes a more central part of daily life …” (25)

Specifically, I would like to discuss his concept of speaking. We know that words are powerful and can be the catalyst for things beautiful and frightening.  Biblical scriptures mention the power in speech.  Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”  And John 1:1 states, “In the beginning … the Word was God.” This scripture continues to explain that the word became flesh.  Although many would agree that this scripture is speaking of Jesus, it is interesting to think about why the word “Word” is used in this scripture. The Greek translation for “word” in this scripture is “logos” meaning –  a word, speech, divine utterance, analogy. How do our own words become god and then manifest in our life, impacting ourselves as well as others? 

I would like to take Jardine’s thoughts on the importance of face-to face interactions to a level beyond solely communicating through speech.  In my own research I explore created spaces using music instead of words in order to transcend boundaries of language.  Specifically, I am interested in how these spaces work towards interfaith peacebuilding.  When we describe our words as “God’s words” and those words create contradictory statements, it is sometimes hard to move forward in relationship.  However, music is a universal language.  Even the tones – minors and majors – can create similar emotions in people from different cultures.  Within the music, a spiritual space wherein what has been described as “a dialogue of souls” begins.  Somehow the deeper ethics of unconditional love and compassion seem to dissolve the differences in doctrines; and in this space, if only for a song, community thrives.

About the Author


Leave a Reply