[Y]?: A Magazine for Young People

Creating Interest in the Arts & the Media

Stephen Bau
Oct 10, 2018 · 24 min read

I am looking back over 50 years of my life, growing up evangelical in Canada. In the early years, I felt confused and fearful. Now I am disgusted and angry, coming to terms with a social identity that is unravelling in light of a growing awareness of a wider reality, an evolving perspective as I try to compare my point of view to the lived experiences of others.

Prepared for

Dr. Geraldine Forsberg
Professor of Communications
Trinity Western University

Prepared by

Stephen Bau
Trinity Western University
December 7, 1992

Memorandum

Here is the business proposal you requested November 23.

In class, you mentioned your desire, as Associate Director of the Institute of Communication, to find and encourage Christians committed to developing greater involvement of the Church in the arts and media and determined to develop ways in which to influence those working in mass communication and cultural professions. I have been wanting to address that problem for a long time, but I felt that I was not in a position to persuade others of the relevance of this problem or to effectively present a possible solution. Your request for a presentation of such a proposal renewed my interest in a personal project that I had placed on the shelf for some future time when I thought I might have the resources to consider it realistically.

One of my goals has been to be able to reach young people with the Gospel in a way that would provoke them to think seriously about the way they view the world, and, furthermore, to encourage them to develop their God-given potential as creative human beings — that is, to pursue careers in the arts and media. My proposal outlines my idea to produce a magazine, directed toward young people, that would both provoke serious though and encourage involvement in the arts and media.

Incidentally, I am presently considering whether a B.A. with a major in Communication might be more or less helpful in reaching my goal of reaching youth than simply taking the initiative to undertake the project I have in mind. At this time, though, my ideas are only starting to crystallize. My idea needs a great deal more planning since the following proposal merely outlines problems and needs, and makes only possible suggestions as to how it might be implemented.

I appreciate the opportunity to present my ideas and welcome any comments or suggestions you might have. Thank you.

Executive Summary

This paper constitutes a proposal to establish a periodical publication or magazine, as a forum for an interactive discussion of issues and ideas, addressing the interests, needs, and concerns of high school students, with a particular focus on the arts and the mass media.

The Problem

Christians seem to have avoided involvement and participation in the media in any form other than self-pronounced critic and judge. In addition, they are generally ignorant of or indifferent toward the arts. As a result of the church’s withdrawal from the arts and the media, Christians have responded by establishing their own cultural ghettos, characterized by a pervasive “mediocrity” (Schaeffer, Franky 41) that does little to persuade a skeptical and rationalistic Western culture of Christianity’s relevance and reality in the world.

The Proposal

I propose a magazine that might provide both an outlet for artists, poets and writers, and a forum for an interactive discussion of issues. I stress the importance of the interactive aspect of the medium because I believe that such interaction may better reveal the interests, needs, and concerns of the readers so that the editors can alter the format and content of the magazine to reflect those interests, needs, and concerns. As the magazine I envision may not necessarily be targeted toward Christian young people but to young people in general, the responsibility of the editors, then, would be to direct the flow of the discussion and arrange the content toward views consistent with the Word of God.

Introduction

Christians have generally been ineffective in participating in the arts and media and in influencing those who work in these fields. I believe this is a result of a number of problems which are all linked in some way to the neglect of the real needs of young people.

In trying to address those needs, I have come up with an idea to give young people a forum in which they can express their needs, interests, and concerns, to provide an outlet for young artists, poets, and writers, and to present issues and ideas in a way that juxtaposes the presuppositions of popular pragmatic relativism with those of a Christian moral framework. I hope that through the process of communicating among themselves with Christian editors acting as gatekeepers, young people might begin to think critically about the world in which they live, to better understand the basics of the Christian faith, and to realize their potential as future leaders in the arts and media.

Purpose, Scope, and Limitations

The purpose of this report is to analyze the general culture’s and the Church’s attitudes toward the arts and media, to identify the specific needs of young people, and to suggest one way in which those needs might be met: a youth magazine as a means of provoking an interactive discussion, or forum of issues and ideas related to a Christian moral framework, and developing thoughtful and motivated youth with the potential of becoming tomorrow’s leaders in the arts and media.

Sources and Methods

I have drawn upon various sources concerning Christianity and culture, the present cultural Dark Age, public relations theory, public education, social communication in advertising, and youth culture. These sources are quoted here to provide a broad base of opinion on problems related to youth and popular culture, from which I have drawn conclusions as to the need for the magazine I propose.

Report Organization

This report outlines the problems that have resulted in a general lack of effective Christian influence and involvement in the arts and media, proposes a youth magazine as one idea toward solving those problems, and addresses questions concerning the establishment of such a magazine including the need or demand for it; its intended audience; the content; the frequency of publication; its distribution; and the funding and resources for its production and printing.

Problems

“The present chasm between the generations has been brought about almost entirely by a change in the concept of truth” (Schaeffer, Francis A. 1:5). That is, from an epistemology based on presuppositions and antithesis to one based on pragmatic relativism. In popular culture, there is a ubiquitous denial of any moral absolutes on which to base one’s actions.

“The tragedy of our situation today is that men and women are being fundamentally affected by the new way of looking at truth, and yet they have never even analyzed the drift which has taken place. Young people from Christian homes are brought up in the old framework of truth. Then they are subjected to the modern framework. In time they become confused because they do not understand the alternatives with which they are being presented. Confusion becomes bewilderment, and before long they are overwhelmed. This is unhappily true not only of young people, but of many pastors, Christian educators, evangelists and missionaries as well.

“So this change in the concept of the way we come to knowledge and truth is the most crucial problem, as I understand it, facing Christianity today” (Schaeffer, Francis A. 1:5–6).

General Attitudes toward the Arts

“The biggest problem is one of attitude: the arts are considered a nicety rather than a necessity. In schools, they’re typically window dressing: marching bands and colourful drawings. The pity of this is that children don’t arrive at school thinking they can’t sing or dance or draw — they’re taught those lessons. Too many elementary schools level rather than promote creativity, as in, ‘That is not how you draw a horse.’ By high school, where less than one fifth of students enrol in arts classes, the emphasis is on performance, geared to those considered ‘talented’ — effectively shutting out or turning off the majority. Yet at perhaps no other time has arts education been more important: apart from its obvious benefits, it produces critical thinkers. And in all the recent furor over what constitutes ‘art,’ critical thinking has been in short supply” (Ames 40).

Christian Attitudes toward the Arts and Media

Christians seem to have avoided involvement and participation in the media in any form other than self-pronounced critic and judge. In addition, they are generally ignorant of or indifferent toward the arts. As a result of the church’s withdrawal from the arts and the media, Christians have responded by establishing their own cultural ghettos, characterized by a pervasive “mediocrity” (Schaeffer, Franky 41) that does little to persuade a skeptical and rationalistic Western culture of Christianity’s relevance and reality in the world.

The Christian Cultural Ghetto

“Distorted echoes of a now pacified Christianity ring out in an electronic clarion call to middle America. These churches are the elevator music of religion, the counselling rooms in which the latest psycho-babble is used to assuage the anxieties of the pre- and post-mid-life crises menopausal congregation. They provide childcare facilities to assist families in staying apart. In Christian bookstores, greeting cards and wall plaques decorated with pious sayings compete for space with the latest cassette tape wisdom of the local Protestant ‘pope’ of the superchurch ministry outreach, worldwide international evangelism, counseling/suicide prevention hotline, daycare, elementary school, high school, senior citizen center, Bible school, fund raising, youth center, parking lot ghetto. If these churches were food, they would have a shelf life of one hundred years — all sugar and preservatives, the two basic evangelical fundamentalist intellectual food groups. They are giant cash registers in which sham pearls are fed to the enlightened who in turn excrete money to feed the machine. Here, the artist has as much chance of thriving as the plastic plants do in the artificial lighting of the ‘sanctuary’” (Schaeffer, Franky 7).

Entertainment Without “Salt”

“Modern Christendom’s exodus from the arts and entertainment has had at least three results: first, the development of an isolated Christian subculture, devoid of creativity, expression, and relevance; second, the development of modern arts and entertainment bereft of Christian, and thus moral, influence; and third, the tendency to shoot ourselves in the foot regarding the power of the arts and entertainment as a tool for spreading the Gospel of Christ.

“Historically, it has been artists, not the philosophers themselves, who have spread ideas to the masses. Thus, although Aquinas and others provided the intellectual fuel for Renaissance humanism (thirteenth to seventeenth centuries), it was the painters and writers like Van Eyck and Dante of the following few centuries who popularize humanistic thinking.

“Today’s ‘prophets’ are primarily musicians and film/TV makers who are taking full advantage of these popular media to spread their brand of ‘gospel.’ In regard to film and TV, there has developed a “Hollywood Elite” that has a near stanglehold on what is produced and aired on TV or shown in theaters. This has been accomplished through the consolidation of ownership, management, and creative talent of the mjority of motion picture studios and television networks into the hands of a few.

“This is not the result of conspiracy or for the express purpose of attaching the church, but rather the filling of a void. The entertainment void must be filled — if not by Christians, then by others. That is exactly what has happened. Entertainment, with little or no influence of ‘salt’ and ‘light,’ has not only worsened following the influence of humanism’s vice-like grip on the general culture, but has been on the cutting edge, indoctrinating the population as the values (or more properly, the non-values) of secular humanism.

“…We must encourage talented Christians to become part of the motion picture industry, creating alternatives and influencing others to do likewise” (Thompson).

Young People Not Being Reached by the Church

“A major denominational survey reported that within two years of High School graduation, 96 percent of churched teens leave the church. Less than 30 percent ever return. (Research Ministries Report, November 1987) Conservative churches are claiming to impact less than 7 percent of the current teen population.… These statistics rather than leading us to despair can motivate us to see the incredible potential. First, as young people are experiencing deeper challenges, they need more committed youth leadership. Many young people today believe there are no answers for their problems and, although they are hurting on the inside, appear to be cold and indifferent. George Gallup concluded in 1982, ‘Teens of our generation are looking for a cause to follow.… One not only to die for, but one to live for. There is a tremendous spiritual hunger being unmet.’ Second, what shows up best in darkness? You are right. Light. You have been called, by God, to take ‘His light’ to this generation, with the goal of making a difference now and forever! Let’s let God’s light shine through us” (Garda 4).

Youth Neglected or Ignored

“How do we respond to youth today? Often we take an unbelieving posture, looking upon young people as spiritually inferior, incapable of discerning truth, and not reliable enough to be entrusted with anything significant for God. It is possible that in our pride we have failed to see what is frighteningly obvious to the powers of darkness?

“The enemy is using every possible means of delusion to fill the spiritual void in this generation. The spiritual void is there because we fail to communicate the truth about who God is. Coupled with that, we are not seeing the God-given spiritual capacity within the youth of today. God’s intention is that they might have opportunity to fulfill His purposes and be significant partners with us in His command to complete the Great Commission.

“The statistics on abortion, child abuse, drug addiction, etc. among young people have been quoted time and time again. Much as been written concerning the war that is on against children. Who is it that is going to win over the hearts, imaginations, and allegiances of our young people? If we fail to present them with the truth and do no communicate the excitement and fulfillment found in knowing God, then we have failed miserably. Where are the Esthers, Daniels, Davids, and Gideons of our day? I believe they are there waiting for someone to seek them out, express belief in them, and give them opportunities in leadership. If we don’t challenge our young people, there are many from the enemy’s camp who will throw down the gauntlet for their cause.

“More than thirty percent of the world’s population today are youth under the age of fifteen. Increasingly, we are finding our methods of evangelism outmoded and out-dated. We must look now to the potential leaders in our midst and challenge them with the evangelization of their own generation and the unsurpassable excitement and fulfillment of being those who know their God and are able to do mighty exploits. God is for them. Are we?” (Kauffman).

Technology Changing Education

Classical methods of teaching are becoming obsolete as television preempts the classroom.

“We face the rapid dissolution of the assumptions of an education organized around the slow-moving printed word, and the equally rapid emergence of a new education based on the speed-of-light electronic image. The classroom is, at the moment, still tied to the printed word, although that connection is rapidly weakening. Meanwhile, television forges ahead, making no concessions to its great technological predecessor, creating new conceptions of knowledge and how it is acquired. One is entirely justified in saying that the major educational enterprise now being undertaken in the United States is not happening in its classrooms but in the home, in front of the television set, and under the jurisdiction not of school administrators and teachers but of network executives and entertainers. I don’t mean to imply that the situation is a result of a conspiracy or even that those who control television want this responsibility. I mean only to say that, like the alphabet or the printing press, television has by its power to control the time, attention and cognitive habits of our youth gained the power to control their education” (Postman 145).

“Our schools have not yet even got around to examining the role of the printed word in shaping our culture. Indeed, you will not find two high school seniors in a hundred who could tell you — within a five-hundred-year margin of error — when the alphabet was invented. I suspect most do not even know that the alphabet was invented. I have found that when the question is put to them, the appear puzzled, as if one had asked, When were trees invented, or clouds?” (Postman 162).

The Role of Advertising in the Socialization of Children

“The question of greatest societal import that advertising raises are best summed up in disputes about the industry’s role in the socialization of children. The issues — which emerge in clear relief because the audience is still in a process of formation and occupies an uncertain position in the population of consumers — touch on all of the three domains to which we have called attention in this chapter: first, the stereotyped and unrealistic representations common in children’s advertising can become templates that shape children’s social attitudes and development, particularly in the way they interact with their peers and parents; second, the commercialization of programming has profoundly influenced the quality and emphasis of children’s television; and third, the industrial sectors (toys, snacks, and cereal manufacturers) with interests in children’s marketing are very limited. In short, the fundamental issue at stake is the flow of culture to children.

“To date, we have dealt with this issue in only a piecemeal way. For example, we fully recognize that television is the dominant children’s medium of communication, largely because American snack, soft-drink, cereal, and toy manufacturers are willing to spend approximately one billion dollars annually in the United States to support children’s advertising and marketing promotions through television. We have no estimates of how much the advertising subsidy contributes to the channeling of children’s cultural production effort into television alone, or how successful similarly low-cost books, movies, or radio programs would be in the children’s market. Certainly, the evidence suggests that limits on commercial time or attempts to ban advertising in particular time slots (especially Saturday mornings) are likely to fail in the current broadcasting environment. Besides, this approach does not recognize that children watch adult programming and advertising at least as much as they watch children’s programming. As a TV station owner bragged in an interview: ‘I have the largest share of the children’s audience because I never run children’s programs.’ Likewise, it would be easy to open up new children’s ‘ghettos’ (such as weekday mornings), provided the advertising revenue was there. indeed, syndication and licensing arrangements are making the network broadcast self-regulation increasingly inconsequential to children’s marketing. Similarly, attempts to restrict particular types of testimonials for products by the characters in children’s programs have been undermined by a new marketing strategy in which the program is itself the advertisement (for example, ‘Gem’ or ‘Transformers’). Even attempts to ban advertising to children altogether, as in Québec, have been undermined by the transmission, by cable, of uncensored foreign broadcasting into the regulated environment. The real problem is that the child’s socialization is formulated within a wide cultural kaleidoscope, and in order to be effective our policy formulations must address the entire realm of commercially mediated culture, not just the part of it represented by advertisements” (Leiss, Kline & Jhally 387–8).

A Place for the Arts in Christianity

“Knowing humankind so well, Jesus, our Creator, gave us the model for effective communication. The model is in the way He spoke. Fifty percent of Jesus’ sayings which we have recorded in the New Testament are structured Hebrew poems.… And Jesus laced them with dozens of familiar verbal metaphors. This figurative language, such as the ‘bushel basket,’ the ‘light on the hill,’ the ‘treasure,’ or the ‘rocky soil,’ created instant images in the mind, and vivid meanings in each Jewish heart. Jesus was an artist! He saw and communicated truth by means of images. His imagery captures our emotions as well as our intellect … making heart-changing impact.

“Since metaphor is the essential nature of all the arts, Jesus’ poetic model can be expanded to include drama, designs, dance, and other art forms across the world, opening up these already-existing pathways of communication to the influence and use of the Gospel.

“Western mass media technology, now circling the globe, is another arena for Christians to acknowledge indigenous communication styles. National Christians must create culturally-relevant media alternatives. In fact, they must become influential leaders in art, music, literature, television, and film production in their own urban centers. Christians should lead their society to adapt foreign art forms into their own cultural traditions in a healthy way, and speak out against harmful elements found in videos, movies, and music today.… If we expect to reach the world we cannot leave out the arts” (Totten).

The Need for a Democratic Forum in the Media

“The question of how well the media function under largely commercialized conditions is related to a number of our most cherished beliefs about democracy. With media output controlled by the audience logic of advertising, there is no real marketplace for ideas — that is, no public forum where widely different types of social actors can buy and sell information, opinion, and images that express their interests. One serious consequence flowing from advertising’s predominance in the media marketplace is that the combination of economic and audience logistics has led to a high degree of concentrated ownership and control in the media industries, prompting many commentators to ask whether diversity of views, quality of programming, and attention to minority interests or special audience needs have been sacrificed in the mad scramble for large or ‘upscale’ audiences.… Certainly, the transition from small and politically committed audiences for newspapers to massive general-interest ones was a by-product of commercialization. The light entertainment bias and other programming rigidities are all based on the competition for audiences within and among media; this affects public broadcasters as well because they must compete for audiences in order to justify receiving government funds” (Leiss, Kline & Jhally 384–5).

The Need for a Moral Imagination

“All great systems, ethical or political, attain their ascendancy over the minds of men by virtue of their appeal to the imagination; and when they cease to touch the chords of wonder and mystery and hope, their power is lost, and men look elsewhere for some set of principles by which they may be guided” (Russell Kirk qtd. in Colson 169).

“[T]he great contest in these declining years of the twentieth century is not for human economic interest, or for human political preferences, or even for human minds — not at bottom. The true battle is being fought in the Debatable Land of the human imagination. Imagination does rule the world” (Russell Kirk qtd. in Colson 171).

“[T]he moral imagination is more than rational. It is poetic, stirring long-atrophied faculties of nobility, compassion, and virtue. Imagination is expressed through symbols, allegories, fables, and literary illustrations. Art in the service of the moral imagination can ennoble” (Colson 173).

“By appealing to the moral imagination, men and women … have been able to truly affect societal attitudes and alter the course of human events. And it is on this level that the battle for Western culture’s survival will be ultimately won or lost.… First, we must reassert a sense of shared destiny as an antidote to radical individualism.… Second, we must adopt a strong balanced view of the inherent dignity of human life.… Third, we must recover respect for tradition and history” (Colson 177–9).

Proposal: “[Y]?:” A Magazine for Young People

The magazine I envision would not be a solution to the problems mentioned above, but would merely attempt to fill a need of young people for a forum of ideas, to fill a need of the churches for a tool to establish a channel of communication between the Christian community and the local youth culture, and to fill a need in the arts and media for leaders who can bring us out of the cultural Dark Age. The idea, ultimately, is to promote interaction between the generations and between Christians and non-Christians, as well as among the youth themselves. In this way, Christians might be drawn out of their cultural ghettos to participate in the world around them and, hopefully, to spread the light of Christ.

I have tentatively titled the magazine, [Y]?: Magazine, (that is, “Why?” Magazine) so that even it its name it would begin by asking the most fundamental question of life, and a question that probably all of us have irritatingly and persistently inquired our parents throughout childhood. Somewhere, between childhood and adulthood, some of us stop asking the question, Why?, having tacitly and, perhaps, unconsciously, accepted the assumptions we already hold. Challenging or reaffirming those assumptions would be the primary purpose for this publication.

The Intended Audience of the Magazine

Since the magazine is intended to be an interactive discussion, the audience should ideally be those who create it: the young people. Practically, the audience needs to be narrowed down at least to those of a specific age group and geographic location. I would suggest, for reasons of financial constraints and logistics of distribution, that the audience be confined to senior high school students in the Greater Vancouver Region, at least initially, until the demand and funding allow for expansion to those in the rest of the Lower Mainland.

Interest and Demand for the Magazine

Dave Stevens, high school art, graphics, and design teacher at North Delta Secondary as well as a Christian {member of Surrey Vineyard), deals with young people on a daily basis and is just as concerned with the spiritual and emotional growth of these individuals as with their intellectual development.

Asking him whether there was a need for the magazine I propose, he agreed that high school students do need a forum in which they could express their ideas. The high school where he works does not offer students even the opportunity to be involved in a student newsletter or newspaper. There have been some students who started publishing limited runs of underground publications, but these only lasted for a short time. He added that teachers don’t normally see the reality — what the young people are really thinking and feeling. Individual expression is not usually the main concern of public secondary education, which is more interested in developing future workers, professionals and taxpayers. Thus, teenagers cannot usually vent individual expression in the classroom, and other areas of expression are severely limited in range of possible content and accessibility — school newspapers, annuals, etc. — the personal expression and discussion of views are not possible or are not the primary focus.

Content of the Magazine

Suppose the local youth culture was viewed as part of an organization, say, the general culture. That organization’s management, then, could include government and business, at the top of the hierarchy, and school boards, teachers, churches and parents at the lower management levels. [Y]?: Magazine’s major focus would be on the relationship between the church and youth as both relate to the arts and media. [Y]?: Magazine, then, might act like an internal publication in that organization for the purpose of improving relations between churches and young people. “Printed communication must take its place as a part of an overall program that also includes interpersonal communication, meetings, other media, and [youth] exposure to [church youth leaders].… In-house publications can do a lot of good work within an organization, but they can never take the place of person-to-person, [church-youth culture] relationships” (Baskin & Aronoff 276).

Similar to an inhouse publication, [Y]?: Magazine “should include lateral communication as a primary goal” (Baskin & Aronoff 277), and place a greater emphasis on upward communication in addition to a lesser emphasis on a downward communication. The present situation, in terms of communication with young people, leans almost entirely toward downward communication. A common complaint among teenagers is that no one seems to be listening to them, not their peers, not their parents, not their teachers, and definitely not the church. I’m afraid that churches have not made many attempts to sincerely listen to what youth have to say. It is no wonder that the church’s efforts to reach youth have been so feeble and ineffective. At the same time, it is not unusual that teenagers do not want to listen to adults about anything. But I would assume that to be a normal response to being ignored in the first place.

One way we might show that we are listening to youth would be to provide a forum for issues and ideas in which they have some interest or concern. Some examples might include issues of sexual morality, identity crises, loneliness, peer pressure, abortion and euthanasia, and other controversies, each perspective balanced by an alternative Christian viewpoint, expressed primarily in terms of rational argument than on biblical foundations. Also, popularly held ideas involving morality, human origins, television’s numbing effect on the mind, objectivity in the media, true democracy, could be challenged or discussed in the same way. These issues or ideas should provoke conversation and controversy among the youth, and with church youth leaders possibly getting involved in staging debates at high schools, they could provide a kind of gate keeping role in the discussions. [Y]?: Magazine could then become a means of advertising those events as well as other cultural events that might be taking place in the community.

To be successful, [Y]?: Magazine should always “identify, acknowledge, and stick to a purpose: serving [its] audience“ (Baskin & Aronoff 282). If its purpose is also listening to the youth, it must welcome, encourage, even plead for, submissions of essays, poetry, art, and photography from high school students.

Editorial and Production Staff

To maintain a Christian bias to the content of the magazine, the editors would obviously have to be Christians, and Christians with a high standard of excellence and integrity. Assistance might be drawn from local church youth leaders and other lay members. I, for one, would gladly accept a position as Art Director or Creative Director. In addition, individuals would be required to fill such positions as Editor, Director of Finances, Director of Marketing and Sales, Distribution and Circulation Manager, Production Manager, etc. While these positions should be filled by responsible Christian professionals, many other roles could be filled by youth themselves; in fact, this should be a major goal: to motivate young individuals by giving them challenging and rewarding positions of responsibility, giving theme a sense of ownership over their contributions to the project. These individuals need not be Christians — if they are not, all the better; under the influence of Godly leaders, they, hopefully, many not remain unbelievers.

Frequency of Magazine Publication

Content, staffing, and funding would all be factors in the rate of magazine distribution. Probably a bimonthly circulation would provide enough time for editors to collect submissions and other information, and for production artists to put together a presentable product.

Magazine Distribution and Circulation

Since its aim is to create in the youth culture a sincere determination to search for truth, and a desire for integrity and excellence in the arts, [Y]?: Magazine will want to attract as large an audience as possible. At the same time, funding will severely limit the number of units that can be produced at one time. Limiting circulation to the population of high school students in a specific region, for instance, the Greater Vancouver Region, might give a more realistic number of magazines to produce and distribute.

Funding and Resources for Production and Printing

Finding a consistent and reliable source of funding, as usual, would be the major problem in implementing this proposal.

Historically, the Church and Christians have been great patrons of the arts, but today, sadly, there seems to be a very small minority of Christians who would give artists encouragement even verbally, let alone practically and financially. The modern Church has long ignored the needs of artists. But the Church has been more than happy to exploit, for use in evangelical propaganda, the gifts of those artists who, in spite of a less than ideal atmosphere for creative self-expression, were still willing to offer whatever talents they had.

Approaching local church youth pastors and youth group leaders might be the first step in establishing support fo [Y]?: Magazine. These people might be the ones who would sacrifice some funding for their own programs if the magazine was to funded solely by local church organizations. At the same time, these youth leaders might also be the first people to see and reap the benefits of the proposed publication. The magazine is intended to reach those who usually do not feel comfortable in or are not attracted to the environment of a church building. It is also intended to be a means for youth leaders to reach out to the local youth culture, the majority of which, as mentioned before, is not being reached at all.

Perhaps, a small subscription fee could be requested for delivery to specific households. To place a price on each issue, though, might discourage some from buying and complicate methods of distribution; just how the money might be collected if magazines were distributed to high schools would present a problem.

The idea of selling advertising space to create revenue should not be considered as the primary means of funding [Y]?: Magazine. My objection to advertising is based on several reasons. First, advertising requires the expansion of the staff of the publication to facilitate the marketing and sale of ad space and the production of the ads themselves. Second, ads take up more space in the magazine, increasing the production costs of the publication, and, consequently, creating the need for greater revenue. Third, ads distract from the content, do not in any way add to the integrity and credibility of the messages, and fragment the pages so as to destroy continuity of communication. Furthermore, any kind of commercial sponsorship may provoke criticism of [Y]?: Magazine’s ability to present issues and ideas objectively and to provide relatively equal accessibility to a diversity of views. How, then, can it be objective if the Church is funding its production and distribution? Of course, it cannot be truly objective, but no medium is, except in degree of objectivity relative to others. [Y]?: Magazine should, though not overtly, reveal a bias toward the presuppositions of the Christian faith, but in a way that creates critical minds and ultimately changed hearts.

Conclusion

While funding of [Y]?: Magazine will be a major consideration, I believe that, if this proposal were to be implemented, this magazine would help to promote better relations between the church and youth, generate among young people a greater interest and appreciation of the arts, and provoke more serious discussions and develop a greater awareness of the power of the media and its role in social communication.

Works Consulted

  • Abegg, Jimmy. Interview re: Arts and the Church. Robert F. Darden, interviewer. The Door 124 (1992): 18–21.
  • Ames, Katrine. Why Jane Can’t Draw (or Sing, or Dance…) Newsweek 141.28 (Sept. 1990): 40–49.
  • Andrews, Patricia Hayes, John E. Baird, Jr. Communication for Business and the Professions. 5th ed. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown, 1992.
  • Bovée, Courtland L., John V. Thill. Business Communication Today. 2nd ed. New York: Random House, 1989.
  • Colson, Charles. Against the Night: Living in the New Dark Ages. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Servant, 1989.
  • Fulghum, Robert. “A Bag of Possibles and Other Matters of the Mind.” Newsweek 141.28 (Sept. 1990): 88–92.
  • Garda, David J. Foundations for Youth Ministry. 1989. 2nd ed. Wheaton, IL: Sonlife Ministries, 1990.
  • Jansen, Frank Kaleb. Target Earth. Kailue-Kona, Hawaii: University of the Nations & Global Mapping International, 1989.
  • Kauffman, Carol. “A Generation in the Gap.” Jansen 22–3.
  • Leiss, William, Stephen Kline, Sut Jhally. Social Communication in Advertising: Persons, Products & Images of Well-Being. 2nd ed. Scarborough, Ontario: Nelson, 1990.
  • Postman, Neil. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. New York: Penguin, 1985.
  • Redford, J.A.C. “A Call for Christian Arts Renaissance.” The Door 124 (1992): 22–25.
  • Schaeffer, Francis A. The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer: A Christian Worldview. 5 vols. 1982. 2nd ed. Westchester, Illinois: Crossway, 1990.
  • Schaeffer, Franky. Sham Pearls for Real Swine. Brentwood, Tennessee: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1990.
  • Schaeffer, Franky. Addicted to Mediocrity: 20th Century Christians and the Arts. Rev. ed. Westchester, Illinois: Crossway, 1985.
  • Thompson, Rick. “Entertainment.” Jansen 72–3.
  • Totten, Mary Lou. “Jesus Was a Poet.” Jansen 73.
  • anon. Letter. Wet Graffiti. Feb. 1991: 1.
Stephen Bau

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Designer, writer, educator, social architect, founder, Builders Collective, Leading with Design. https://stephenbau.com

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