Monday, July 07, 2008

The Church in the Matrix

Tullian Tchividjian passed along some info about the new documentary being developed around David Wells's book, The Courage to Be Protestant. The project is called The Church in the Matrix:
The American Evangelical church met the culture….and the culture won.

In spite of the vitality of its institutions and the size of its churches, there are signs of trouble. Having lost its cultural influence, it is now losing its young. Even more telling is its weakened spiritual identity. Distinguished evangelical theologian and cultural analyst David Wells asks, “Western culture is changing profoundly and that is raising a critical question: will the evangelical church continue to stumble amidst the affluence and brilliant technology of the West of will it once again find its ancient soul, but learn to speak with a contemporary voice?”

The Church in the Matrix is a series of probing studies that explores how the matrix of culture is eroding historic, biblical Christianity. It offers practical guidance that combines culture wisdom with biblical faithfulness. It is plain talk visually illustrated. It includes a five-part DVD documentary and discussion guide, The Church in the Matrix Study Bible, The Church in the Matrix Guide for Young Adults, and The Church in the Matrix Electronic Resource Library. The project will also include a series of Town Hall conversations hosted by key churches across the United States.

Based on Well’ new book, The Courage to be Protestant, this curriculum visually summarizes five cultural challenges to historic, biblical orthodoxy. Each 20 minute video will describe one of these challenges, illustrate it in a given location, and raise questions for small groups to explore further how the cultural patterns is influencing their thoughts, lives, and worship. The video lectures will show as much as tell, raise questions as much as give answers. The aim is for the viewer to wrestle with the implications of living a biblically faithful life in the midst of a contemporary culture. The material will also provide invaluable lessons from the American church’s confrontation with (post)modernity for the fast growing churches of Africa and Asia.

Partnering with the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and Thomas Nelson Publishers, the Matrix project is above all a hearts and mind campaign for the soul of the evangelical church. Dr. John Seel is the executive producer of the project. Jack Hafer, president of Boulevard Pictures, and Brian Godawa, Hollywood screenwriter and director, complete the development and production team.