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Gospel DRM? January 16, 2007

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Church, Communication, DRM, Religion, Religion, Philosophy, and Science, Security, Theology.

Monday night, several friends from church were talking about church growth, technology, and other issues, and one of them mentioned Napster and people stealing content. One of the industry responses to this is Digital Rights Management, or “DRM.” Lots of tech people hate DRM, for various reasons, but a common mantra is “information wants to be free.”


Call Your Broker
Later in the discussion, we were talking about how first Abraham, the the Scribes & Phrarisees, then Constantine and the early church, the Catholic church, and recently Protestants have tried to “Broker God.”

“Hi! I’m Tim, and I’ll be your God broker. You want to know what God says, just ask me! I’m your exclusive channel to God, 24 hours a day!”

It occurred to me that this is the role that radio stations and record companies have played in the music industry. They preview what’s available, decide what’s good, and then broadcast it. If they don’t like it, it doesn’t get played. Interestingly, the Baptist theology of “Priesthood of the Believer” runs counter to the notion of brokering God. That hasn’t kept us (Baptists) from getting in on the fun.

DRM: Deity Rights Management
In sharp contrast, indie labels find artists that wouldn’t get airplay, and now push them out through non-traditional channels like iTunes, YouTube, and viral marketing. What does this mean for the church? Well, it appears (from looking at history) that God won’t be brokered, so does that mean He’s going to “go indie”? What are the channels that God will use (GodTube or HeTunes)? How will His content spill out into the world? How should/could/can the modern play a role in that?

Or, will the church (as it exists today) be left hanging, fighting tooth and nail for relevance, while the world moves on (and not necessarily away from God), screaming “YOU NEED US”? What comes next?


1. cumby - January 16, 2007

An interesting analogy because it joins my two favorites; God and music. God always reveals Himself to those who seek Him while avoiding those who try to package and sell Him.

2 Peter 2:3 “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not.”

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