Case in Point

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This blog site will feature essays, columns and musings that deal with the intersection of Christianity and journalism and the American Songbook.

Christian journalist: The burden of a Christian in the newsroom?

Listen below.

When the Christian journalist reports the truth of a given situation, the reaction to that reporting is for another calling to make (unless one has been called to be an opinion writer). Critical to this understanding of journalism is the biblical sense of what we Calvinists call “sphere sovereignty” and Roman Catholics sometimes call “subsidiary.” That is, each sphere of life has its own distinct responsibilities and competencies, and each sphere stands equal to other spheres of life (Matt. 22:21). Christians believe in an all-encompassing created order, designed and governed by a sovereign God. This created order includes many societal communities and their abiding norms, such as communities for education, worship, civil justice, agriculture, economy and labor, marriage and family, artistic expression, journalism, etc. We Christians need to affirm and respect these creational boundaries, and historical differentiation.

No one area of life is sovereign over another. Each sphere has its own created integrity. After all, if God created everything “after its own kind” (Gen. 1:24), diversity must be acknowledged and appreciated. For instance, the different God-given norms for family life and economic life should be recognized, and thus a family does not properly function like a business, or visa versa. Similarly, neither should a journalistic vocational calling with its creational and historical norms (i.e., American media vs. European media) function like a pastoral vocational calling with its norms. Christian journalists are not Christian pastors.

As long as the Christian journalist respects the committment to a biblical anthropology, epistemology and metaphysics, then honest reporting will take care of itself and the fallout will be another’s responsibility.

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