Posts Tagged ‘Interview’

My Review of Mediating Faith by Clint Schnekloth

Jen&Clint

I got to see Clint Schnekloth, author of Mediating Faith, in person for the first time in Houston last Thursday when he came to talk about his book. He even let me interview him for the Life & Liberty podcast! Click the photo to go to Life & Liberty for our audio interview which is about 30 minutes.

Let it be stated for the record that I am friends with Clint Schnekloth, the author of Mediating Faith: Faith Formation in a Trans-Media Era, but I did buy my own copy of the book. I originally met Schnekloth on Facebook when I joined the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) Clergy Facebook group upon the recommendation of my local bishop, Michael Rinehart. Schnekloth has been a big help to me in my writing in several ways and it is my honor to help get the word out about his new book.

MediatingFaith

Click the book cover for ordering information.

The first thing I need to let you know about Mediating Faith is that if you think this is just a book about how particular types of media can be tools for ministry, you’re thinking too small. This book is way more than that. In fact, Schnekloth suggests that “all of life is mediated, and much more is media than we are often aware.”

To be frank, that suggestion both frightens and intrigues me all at once. I mean, I want so much to be “real” with people, to be honest in my writing, to have an authentic voice. To consider that everything I do is “mediated” made me squirm a little. But Schnekloth points out in a footnote that even the Bible itself is media–we are just so used to it that we forget to think of it as such.

It is just this kind of revelation about how media is integrated into our lives such that we forget it is even there to which Schnekloth invites us. Furthermore, if media is so integral to who we are, how best can we as people of faith be stewards of the wide range of media available to us to help pass on the faith?

And speaking of the wide range of media available to us, Schnekloth truly covers the spectrum from faith-formation practices based on historic texts to the mysterious world of massively multi-player online role-playing games (MMORPGs).

Once again, I admit I felt frightened at the mention of MMORPGs because this is a world that I don’t understand and have been reluctant to enter. So, imagine my surprise then when the part of the book that most delighted me came in insights derived from gaming!

After reading Mediating Faith, I am able to recognize my discomfort with MMORPGs is rather similar to the way I once was and many people I know still are reticent about joining Facebook. Whereas now, my Facebook, my own Facebook, my own most precious Facebook has become very much an extension of who I am. I mean, after all I met Schnekloth on Facebook!

The final thing I want to let you know about Mediating Faith is that you will want to have your dictionary.com handy while you’re reading, and maybe even Wikipedia. Schnekloth is not ascared of big words, but I promise you that every one he uses is worth looking up to get his full meaning.

I do recommend this book to those interested in stewarding the range of media available for the purposes of faith-formation. It is dense, but rich and worth your time. And I look forward to future works from Schnekloth and however else he finds to frighten me because just when his writing gets scary is when it gets really good.

P.S. Don’t forget to click the photo above to listen to our interview at Life & Liberty!

My Interview with Mary DeMuth

My Interview with Mary DeMuth

On Friday, October 4, I had the opportunity to interview Mary DeMuth, in-person, about her new book, The Wall Around Your Heart: How Jesus Heals You When Others Hurt You. That interview is online now over at Life & Liberty with David Housholder where I am a regular contributor to the podcast/online magazine.

>>>Click here to listen to the interview and to find out more about Mary’s book.<<<

>>>Click here to read my formal review of The Wall Around Your Heart.<<<

Keep reading to find out more about how I got the opportunity to interview Mary and what it is like seeing her in-person. Stay tuned for Friday’s blog post where I will tell you more about my personal impressions of the book.

When I picture meeting someone I admire, I usually think of myself as really small and the person I admire as larger-than-life. I know I shouldn’t think that way, but my brain just does it without asking my permission.

I’ve been reading Mary’s blog: Your Life Uncaged for a while now and I resonate with her message so much about the freedom we can have through Jesus. Many times when I read her posts I feel like she is speaking right into my life, giving me hope and encouraging me to “live free.”

Since I admire Mary so much and her influence on me has been so huge, I expected meeting her to feel a bit intimidating.

But despite the fact that Mary DeMuth is a published author(!), an international speaker(!), and several inches taller than I am, I don’t feel small or intimidated around her at all.

I’ve seen her twice now. When we first met over the summer she immediately spoke with me as though I was a real person of value, not just some silly fan. She asked me about podcasting–something I had done exactly once for Life & Liberty at that point. But she had never done any podcasting, so she wanted to know what it was like!

It was at the first encounter with Mary that I learned about The Wall Around Your Heart and the upcoming opportunity to be on her launch team for it. When the opportunity came to apply for the launch team, I filled out my application right away. Then I tried to put it out of my mind as I did not take for granted that I would be chosen.

But one week later–on a day when I really needed some good news–I received the e-mail that I had been selected to be on the launch team!

Mary then posted a notice to everyone on the launch team inviting our ideas about how to get the word out about the book. She said no idea was too crazy.

Since she had taken particular interest in my podcasting, and since Life & Liberty has a way bigger reach than my personal blog, I pitched her the idea about bringing her on the podcast for an interview.

TascamMary loved the idea of coming on the podcast!

So then I just had to clear it with David Housholder–you know, the guy in charge of the podcast. He was cool with it, but if I was serious about doing interviews, then he said I really needed to get a Tascam. It’s “state of the art,” he said.

So, I got my Tascam and started practicing with it so I would be ready for the interview with Mary.

When I confirmed the interview with Mary over e-mail, she reiterated her interest in learning from moi about podcasting!

Our second meeting was the day of the interview and, once again, she put me at ease and treated me with respect. It felt like I was just hanging out with an old friend. I actually kind-of forgot to be all fanatical around her. I was just myself.

When we sat down for the interview I showed her how to adjust the levels on the Tascam to make sure that especially loud vocalizations would not sound distorted. It was really affirming to get to share some of my own “expert” knowledge with someone I appreciate so much.

From now on, I have a new standard for what it means to spend time with someone I admire. Mary has changed that for me. In addition to having a message that I resonate with, and writing and speaking credentials that I only wish I had, she is also kind and affirming to others–and that is truly admirable.

I hope you will click over and listen to the interview I had with Mary. I think this book is really important and will be sharing more about why think so on Friday.

What about you? Have you ever met someone you admired? What was it like for you?