#CNMAC13 Speaker Profile: Andy Byers (@Byers_Andy)

We’re excited to have been involved in pulling together such a strong line-up for the fourth Christian New Media Conference (9th November 2013, The Brewery, London), so we’ve given all the speakers the opportunity to answer a few questions:

Andy-Byers

Who are you, what do you do, and how does your story feed into #CNMAC13?

I am a PhD student in New Testament at Durham University where I also serve as the Chaplain for St. Mary’s College. My family and I moved here from the States a couple of years ago and we are enjoying the UK adventure! My first book is on cynicism within and toward the church (Faith Without Illusions: Following Jesus as a Cynic-Saint). My latest is a “media-theology” book called TheoMedia: The Media of God and the Digital Age.

Can you give us a ‘sneak peak’ into your session at #CNMAC13?

“TheoMedia” is my term for the media of God in Scripture. These are means by which God communicates and reveals himself (through prophetic speech, through the beauty of creation, through the artistry of the Tabernacle, through inspired texts, etc.)

“EcclesioMedia” refers to the media God has specifically entrusted to the church. These include preaching, the sacraments, spiritual gifts, liturgies, and other communicative ministries.

The purpose of my session is to explore how God’s use of media informs our own media practices in the digital age, specifically how we are to employ the ancient media of the church in our 21st century contexts. How do we maintain our ancient media practices, and how do these shape our use of new media? How does digital communications technology offer new ways of practicing these EcclesioMedia? We will be pondering these questions and more.

The theme for 2013 is ‘Reimagining Church’. Share a dream for what church could look like in 2023

A people of God shaped by the media of God. A holy people able to engage the world without being harmfully shaped by it. A people willing to make severe sacrifices for one another and the culture in which we find ourselves. A people ever shaped by the dying and rising of Christ, cross-shaped and resurrection-inspired.

In short, I would be satisfied with the church being in 2023 what it has always been called to be for the past 2000 years.

We have a number of #digidisciple(s) writing for the @bigbible project. What do you think the digital age means for discipleship?

The digital age demands meticulous discernment matched with a willingness to both try new things and reject new things that prove unwise or unhelpful. Communicative possibilities abound, creating new ways of conveying the Gospel in society. But new temptations also abound. Navigating these digital environments requires serious biblical and theological thinking, infused with a hopefulness in the God who created media in the first place and encourages communication!

Outside of your own session, what are you most looking forward to at #CNMAC13?

Little else is more exciting to me than worshipfully thinking about culture with fellow brothers and sisters eager to dialogue and learn from one another. Good times await!

Check out Andy’s website, more on the conference itself where we’d love to see you (easy to book here), or some of the videos we’ve started to upload with reactions from last year’s conference delegates.

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About bigbible

The #BigBible Project. Educating in the digital spaces, creating 'bigger Bible conversations' between #digidisciple(s). Look out for #bigread14.