a few people have asked what i did at blah... in manchester and what the probes thing was all about.
the idea comes from marshall mcluhan who was an amazing thinker most famous for his phrases 'the medium is the massage' and 'the global village'. he wrote about technology, media, and cultural change. but rather than write in big theoretical essays he preferred to use probes - short provocative statements that get under the skin and make you think. the book of probes is a collection of some of mcluhans probes from various works of his combined with the design work of david carson. it really is a fabulous book.
i scanned a few pages and added some of my own. while they were scrolling round we discussed various probes of mcluhan's round tables. i have put them in a quicktime movie probes.mov if you are interested (about 1mb).
then to nudge the conversation on from just cultural change to mission and the emerging church i presented four probes for people to talk about.
1. church practices are accomodations to a society that no longer exists (thanks to ryan bolger for this thought)
2. cross cultural mission is a fund for our imagination as we go backwards into the future
3. being alternative is a poor strategy for change though it may help you feel better
4. artists and creatives will pave the way to the future evoking grief and amazement
(obviously i set them up in particular ways and talked about them which i haven't got the time to do here...)
it was great to hang out with ben and andy and then another ben and andy and helen after. hopefully this got blah... off to a good start in manchester. ben has added a few pics at sanctus.
Technorati Tags: probes, emerging church, marshall macluhan
I know I shouldn't pick holes in other peoples spelling but I love the thought that the medium is the massage. Perhaps we should include aromatherapy in that as well.
BTW thanks for your talk at Spirituality and young people conference yesterday. You are right I think Yp's are not the same as the emerging church people but your talk helped me with where I'm at.
Posted by: Diana | April 21, 2005 at 09:23 PM
he does say the massage (as well as the message!) ...
Posted by: jonny | April 21, 2005 at 09:35 PM
Jonny this loioks really interesting - I hope you get chance to repeat it sometime in London perhaps when BLAH kicks back in?
Posted by: Gordon | April 22, 2005 at 09:41 AM
Sadly I couldn't make the evening...a clash of dates meant I was in Northumbria.
Glad to hear it went well, from the what I hear it sounds like you got some people thinking.
Sorry to have missed you.
Posted by: Liz | April 22, 2005 at 02:16 PM
Thanks for sharing those thoughts and the movie, which I've watched a few times now. Drawing on McLuhan is not just clever, but really artful and inspiring. Thanks.
Posted by: Fernando Gros | April 23, 2005 at 05:39 PM
Jonny, thanks for the credit -- don't remember saying that, but it sounds like something in our book (probably Eddie!).
Posted by: Ryan Bolger | May 18, 2005 at 05:20 AM
I've just stumbled across your site and it is STUNNING. Great to see someone who's actually moved outside the square, not just kidded themselves they have.
Posted by: Meredith Spangler | July 11, 2005 at 07:16 AM
thanks meredith - kind words :-)
Posted by: jonny | July 11, 2005 at 12:56 PM