"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." (Gen. 1:27)

Monday, April 27, 2015

ScreenFish: Casting our nets somewhere else...

The more things change, the more they stay the same...

Or do they?

Yes, they do.

For the past 3 1/2 years now, we are all aware that I've been moonlighting as a film theologian for HollywoodJesus.com.  (I realize that that term sounds pretentious.  I'd originally referred to myself as a reviewer and you might as well--but what we did there was... something different...)  Over that time, I've made a number of very close friends--even if they are American ;)--and we have had conversations that have been extremely valuable and shaping for me, both personally and spiritually.  Some pastors, some lay-workers but all dedicated Christians, HollywoodJesus.com was my way of seeking out like-minded people such as myself who both love the Lord and film in the most bizarre and wonderful ways.

In many ways, it was an oasis.

However, in recent months, with some key changes within the site that I don't need to bore you with, it was becoming increasingly apparent that my time there was coming to an end.  Not out of bitterness or anger, mind you.  I truly wish the new HJ well and hope for their success.  Rather, over time, it simply was becoming increasingly clear that what I was interested in doing was less and less in line with where they were heading.

It's time for something new.

Enter ScreenFish.

ScreenFish.net is an exciting adventure for me, personally.  Working with several amazing writers from the Hollywood Jesus crew, we get to build something special from the ground up.  With ScreenFish, we are praying and hoping to create something unique that speaks Christ into the world as Paul does in Acts 17 -- by utilizing the language of the world to point to something larger.  Our intent is to start conversations through high-quality reflections on the cinematic voices that speak into our culture, whether it's superhero franchise or Oscar-worthy film festivals.

But that's not all.

Something that I'm really excited about is our first venture into podcasting.  Starting the first week of May, ScreenFish intends to enter into the world of digital downloads with bi-weekly conversations about faith and film.  This is something I've wanted to be involved with for a long time and I believe will be something you'll want to hear.  Our intent is to have quality voices that know what they're talking about (as well as me... lol) so that you can reflect on the messages and stories that shape our culture.

Now, why ScreenFish?

'Screen' is relatively obvious in many ways.  We are a culture that live and die by the screen nowadays.  While some film sites hold to terms like 'Reel', this site recognizes that the way we consume media has changed.  As many people watch The Avengers on their phones and tablets as they do on their home theatre (or at the theatre).  However, the messages are still being communicated--and need to be reflected upon.

As for the 'Fish', as 1st Century Christians were being persecuted by the Roman culture, the Early Church came up with a symbol in order to identify themselves or meeting places.  An acronym for Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour (or Ichthus) spelled out the Greek word for fish and thus, the 'Jesus fish' symbol was born.  

It was who they were.

In the spirit of this, we view ScreenFish.net as not just a place for Christians to congregate but for a conversation to be sparked.  Our prayer is that this space will be one where people regardless of religion, ethnicity or sexual-orientation will feel as though their opinion will be heard and respected.

After all, we're all watching the same things.  So, we might as well be able to talk about them.

There's much more percolating right now so stay tuned for more.  (After all, we're starting with a blank slate so we can literally go any route that we choose at this point.)  The site isn't fully active yet and will be a work in progress but you can already sign up for e-mail updates.  Just sign your email into the prompted area at ScreenFish.net and we'll keep you posted!

In a short time, we hope to have something of value for you to make our site a frequent stop.

Make no mistake.  This will be a Fish worth catching.