Preaching & mashups
Right now I’m listening to DJ Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album, his excellent and artful blending of the Beatles’s The White Album and Jay Z’s The Black Album. The mashup whether musical, visual or in another medium takes multiple sources and blends them so that the resulting product appears entirely to be a single, seamless source.
Danger Mouse produced The Grey Album in 2004 and most other works or applications considered mashups are 21st century inventions. However, the mashup has a series of Christian antecedents.
Karl Barth gave Reformed theologians license for mashups far before Web 2.0:
“take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.” (Time magazine, 1963)
In this view, the best of Christian preaching is the mashup of the newspaper and the Bible. It should be the perfect blending of the secular and the sacred in a creative and artful endeavor. Preaching either without the world or preaching without the Word is heresy.
The mixture of sacred and secular is itself the Christmas miracle: the Incarnation of Christ. Putting together human and divine natures into one person, Jesus Christ, we see how Jesus is called the Word of God and how also Reformed theologians say that preaching the Word of God is itself the Word of God.
The mashup is an audiovisual incarnation, an artistic miracle that bears witness to the message of Christmas.