In a recent chapel Moody’s president, Dr. Paul Nyquist, unveiled his vision for our beloved institution’s future. His message, originally presented live to the Chicago campus early last month (found here), was one of continuing to hold firm to Moody’s roots of spreading biblical truth while seeking to do so in ways that utilize the technological advancements of a modern world. Put precisely, Dr. Nyquist shared the vision as follows:
Across the globe, cultures and generations, Moody will equip people with the truth of God’s Word, using new technology, in an agile and innovative community.
This, taken at face value, is a noble pursuit that has the full support of this particular student. The manner by which Dr. Nyquist aims to go about doing this, however, seems contradictory to the goal itself. How so? As expressed in the president’s message to the student body, Moody plans to move forward in following this new direction by expanding both its radio and publishing branches. In fact, Dr. Nyquist revealed plans for the construction of a new $20 million facility to house both the radio and publishing departments. These are said new technologies that Moody plans to utilize “in an agile and innovative community”. Perhaps radio was considered new to D.L. Moody himself, or publishing to Luther, but these mediums are far from new to the world in which we preside today.
Now, it is undeniable that both the radio and publishing departments of Moody are currently doing the job of reaching out and spreading the knowledge of biblical truth, but the width of their reach can expand no further. Radio and publishing are becoming obsolete, possessing only the possibility of constant and consistent diminishment with each year the world steps into the digital future. Just look at the mediums through which Dr. Nyquist’s chapel message came to Moody Spokane. We did not gather and tune in our transistor radios to the right frequency. Nor did we open up a newspaper to an article detailing the story days after it happened. We broadcasted a video feed to over 450 students, uploaded by one person in Illinois and downloaded by another in the state of Washington and could have even done so live if we so chose. Respectfully Dr. Nyquist, if you want Moody to impact the world with the Good News of Jesus Christ globally, cross-culturally, and generationally with new and innovative technology, please stop advocating growth in our radio and book publishing departments.
We live in a world where over two billion men and women currently have access to the Internet on a daily basis, a group that sees exponential growth each year, and yet our web presence is doing next to nothing to impact the world for Christ. What is our website doing to make the truth of God known? How are we utilizing social media to connect with those of different worldviews? What do we have to provide for the generations to come who seek out knowledge not through books but through search engines? The war in the coming century for Christ and His Kingdom shall not be won on the battlefield of radio and publication, but rather in the vast expanse of the digital age.