Broadcasting ‘Whatsoever’

My brother gave me a book over Christmas by Justin Philips called C.S. Lewis in a Time of War.  For those few who didn’t already know this, C.S. Lewis is my favorite author.  I have already found it most enjoyable and I haven’t even reached the part about Mere Christianity yet!

What has been surprising is how much attention Philips devotes to the origins of the BBC.  The radio was extremely important during World War II for the communication of information to the masses.  It was used efficiently to update people on the war, boost morale, and rally support for the cause.  There was some opposition at first to the use of radio, most likely caused from suspicion of new technology and how it could be used or abused. Interestingly enough the BBC has a Christian conviction at its core and were bound by this conviction in how they broadcasted.

And that has been where I have enjoyed the book the most so far.  I never even thought about the term Broadcasting in its most general sense, but its earliest metaphor was seed sowing. To cast broadly as the sower did.  In fact, at the entrance of the BBC is a huge sculpture by Eric Gill of the “Sower”. And inscribed on the walls is this statement written in Latin:

This Temple of the Arts and Muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors of Broadcasting in the year 1931, Sir John Reith being Director-General.  It is their prayer that good seed sown may bring forth a good harvest and that the people, inclining their ear to whatsoever things are beautiful and honest and of good report, may tread the path of wisdom and uprightness.

The single word in Latin ‘Quaecumque’, which means, ‘whatsoever’, is on display in the Board Room of the BBC Governors.  The idea comes directly from Philippians 4:8, which says, ‘Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.’ A beautiful resolution indeed.

I love these two ideas joined together. Radio changed so much back in the day and now we are given these great internet tools like Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging that are becoming more and more influential in the dissemination of ideas to the masses.  Like I said in a recent post we have a responsibility to broadcast what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, or commendable. Ideas from every religion and thought and philosophy under the sun will be sown.  We as Christians must cast the truth of the Gospel broadly.  We must do this well and often.

My prayer for this blog is that we are faithful sowers of the Gospel rightly using this gift God has given us. And like the parable of the sower we are promised that some will fall into good soil growing and increasing thirty, sixty, and a hundred times what was sown. (Mark 4:1-20)

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2 Responses to Broadcasting ‘Whatsoever’

  1. Special K says:

    Glad you’re liking the book… is the Christian conviction still important to BBC, or has post modernism gotten the best of them?

  2. LJM says:

    Most informative. Never would have expected BBC to have had Christian origins, given the secularization that set in in Britain after WWI. I bet they wouldn’t want to endorse such convictions today.

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