What We Believe

December 2011 Ordained Servant

A Journal for Church Officers

E-ISSN 1931-7115

McLuhan 100

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From the Editor. What better way to celebrate the season than to look back at the legacy of Marshall McLuhan on this the one hundredth anniversary of his birth on July 21, 1911. He was truly an anomaly—considered a media devotee—while despising electronic media. He did not own a TV or a car, attended mass every day, and yet in the sixties was on the cutting edge of cultural change. How can we explain such a man? Woody Allen famously included McLuhan in his film Annie Hall in 1977. McLuhan, in a cameo appearance, declares to a Columbia professor who teaches a course in "TV, Media, and Culture": "You know nothing of my work. You mean my whole fallacy is wrong. How you got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing." Remarkably, I was able to find this on YouTube almost instantly. And McLuhan foresaw the technology that is able to do this almost half a century before it was possible.

Unlike McLuhan, I own both a TV and a car. But I owe him a great debt, since as a hippie in the sixties I embraced him without understanding. And, through Joel Nederhood and Neil Postman, I have come to enjoy him for what he actually taught. Well, taught is not quite the right word—quipped or probed would be more apropos. We share the disapprobation of those who like every new thing—who disdain any criticism of their latest technological acquisition. So I present a brief apologia for my media criticism, "John, the Media Ecologist: Why I Am a Media Ecologist." T. David Gordon considers the folly of two extremes in his article, "Hysterical Technophiles." I will conclude the McLuhan festivities in the new year with several reviews of books that show the enduring legacy of the man, who when I first seriously began to read him in 1990, was largely forgotten, and, when remembered, disparaged. For now, I review an elegant little biography by Canadian novelist and visual artist Douglas Coupland.

And Eutychus II returns with a bit of edifying humor.

A final note about the remarkable McLuhan. He learned his media criticism from the study of English literature, specifically the discipline of literary criticism, so I am quite sure he would have enjoyed my inclusion of Milton's "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity" in this tribute issue of OS.

Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds

From the Archives "ELECTRONIC MEDIA"


  • "Avoiding the Dangers of Distance in Officer Training." (Gregory Edward Reynolds) 15 (2006): 19–21.
  • "Changing Pace: The Need for Rest in a Frenetic World." (Gregory Edward Reynolds) 18 (2009): 14–17.
  • "On Being Connected." (Gregory Edward Reynolds) 15 (2006): 13–15.
  • "Princess Adelaide and Presbyterianism: The Death of Context and the Life of the Church." (Gregory Edward Reynolds) 15 (2006): 16–18.
  • " 'Reading as Risk' Means Preaching at Risk." (Gregory Edward Reynolds) 15 (2006): 9–12.
  • "The Seductive Image." (Gregory Edward Reynolds) 15 (2006): 40–42.
  • "The Wired Church." (Gregory Edward Reynolds) 15 (2007): 26–34.

Ordained Servant exists to help encourage, inform, and equip church officers for faithful, effective, and God glorifying ministry in the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its primary audience is ministers, elders, and deacons of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as well as interested officers from other Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Through high quality editorials, articles, and book reviews we endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic, confessional Presbyterianism.

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Contact the Editor: Gregory Edward Reynolds

Editorial address: Dr. Gregory Edward Reynolds,
827 Chestnut St.
Manchester, NH 03104-2522
Telephone: 603-668-3069

Electronic mail: reynolds.1@opc.org

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