Missional Living through Media
May 16, 2018 • English
Bethany Keeley-Jonker spends a lot of her time following pop culture, but not because she’s keeping up with the Kardashians.
Bethany is a professor of communication at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL, where she regularly explores God’s role in media with her students. She also writes for ReFrame Media’s online magazine, Think Christian, where Christians reflect theologically on pop culture. ReFrame Media is the English-language outreach of ReFrame Ministries.
“I think both help each other,” says Bethany of her two roles. “Both force me to think through examples, make my thinking clear to others, and approach things as a Christian.”
Bethany’s students often challenge her perspectives and inspire the Think Christian topics she chooses—from television shows like Star Trek to larger trends like genre television.
At the same time, writing for and reading Think Christian helps Bethany in her class discussions.
“It’s a great place to find different ways to approach pop culture from a Christian perspective,” says Bethany. “I've caught myself starting a statement in class like, ‘I would argue... actually, I have argued on Think Christian that…’” and Bethany goes on to make her point.
Ultimately, Bethany sees her interest in media as her calling from God.
“Sometimes people have written to me on social media and told me they were bothered by some aspect of pop culture,” says Bethany. “It’s so gratifying to be able to offer the gifts of my academic training in this way.”
Bethany also realizes that some people come to Think Christian as a first step in exploring the Christian faith.
“For that audience, I'm trying to demonstrate that a Christian perspective has something to offer the larger pop culture conversation,” says Bethany. “I think of it as a kind of missional living that works for who I am and how God made me.”
You too can use media to start conversations about your faith. Visit Think Christian as a great place to get started.