Monday, January 08, 2007

Recommendation: Mars Hill Audio Journal

Ken Myers worked at National Public Radio where he served as their Arts and Humanities Editor for Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

In 1992, Ken decided to create an NPResque resource for Christians - the Mars Hill Audio Journal - choosing to publish a by-subscription audio journal on cassette tapes. I've been an intermittent subscriber for years.

On the 10th anniversary of the Journal, historian and author D. G. Hart made remarks at a Virginia dinner in honor of Ken Myers.

He said,

"When I think about Ken’s work, then, both personally and historically, I come away impressed by and grateful for his achievement. Before Ken I only had [Francis] Schaeffer to guide me. Now thanks to Ken, the work of Mars Hill, and our conversations, I have not simply Ken and the tapes but Leon Kass, Wendell Berry, Richard Neuhaus, Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert Meilaender and others to lean on for insight and wisdom. But Ken’s work has been important not only for me and my appreciation of the world around me. It has also functioned as a breakthrough in Reformed circles (whether Ken acknowledges it or not). He has figured out a way around the somewhat stale and Neo-Calvinist categories of antithesis and common grace. In their place he has recovered the paleo-Protestant teachings of creation, providence and redemption. I know Ken is sometimes frustrated that more people, even listeners, don’t seem to get it. But it has only been ten years of Mars Hill Audio and only fifteen since the publication of All God’s Children. And Ken knows it takes a while for seeds planted in cultivated soil to bear good fruit" [links mine].

The full text of that talk can be found here.

The breadth and depth of MHA's work can be seen by a quick overview of their backissue catalog.

Ken doesn't just react against culture as a threat - as might many evangelicals (though Hart denies Ken's an evangelical) - but explores it with a confidence that stems from his conviction that all that is good in culture comes from the God that stands above all societies. Ken's questions and choice of interlocutors allow us to share his journey as he seeks for God's common grace wherever it might be found.

The declining cost of information has made this wonderful resource more easily accessible. Beginning with Vol. 76 in the fall of 2005, individual issues are now available as MP3 downloads and the bi-monthly journal can also be subscribed to inexpensively via MP3 downloads. Morover, backissue sets of an entire year of MHA can be purchased on MP3 CD for only $33 back to 2002. One can only hope that they'll be transferring past years to MP3 as time goes by.

Highly Recommended.

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