A Christian NPR

I wish I could make a Christian NPR. I know that may mean I’m getting old, but I love listening to NPR. More specifically, I love KUT, our public radio station here in Austin. It’s a great meshing of NPR/PRI programming and a cool mix of music as well. I just love how intelligent it is. I would love to have an avenue for brilliant believers to talk to me about business, and the economy, and news, and art, and music. I know there are really intelligent Christians out there but I don’t get to benefit from them. I’m not talking about political talkshows, just smart educational programs.

I found myself sitting in the car in my driveway the other morning, because I wanted to hear the end of an article on organic tomatoes. Tomatoes! I don’t know anything about tomatoes. Nor have I ever cared. But this guy did, and he was fascinating. I thought how much more fascinating would this be if it affected my walk with Christ. What if the organic tomato guy was followed by some information on sustainability and a believer’s responsibility in and to the world?

The thing is when I want information on what’s going on in the world, I go to NPR or maybe to BBC. When I want theology, I go to other places, but not on the radio. But what if there was a place that did both well? A group of really intelligent believers, some who focused on theology and some who specialized in other areas. People who could clearly relate their faith to their life and their world.

I definitely would love to have some news, some educational, but some theology and methodology as well. It would be great to hear a segment on the arts or the economy, and then hear a show about grace, with some thoughts from Matt Chandler, or Mark Driscoll, or fill in the blank with whatever Christian teacher or thinker you like.

What if they used the great background music they have on NPR and KUT? That would be awesome. Just cool little snippets that perfectly fit the topic, that pace the whole show. It’s great.

My favorite show is This American Life. As a storyteller, I love the show where they pick a topic and approach it, usually, with three very different stories. A while ago I listened to an episode called Enemy Camp 2010. It was about the idea of being “behind enemy lines”. The first story was about a Catholic monk who would go in after a priest’s debacle and try to put things back together. Then they went to a story about parasites. What? Who would think of that? But it worked. And I just thought about being able to tell stories in creative ways, and then being able to make the point in a more direct way. That would be really effective for me.

And of course, here at KUT, we have two midday music shows that play such a huge variety of music. One day for national barbershop quartet day, the guy played all barbershop music. Weird, but brilliant. We have the Austin music minute were they take a quick look at a band playing in town that week. What if we had a show where they took a half hour or an hour and dig into the story, life, and music of a band or artist you’ve never heard of? What if they took a three hour show and said we’re going to go with a theme. Today all our songs are about The Name of God, and then they played Your Name by Paul Baloche, and No Sweeter Name by Kari Jobe, and Calling Out Your Name by Rich, and The Glory of Your Name by Watermark, and The Name by Aaron Ivey, and Blessed Be Your Name by Matt Redman, and Call My Name by Third Day, and… You get the idea. And maybe they’d put in a few scripture readings or quotes about the Name of God.

Anyway, that’s just what I’m thinking about. A Christian NPR. Because I listen to NPR and the music stations in town. I wouldn’t ever want to replace KLOVE, or the River, or whatever station is in your town. Both would be needed and good. But I would do the NPR one. Couldn’t call it Christian Public Radio though, because then it would be CPR. And I think that means something else already.

What do you think? If you had an endless supply of funds, what kind of radio station would you start?