My latest at First Things today, on how microphones may encourage poor preaching. Excerpt:
I think microphones might very well injure preaching, for in preaching the microphone functions as both obstacle and crutch. The microphone is an obstacle, one more piece of complexity that can go wrong. It makes preachers tentative; the microphone is like a snake that might bite if one makes a wrong move. Having used many microphones of all kinds in both public speaking situations as well as concert venues (I used to play in rock and heavy metal groups as well as praise-and-worship bands), I have learned that microphones are painfully unpredictable. We have all been in situations where they don’t function well, for whatever reason, and the result is poor sound quality (at best) or feedback (at worst). The microphone is also a crutch, since the electronics of the microphone are designed to do the work the bodies of preachers of prior ages used to do.