08 April 2008

Does this one count?

Over on Augsburg 1530, Mollie posts this comment from signer #6851 to the Issues, Etc. online petition:
I began listening to Issues Etc. in 1999 when I commuted to St. Louis to complete my MBA. In 2003 I moved to the St. Louis area and listened every evening on my way home from work. I also downloaded the hours I missed and listened to them in the morning. After moving away from St. Louis in 2007, I continued to download IE programs to listen during my morning workout. I am heartbroken to see the show pulled. Nowhere on the open air can one hear the law in its sternness, and the gospel in its sweetness, proclaimed with such clarity. Issues Etc. has helped me open my ears to my pastor’s sermons, and has led to numerous fruitful discussions with him. The show has provided me with training to witness to my friends and relatives. Whether it be discussion on the Lord’s Supper, Baptism, world religions, liberal theology, evangelicalism, current events, Issues Etc. was GREAT talk radio, and truly talk radio for the thinking Christian. I thank God for Pastor Wilken and Jeff for their faithful work.

– Joel Oschwald St. John Lutheran Church, Champaign, IL
With comments like this, we must keep asking:

1. How do we truly know how many people listened to Issues, Etc. via the radio, especially in their cars? After all, as I've said before, I often listened as I drove around making calls - a few minutes from this shut-in visit to that hospital call, etc., and then a few more minutes on my way home. Did I get counted even once? Did I get counted each time the radio turned on when I started my pickup's engine?

2. Can such comments from so many of the now 6856 folks who have signed the petition truly represent the supposedly low numbers of listeners given by LCMS officialdom? Could an "average listening audience" of merely "1650" during the M-F time slot really generate such a response? My congregation has several members who listened regularly (several of whom I did not know about until this fiasco erupted). I can now think of close to 20 people who have mentioned that they sure miss the show, and several others raised their hands Sunday after church when I asked, "How many of you listened to Issues, Etc. fairly regularly?" Surely, in the big scheme of things in KFUO radio listening land we cannot be that much of a percentage of the supposed "1650"!

Folks, things still just don't add up, and those who can answer such questions still insist on giving the same, ol' disputed figures, in one way or another. And I can't help but think of that old adage about figures being unable to lie, but....


Anonymous said...

I think--and pretty firmly--that I was the only member of my congregation who listened to Issues, Etc., or even knew what it was. I think I'm the only member who visits Lutheran blogs, or blogs, period, and knows for certain what they are.
My pastor did sign the petition (he informed me of the show's cancellation on Holy Tuesday), but I don't know that he was a listener, but that only because of the demands of his work, and because we don't get it by radio here in Mississippi, but over the net. One has to be seated at one's computer to listen, either to the streaming broadcast or to the archives.
So it's hard to say how many people nationwide and worldwide listened, in some manner or form.
So far, the petition is the only way I know of to get an inkling of the show's impact, and my instincts tell me it was only going to increase in following, in impact, and in the appreciation of its listeners for its message and its hard work.
I can't think of anyone who worked harder at Gospel proclamation than Todd Wilken. Just the prep he did for interviews, the books and articles he had to read, the sermons he had to listen to, and the sheer volume of things he had to know and to be aware of, just to make it all Christ-centered and cross-focused--an amazing resource in just one humble, able man.
It still smarts so, just to think of what they've done.
Pardon me while I make some more phone calls.
Susan in Tupelo

Randy Asburry said...


Good thoughts! God give you patience and courage in your phone calls. :-)