Greenflame

Jottings on science, religion, technology, pop culture and faith from the Antipodes.

Faith & Religion

Cyberchurch cynic

An email today from one of the librarians I am continually indebted to pointed me to this small area of cyberspace that I have never visited before.

Subtitled “Tired of the usual liberal perspectives on the issues of the day? Then you have come to the right place…” Peter Glover’s web site www.word21.com has a couple of articles on “cyberchurch.” In particular,

The Church in Cyberspace – Going where no church has gone before? (PDF)

The Cyberchurch, The Megachurch and the Myth of New Ways of Doing Church. (PDF)

Now Glover writes polemically and at times stridently, so if you’re looking for material to support your cyberchurch/blogging venture you’re going to be disappointed (or even considered apostate). However as I tell all my students to read and talk to people with a variety of views and then form their own opinions and positions I’m posting the links here.

They’re opinion pieces from someone who is deeply concerned about the nature of the church and its relationship to cyberspace. As with any sort of empassioned piece the rhetoric and polemicism get in the way of some of the constructive questions.

Questions to do with the nature of the church and its relationship with cyberspace are relevant questions and need to be discussed with a variety of views being aired.

3 Comments

  1. He seems to take a totally anti- view on it, but he makes some good points. Personally, I think cyberspace community/church only really works as a supplement to real-world contact — anonymity and community seem pretty much mutually exclusive.

  2. some good points in ‘the cyberchurch.. new ways of doing church – but he goes and shoots himself completely in both feet… and undermines the rest of the article… you have to get data about people and groups accurate.. (NOS are an easy target of course – they can’t or won’t defend themselves -but they are still around 500 people don’t just disappear! we are still here!)

    this is probably the most stunningly innacurate and clumsy reading of the NOS experience I’ve heard in recent times. I was there. I helped setup the NOS in Ponds forge every week during the whole period they were there – I was on – video, music stuff, and even had a 6 month stint on the – barely off the ground – dance podium – I can’t remember ‘girating’! much and I never heard ‘U2’ played once … or even et al…
    It’s sad – I’m not going off on a tangent here – I am afraid England has just about lost – some of its most important embedded missiological wisdom – its massive failure has some tough lessons – that cuts deep into the pain and gift of my brothers and sisters in england- its not lost in translation – lost in dishonest misrepresentation and jejune portrayals! maybe it takes a daft Scotsman like me to speak up ! I’m close enough to feel it and care deeply about those affected – far enough away to see and critique it. Sorry – couldn’t let this one past this time!

  3. Paul, thanks for the comments. I was hoping someone wouldn’t let this one pass. I posted the links, not because I agree with them 100% (actually quite a bit less than that), but because sometimes I find parts of the “blogosphere” can become mutual admiration societies. It’s something that I know I’m guilty of.

    So in posting the links I was hoping people might step outside of the comfort zones for a bit, read a opposition perspective, and then think a bit more deeply about their own communities and position. And also be aware of some of the material floating around out there that they may not know about.

    Thanks for offering your perspective from the inside. It was helpful to me (and I hope to others).

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