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“On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog”
Peter Steiner in The New Yorker July 5, 1993
God on
the Web
Theologians comme...
Digital natives are
“Those born and
raised in a digital
culture, who
have never
known anything
else”
Pete Meadows
Which on...
Digital immigrants think …
“Everything invented before you were
born is just ‘stuff’.
Everything invented between birth an...
But does God really care
about “internet media”?
“God’s media are many:
angels, burning-bushes,
stone-tablets, scrolls, ta...
What’s different about media today?
The internet changes the game
1. Scale
You reach thousands
of people
2. Speed
You do it at the speed
of light
3. Participa...
The internet brings
huge benefits
1. Delivering the
Christian
message more
effectively
2. Into almost any
people and
cultu...
So what’s the problem?
The internet changes the way we learn
“There’s a information overload…our intellects are spread
a mile wide and an inch de...
The internet changes the way
we relate
The printing press changed
society fundamentally – the
internet does it again
“Soci...
“ Like road-rage – there is
separation from the other
person” Glen Marshall
“When we go online it’s as if
we leave part of...
Who we learn FROM may be changing
What happened to accountability?
In most church structures authority comes with
accounta...
We are accustomed to
managing small pieces of
information – frequently – with
lots of interruptions BUT …
“A good portion ...
What can I do about it?
When viewing internet theology …
… ask 3 questions:
• Who is writing this?
Why did they write it?
• Do I believe or mistru...
Authors quoted
Bennett, J.M. (2012), Aquinas On the Web? – doing theology in an internet age, T&T
Clark.
Dyer, J. (2011), ...
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God on the web

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Christian theologians comment on how the internet shapes your faith

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God on the web

  1. 1. “On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog” Peter Steiner in The New Yorker July 5, 1993 God on the Web Theologians comment on how the internet changes our world, our life, our faith
  2. 2. Digital natives are “Those born and raised in a digital culture, who have never known anything else” Pete Meadows Which one are you?
  3. 3. Digital immigrants think … “Everything invented before you were born is just ‘stuff’. Everything invented between birth and the age of 30 is wonderful. Everything invented after you turn 30 will bring about the death of society”. Douglas Adams
  4. 4. But does God really care about “internet media”? “God’s media are many: angels, burning-bushes, stone-tablets, scrolls, talking donkeys, prophets, mighty- voices, still-whispers …. Any serious study of God is a study of communication...” Shane Hipps
  5. 5. What’s different about media today?
  6. 6. The internet changes the game 1. Scale You reach thousands of people 2. Speed You do it at the speed of light 3. Participation Formerly information was “top-down”, now everyone has a voice
  7. 7. The internet brings huge benefits 1. Delivering the Christian message more effectively 2. Into almost any people and culture 3. Everyone can have a voice
  8. 8. So what’s the problem?
  9. 9. The internet changes the way we learn “There’s a information overload…our intellects are spread a mile wide and an inch deep” Shane Hipps “We are becoming reliant on the internet for outsourcing our memory. We no longer remember things, we just know where to look for them – including the Bible” Pete Phillips
  10. 10. The internet changes the way we relate The printing press changed society fundamentally – the internet does it again “Society is increasingly connecting and fragmenting at the same time” Robert Runcie “More connected does not necessarily mean better connected” Pete Meadows
  11. 11. “ Like road-rage – there is separation from the other person” Glen Marshall “When we go online it’s as if we leave part of our humanity behind” Pete Phillips “What does the fruit of the spirit look like online?” Bex Lewis “Practice not being a jerk in real life and your online behaviour will follow suit” Maguerite Bennett And we easily give and take ofence …
  12. 12. Who we learn FROM may be changing What happened to accountability? In most church structures authority comes with accountability - but online coolness can make anyone an authority “Everyone thinks they are the best theologian in the world because they have a voice online” Pete Phillips “Google will list answers according to “relevance” – it will not list them according to “rightness” John Griffiths
  13. 13. We are accustomed to managing small pieces of information – frequently – with lots of interruptions BUT … “A good portion of the Christian life requires the ability to concentrate … spiritual depth requires the ability to pray for more than a few minutes, to read and memorise Scripture, to love God with all our hearts and all our minds” John Dyer How we relate to God may be changing
  14. 14. What can I do about it?
  15. 15. When viewing internet theology … … ask 3 questions: • Who is writing this? Why did they write it? • Do I believe or mistrust it because of my prejudices? Am I willing to be open-minded within the limits of Biblical truth? • What is this asking me to love? Are they the things Jesus would have loved? Young & Kinaman And occasionally • Switch your devices off. There’s a social expectation that we answer every email and always know what’s going on. You don’t have to! View the infographic http://7minutes.net/blog/christians-on-the-internet/
  16. 16. Authors quoted Bennett, J.M. (2012), Aquinas On the Web? – doing theology in an internet age, T&T Clark. Dyer, J. (2011), From the Garden to the City – the redeeming and corrupting power of technology, Kregel Publications. Hipps, S. (2009), Flickering Pixels, Zondervan. Meadows, P.R. (2012), Mission and Discipleship in a Digital Culture (Paper), Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden. Young, J. and Kinaman, D. (2013), The Hyperlinked Life, Zondervan. Experts quoted Pete Phillips - Director CODEC Durham University John Griffiths - Consultant Glen Marshall - Principal Northern Baptist College Bex Lewis - Snr Lecturer Manchester Metropolitan University

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