Thursday, May 07, 2009

Virtual Church again

Tall Skinny Kiwi blogs on the 5th May about a quote by Yuang Han Kim, who wrote in the book, The Identity of Reformed Theology and Its Ecumenicity in the Twenty-First Century: Reformed Theololgy as Transformational Cultural Theology, Reformed Theology: Identity and Ecumenicity, (it's edited by Wallace M. Alston and Michael Welker, who plainly aren't terribly good with catchy titles).
Kim writes: “Cyber-worship and churches have begun replacing traditional Christian worship and churches. This increasing phenomenon will result in a certain wearing away of the historical institutional churches and worship.”
The problems of the cyber-church are as follows.
First, the cyber-church can never be a spiritual church. It risks the danger that in the electronically mediated virtual world the experience of the holy will become visual and secularized. It also faces the danger that the Word of God pervading the depth of the soul will be changed into the on-screen messages of the electronically reduced multimedia.
Second, the cyber-church is not a real church. It is merely a virtual church, existing only in the electronic network of the Internet.
Third, the cyber-church lacks face-to-face encounter and personal fellowship. Dialogue with a partner on-screen is not the same as dialogue with someone whom one knows personally."
The post brings a lot of comment, and some/many of these are well worth reading. Check them out for a good discussion on virtual church.

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