Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sorry, who killed the church?

In the middle of last year Richard Beck wrote a post called How Facebook Killed the Church, which has just taken off on the blogosphere again. It's a provocative title, and it's true in relation to what he actually says in the article, where he talks why people who went to church primarily for the social element find it's no longer necessary when there are umpteen technological ways to make contact. I quote:

No doubt, the vast majority of the people in a friend list on Facebook are strangers, acquaintances, or old school friends you haven't seen in years. But no user of Facebook is confused enough to think that she is "in relationship" with any of these people. These are just the penumbra around the core of our Facebook interactions, connecting with people we actually know and are friends with.

In short, Facebook isn't replacing real world relationality. Rather, Facebook tends to reflect our social world.

Beck isn't saying that these people who no longer go to church were thoroughly involved in being disciples - at least I don't think that's what he's saying. There are a great number of very comments to this post, and these clarify and deepen the discussion in a variety of ways. These are as much worth reading as the original post.

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