So here’s what [Jeff McQ] proposes: let’s have a blogging revival!

But lately I’ve found people getting a bit lax with their blogging. First they say stuff like, “I haven’t blogged in awhile…

Or they make excuses like, “I find I’m in a different place now, and I’ve said all I wanted to say. I just want to get back to talking about ‘normal stuff.'” As if blogging was all about them. (Or as if blogging isn’t normal.)

And then the ultimate cop-out: “I need to take a break from blogging for awhile.” This, of course, is code for, “I’m giving myself ‘permission’ not to blog, so I don’t feel guilty about it and so you won’t expect it of me.” A purposeful shirking of responsibility, an abandonment of doing one’s duty.

Freaking blogger backsliders.

In Defense of Virtual Church

“A myth is growing in some circles of the blogosphere that online church is not good, not healthy, and not biblical.”

By disagreeing with the above statement, I am not blindly agreeing with the opposite. I do not know if online churches are good or healthy. I do know know that they are neither biblical nor non-biblical. This being said, let us heed the warning. I was reading about an experiment done in the early 1900’s with infant rhesus monkeys that shows the importance of connecting with others. The monkeys were put in a cell with two artificial mothers with in a few days of birth. One was a wire mother that had a feeding tube; the other was covered in soft fury material but had no feeding tube.

The first part of the experiment was monitoring the infant that was placed in a cell with both these mothers. The result was that the infant spent most of his time cuddling with the soft mother and only ran over and take a quick sip from the wire mother then run back to the fabric mother. Then they introduced danger in the form of a stuffed toy. The result was the infant ran for cover to the fabric mother.

The second experiment separated the mothers and gave the fabric mother the ability to feed. An infant rhesus monkey was placed in each cage and they were observed. They found both monkeys had equal physical development. However, they did notice remarkable difference when they introduced the stuffed toy. The monkey in with the fabric mother ran to her for protection. The monkey with the wire mother, however, fell to pieces. It threw itself to the floor and rocked back and forth.

Let me suggest a couple of things:

First, could we not draw some comparisons within modern Christianity?  By painting with an overly broad and stereotypical brush, could we possibly compare the wire mother to conservative, fundamentalist Christianity that is more interested in feeding right doctrine, nurturing orthodoxy and expectation? Could it be possible that connection is being found elsewhere?

Second, could the exodus of a generation be the result of a cultural shift that is advancing at a rapid pace due in part to technology? Could this generation be flocking to other places, other than the ‘traditional church’? Could the Emergent Church/ emerging churches, missional church, new monastic churches, etc …,  be where a new generation [post-modern] is finding connection? And finally, could we not better use the technology to help the traditional churches? Then there is training 0n using online tools:

“we at JoPa Productions are developing a series of boot camps for pastors who want to learn about and utilize social media tools like blogging, Twitter, and Facebook.”


I have been following a few different blog discussions and I came to realize once again the importance of online communities. I have mentioned this before:

A perfect reason to keep blogs like this going to try and provide an avenue for information and discussion in a denominational landscape where there are very few forums for people to interact. For some reason, engagement is shunned, almost as if it is too risky to get people talking freely about things.

People say to me that they would rather sit down for a face to face discussion, and though I would not mind that (please, come and talk with me) I think the laity would miss out. For the most part, in the past, we were only privy to one point of view. Its only natural that in any given congregation we would gather around us speakers that tickle our ears. Sure someone may be brought in that would challenge us and encourage us to expand our thinking, but truthfully this would only happen in a similar direction in which we are already tracking. Rare indeed would be the congregation that would get to hear an opposing view to  their theological frame of reference.

The globalization of ideas that we now have at our finger tips will only increase the gap between those that are hunkering down in the belief trenches of their perceived fundamentals and those that realize that there may only be two fundamentals:

  1. Jesus is Lord (whatever that means), and
  2. Jesus lived, died and rose again so that reconciliation between papa and all of creation is possible.

To be fair, many (read most) of  us who are navigating outside of our tribe’s bunkers have at least three more fundamentals, but we tend to hold onto our understandings with a loose grip.  Our interpretations of core doctrines tend not be as rigid as others, for example, what does inspiration of scriptures really mean? .

So, what are some of you beliefs that you think are fundamental to faith in Christ?

8. Power comes from sharing information, not hoarding it.

A perfect reason to keep blogs like this going to try and provide an avenue for information and discussion in a denominational landscape where there are very few forums for people to interact. For some reason, engagement is shunned, almost as if it is too risky to get people talking freely about things.
(from Learning to Love generation Foriginal article)

I have noticed that even using blogs, or in my case facebook, to try and stir up dialogue is futile with many/most people. Information may be getting out to these people but the feedback loop is not there. I think part of the problem is that there is a lack of understanding on the power and importance of on-line community. (see this Spark on CBC Radio episode dealing with on-line faith communities.)

I don’t think that on-line communities can nor should replace face-to-face contact, however, I believe that this expression of faith is just the next step in the evolution of tech communities – from print to radio to television to the Internet. On the Internet there are blogs, podcasts, and even second-life. Each of these can and should be used as tools just as the previous technologies is and has been used. And just has the previous technologies are abused or are not always used properly, we can expect the same with the Internet. After all, we even see these same issues within face-to-face communities.