an email

so this is an email i sent to some friends recently:

So I don't know how familiar you gents are with web 2.0, but it's generally the idea that the web is transforming from a universe governed by what the few could post and maintain (those web-savvy webmasters & website designers) to being a universe governed by the many, and by many I mean any, as in anybody who wants to can know post, interact, share, network, and broadcast themselves, their thoughts, feelings, and dreams to the world.

Honestly, it's a bit like when the Reformation hit the church. The power transformed from the Priest to the parishioner, from the elect to the everybody.

This short little piece gives an interesting take on web 2.0.

Of particular interest is that people really believe in this transformation. Enough that they are creating movies like this, publishing articles, and that web 2.0 has become an actual term that people recognize. The idealized ending is fascinating to me.

And so how does this affect us? Does any of this translate into our context? I propose that perhaps the emerging conversation is a second, mini-reformation. Religion has gone corporate, with mega-churches, political jockeying, conservative lobbying, and new papal-like empires such as Focus on the Family, the Moral Majority, and the Christian Coalition. The emerging conversation, ideally, pushes the power back to the people, per se. Not to say that it doesn't have it issues. Like web 2.0, a lot of useless waste accompanies this opportunity. For every worthwhile blog, youtube video, facebook connection, there's plenty of wasted myspace pages, pointless online journals, and maybe even some stalking. But the potential of web 2.0 is incredible. And worth rethinking how we use technology at all, computers specifically, and how we understand the internet altogether.

To those who have spent their lives building what we have, I ask: Is the church now too established to expand? Too complete to recreate? Too near an end product (and the end-times) to explore new territory? Dreaming seems too often squelched by evangelicalism today.

To those who spend their time frustrated with what we've become, I ask: Is the church too dead to dream and resurrect? Too derelict to redirect? Has the sun set or is it on the horizon, ready to burst into the brightness and beauty of a redemption-filled, re-imagined day? Dreaming seems too often squelched by post-modernism today.

So where shall we venture tomorrow?

1 comment:

Bob Robinson said...

The established church leadership is fearful of the bad that may come from version 2.0.

And there is plenty that will be junk.

But that was the case with version 1.0, and with 1.5 (the Reformation) as well!

Things will change because they have to change. The only thing that doesn't change is that things change.