facebook and faith

I had the privilege of speaking at Wesley Institute today on the topic of “facebook and faith”.

I’ve tweaked the slidedeck so that it makes some sense without me talking in front of the screen. I’d love to know what you think!

 

The cutting room floor: some rambling under the heading of “theology”.

Marshall McLuhan famously said “the medium is the message”. The method that you use to consume information shapes the way that you understand that information.

How do we come to know about God? By reading the bible.

How do we read our bible? Perhaps ten years ago, we took a book off the shelf – maybe it had a fancy bible cover on it. You would open up the bible cover, flip the paper pages over, maybe skim through the underlined passages and notes you’d made on the pages. You would work slowly (or quickly) through the text, then close the book, close the cover, and put it back on the shelf or table where you’d found it.

What do you do now? Maybe you’re still using a book, but more likely you’re using some kind of electronic device. You no longer turn pages, but instead you punch in the reference and wait for it to appear. Maybe you’re reading the bible on a website. Maybe you’re reading it on a device that’s also a phone: an interruption could arrive at any second.

I don’t want to tell you that electronic bibles are wrong. I do want to tell you that the medium that you use to consume biblical content is shaping the way that you interact with the bible. A device that’s designed for short bursts of text reading is not going to encourage reflection or meditation.

That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but why make your bible reading harder when you don’t need to?

As you move your relationships with people, who are made in God’s image, onto social networks, this will change your perception of the people, and ultimately will impact the way you understand God.

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