Oct 31, 2011

Review - SimChurch: Being the Church in the Virtual World (Part 1 of 2)

SimChurch: Being the Church in the Virtual World asks very good questions but (in my mind) comes to the wrong conclusions.

To summarize Estes, he claims that virtual worlds (such as Second Life or World of Warcraft) are real places where people increasingly live, work, play, and interact. As such, they are also a space where the Church needs to go to evangelize and disciple. This includes planting virtual churches. As opposed to more broadcast methods of ministry (think televangelism or podcasts), Estes claims that the richness of interaction afforded by current technology lets us do (at least nearly) everything a local church needs to do. In some cases, he claims we need to develop new ways of "doing church" that are better suited to this new medium that may even be better than real-world churches. In the process, he touches on topics such as presence and community, the mediated nature of technological connections (e.g., via avatars), "lifeblogging," online worship, church authority, online sin & accountability, and virtual communion and baptism. He is honest in pointing out the problems, such as with communion and baptism, but remains very optimistic about doing virtual church and how it can be a significant part of the Church Universal. 

Oct 28, 2011

A Liter of Light

This is beautiful and reminds me of my favorite definition of engineering: engineers design things to make people's lives better.

Oct 26, 2011

Starting Knowledge for Technology

Creating and using technology requires knowledge. I assume that's pretty clear; an engineer needs to know quite a bit to be able to design an effective car engine or a safe bridge. And in engineering (and other technical fields), one subject builds on another so you go from foundational knowledge (algebra, chemistry, physics, technical writing, etc.) to more advanced, specialized knowledge for your field. But where do we start? What is the ultimate foundation of knowledge?

Oct 20, 2011

Technology Cannot Overcome Death

My apologies for a lack of posts - life happens. Looking forward, I'm currently reading a book called SimChurch by Douglas Estes and will blog about it soon. I also plan to go through the book of Proverbs and discuss the many verses there that address technology. 

However, for the moment I want to reflect on a recent event. A friend of a friend (who I do not know) passed away suddenly this week. I found out about this via my friend's posts on Facebook. This woman was 35 and a mother of 5 girls. In spite of our medical technology, the doctors could not save her. I cannot lessen the tragedy here, and can only imagine the pain her family and friends are experiencing right now. To me, besides a reminder of the reality of death (and our sin), I am reminded that no amount of technology will ever overcome death. But how is death defeated? I Corinthians 15:54b tells us "Death is swallowed up in victory." Not technology, but the victory of Christ on the cross, won for His people. And even death will be destroyed in the end. Looking elsewhere for salvation from death is useless and foolish. Looking to Christ is life and peace.

Oct 10, 2011

Free Kindle book from John Dyer - Today Only

John Dyer's book in Kindle version is free today:

I haven't read it but here's a great chance to pick it up and check it out.

Some Steve Jobs Links

This is a roundup of obituaries and commentaries on the death of Steve Jobs I personally find interesting.

Oct 7, 2011

Still wear a watch?

Watches are apparently for old people. When the band on my most recent watch broke, I gave up on them myself. I have my phone with me all the time and often my iPad, so why bother? I think we're in a time of transition around watches and other technologies as mobile devices grow in use in our culture. However, I have a few observations.

Oct 5, 2011

Overcoming the effects of the fall

I firmly believe we should try to push back the effects of the fall - and technology is one of the main ways we do so. We'll never overcome sin (without Christ anyway) but some things we can indeed improve.

I'm sure there are various rational, logical arguments for this. However, I think this video, of a woman born deaf that can finally hear her own voice using technology, is a much better "proof" for pursuing technology in a fallen world:

Thanks to the Washington Post blog.

Oct 3, 2011

Just discovered some more blogs

I recently found some more blogs that focus on the intersection of theology and technology. Here you go:
Let me know of any others that might be helpful.