While technology is a dominating force in our world today Gods reign is not excluded from it, Gods reign can emerge from within as much as outside of this context. We often find unexpected places within the world where Gods Kingdom is reflected. For the last 50 years or so missiologists have argued that the Missio Dei (Gods Mission) is at work in cultures around the world whether the church is present there or not. One example might be to look at a few positive areas where God could be at work within convergence culture.
I’ve put together a two-part essay on Technology as Power (or what I’m calling, using James McClendon, a powerful-practice) and the second part which I will publish in two weeks on the Quaker notion of “Gospel order” as a counterpoint to what Henry Jenkins calls participatory culture (think democratization of the web, re: youtube, wikis, twitter, discussion forums, blogs, web 2.0, etc). These two articles are an attempt to argue for a particular naming of technology from the church, and a watchful and transformative role in participating within this emerging culture. How the church reflects on such powers will determine and shape how the church’s mission looks in the 21st century. When I publish the second part I will also publish the whole article in .pdf form and make it available both here and at Barclay Press. The church’s interaction with and theological reflections on technology are areas I’ve been interested in since I began studying with Ryan Bolger, he has guided me in much of this discussion and those of you who know his views will see them sneaking out all over the place. I am pretty excited to finally get something more substantial out on the subject and I do hope you’ll read and be challenged by them.
Here’s the link to the article: Technology as a Powerful-Practice (Part 1)
And for those of you interested in previous articles looking at technology from a theological point of view you can view these links.
My August Barclay Press essay is now online. It’s a little late for August, but time has been pretty tight lately. The essay looks at Stephen Duncombe’s recent book on progressive politics, “Dream Re-Imagining” and applies some of the findings to a theological perspective on living out the Kingdom of God. Here’s a quote:
As I see it, (at least some of) the church can be guilty of becoming too “reality-based.” Much of it has become heavily propositional, too abstract and disembodied to form real apprentices of the kingdom. Often our worship involves passivity more than participation, our sermons tend to share the same thematic structures week after week, the same punchlines, and perpetuate a reliance on rational arguments to make points. We take the concrete words of Scripture and abstract them in a way that requires intellectual assent more than existential demand. I think we can also be guilty of draining people of kingdom imaginations. In what ways does our faith communities unknowingly manufacture consent with the world as opposed to a dissent for the kingdom?
Click here to read the essay.
My Barclay Press essay for July is now online. It’s about the Anabaptist Vision, Mission and the what that has to do with where we are going as Friends. Here’s a short quote:
Ironically enough, that which most often gets overlooked, mission/missions, is the very thing necessary to do what these projects set out to accomplish. I am not opposed to making these lists, so long as they are not reductionistic and miss the very essence of the church!