The Real and Virtual Worlds Are Melting Together

Apparently the Internet has so infiltrated our lives through its constant interruptions and integration with ordinary activities that we are losing the ability to “think of a ‘real’ world” as “opposed to being ‘online.’”  Read more on this topic here.

These kinds of statements make me sure that we need more evangelists on the Internet, since this space has become home to “the largest unreached people group on planet Earth,” according to Douglas Estes, author of Sim Church.

 The Internet is the new 10/40 window and the need is incredible because of what Craig von Buseck, author of  Net Casters, calls  the 99 to 1 problem: 99% of web sites by Christians are for other Christians, and only 1% are designed to evangelize the lost.

Another important faith/technology question this loss of distinction between being online and off brings up is the question of virtual church. Can we actually honor an incarnate savior by having church in disembodied virtual groups? This is a question that books like Sim Church are trying to answer, and so far its difficult for most of us to jump on this virtual band wagon. If its true that we are losing the capacity to distinguish the difference between the real world and being online, this question may very well become a moot point for the “net generation.” Nevertheless, as we contemplate such questions and aim to disciple those who never knew a pre-internet world, its worth remembering what John said in 3 John 13-14: “I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.”

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