God 2.0

The internet is aflame. Orthodox Jews and fundamentalist Christians, wiccans and pagans, everyone is talking about God. So how has our notion of God changed since people started searching for Him online? And how has the Internet changed since He moved there?

Jeff Sharlet

co-founder, Killing the Buddha, and editor, The Revealer

Gordon Atkinson

Real Live Preacher

Pastor, Covenant Baptist Church

From David’s pre-interview notes

This is a huge topic — a Pew Internet and American Life Project report last year found that 64% of the 128 million wired Americans have “done things online that relate to religious or spiritual matters” — and we’re turning to Jeff to help us navigate the waters. He’s one of the wisest and most bracing voices on contemporary American religion that I know. He’s also funny, which never hurts when you’re talking about God.

Jeff talked about the reconfiguration of religious space, about reading your favorite Catholic blogs at work and sacralizing, even inadvertently, your workplace. He also argued that something interesting is happening with religious authority: that, like with Wikipedia, the whole notion of authority is more diluted, and complicated. But he’s not entirely convinced by the democratizing influence of the web. He sees a greater concentration of religiously conservative voices online than off… and he’s not exactly sure why.

Gordon, or RealLivePreacher, is one of the most widely read and widely respected writers about religion online. He’s going to talk to us about the differences between his church ministering and his online… writing. (He doesn’t quite feel comfortable calling blogging “ministering,” although many of his frequent readers might disagree.) He noted that writing the blog has changed his Sunday sermons in small but perceptible ways; he’s braver now, and takes more risks. And he told me that he wouldn’t mind if none of his blog readers were Christian; he loves the growing relationships — friendships, in many cases — that RealLivePreacher has helped him foster with agnostics, Jews, mystics, and searchers of all stripes. Are you one of them? Do you read RealLivePreacher? What do you get from it?

And as for the rest of you: we want — we need! — to hear from you. Do you go online as part of your religious practice? What has it taught you? What have you gained? What have you lost? Who else should we be talking to?

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  • george cleveland

    I go online regularly for the latest news. This is part of my religious practice. I can see how many were killed in Iraq. I can get every detail of what Michael wore in court and almost nothing about humanitarian crises in northern Africa. I can read where my country that was founded as a nation under God has changed gods and abuses those imprisoned for their beliefs (and, yes, maybe their actions) and belittles their religion. I can watch our President claim to follow Christian teachings that I haven’t yet found in any New Testament translation.

    What I lose and gain in this practice hopefully makes my faith stronger.

    By asking if you go online “as part of your religious practice”, it sounds like you have put a limiting definition on religion. Like it’s a hobby or an avocation.

    There is SO much out there on the web, and SO much is kaka. If I read it all, I wouldn’t have a job. Thank you RSS. If you’re keeping track, I visit BibleGateway, Ship of Fools, Ole Anthony’s Trinity Foundation, Sacred Space and The Revealer. At least one on a daily basis.

    The best part of the online deal with RSS is that it keeps things of the spirit close by and that helps me remember where it is I would like to be in my daily life.

    Good luck with Open Source!

  • Robin

    hey folks. here’s another idea to check out or ask Mr. Sharlet about. People always talk about internet dating, but

    the internet has been especially good at allowing people in different reliegious minorities to connect, date, and get married to one another. A fascinating example I’ve seen is http://www.frumster.com (a play on the popular site “friendster”) specifically aimed at Orthodox Jews. People can search for one another based on their level of frumkite, or degree of religious observance. A quick scan of the “success stories” shows matches between people from all corners of the US & Canada (don’t know how popular it is outside of there. Excerpts include: “It all began on the first night of Hannukah…” and “this is how G-d chose to reveal my beshert (soul mate) to me!”

  • I am an atheist regular at WorldMagBlog, the blog of Marvin Olasky.

    I’ve also watched a few orthodox Jewish blogs, although my favorite (mis-nagid.blogspot.com) was hijacked. Others include the Godol Hador, Orthoskeptic, and frummer.blogspot.com.

    In fact, it was reading the comments on WorldMag’s post on Sharlett’s Harper’s peice on New Life that led me to the Revealer, and then to here.

    I just found the nice Progressive Muslin Union blog.

    These things baffle me (I like Thomas Franks, too). Why the heck are religious people so insanely dumb? I watch their blogs to get a sense of it. Oft-times it seems far more political than religious, although the Orthodox Jews are so insular it is the opposite, no politics at all. Oh, check out DovBear.blogspot.com for a more mainstream orthodox Jew. I can’t forget this one poem, that included this line “I’m a real Frum Jew, I’m Torah true” (rap it, it’s hilarious)

  • Did I really say insanely dumb? Damn ethyl alcohol!

    When I was a teenager, I thought, like everyone around me, I was dispensing with such foolish notions of a superpowerful diety who controlled everything and planted dinosaur bones. What a scam! Hey, suffer now, get paid when you are a corpse. Wha? I feel like opening a Bank for the Heaven-Bound. Invest $10K now, get $100K when you reach one of our branches in the afterlife (with seven locations in heaven, none in the bad place).

  • David

    Thanks, George, Robin, and Josh, ethyl alcohol or not. We’ll check out all of these suggestions. Keep ’em coming!

  • Hi guys,

    I enjoyed listening to yesterday’s premier show on a delayed basis from an mp3 link I found on Dave Winer’s blog.

    I’d like to be able to subscribe using FireANT.

    For this topic I have a link for you:

    http://thisrevolution.blogspot.com/2005/05/guerrilla-distribution-and-brian.html

    “Brian’s back with a new film exploring the existence of god, The God Who Wasn’t There, and once again exploring new distribution strategies. This time, he’s set up an online promotional team in which participants earn incrimental rewards for helping get his film out to a wider audience. Yet another clever idea for getting your message out from Brian Fleming.”

  • Abby

    I don’t know that I do that much religious searching on the net, but I do read a few religo-political blogs, e.g., slacktivist.

    The thing that I value most about Christianity is the community. You can’t be a Christian alone, at home. You have to show up at the eucharist. (Obviously there’s a lot of disagreement on this point, but that’s what my tradition teaches.)

    So I think that the important aspect of religion that we see online is that of community, which is more powerful–to me, at least–than the omniscience of google.

    In Chris’s opening salvo to the project he quoted from the business proposal to Interconnection: “InterConnection will deepen and expand their mutual affinity by helping them do more of what they already want to do, and be more completely what they aready are.â€?

    To become more fully wo we already are. That is what Christians mean when they talk about living into their baptismal covenant. It’s what the web allows us to do, and this show cum blog provides a forum for that.

    RLP in comments to his post on his decision to take anti-depressants gave thanks for his blog community. For my money participation in community is the way that we show our love for one another, and that is how I know the reality of Christ’s resurrection. To the extent that the online world fosters community, both virtual and real, then it’s part of that.

  • David

    Abby:

    This is really valuable. Are you listening to the show? Or, I guess, WILL you be listening tomorrow? I’d love you to call in and make this point on-air.

  • I found Real Live Preacher through a circuitous route. Another blogger (journalscape.com/reverendmother) suggested him to me after she watched a short film I wrote/directed about God and religious violence. My conversation with her was about the fact that I can’t submit CREDO to a faith-oriented film festival in New York because it contains one instance of profanity. This led her to point me toward RLP’s post on that subject.

    That’s why I first started reading him. I continue to visit because he’s interesting. I’m not interested in him because he’s a religious blogger–I’m not religious–but because he’s a good, thoughtful writer. Good and thoughtful are in short supply.

  • mpoush

    As a fairly new Christian (almost 2.5 years now), I find the Internet to be invaluable in learning about what Christianity really means. I sort through all the information and test it according to the Bible and my experience. I have been exposed to such a wide range of viewpoints through the Internet–compared to that, what I have learned from my Real Life counterparts in the Church have left me impoverished.

    I read Real Live Preacher because he writes true to his life. Not all of it is what I would consider orthodox–indeed, I have felt troubled by some of his statements–but all of it is honest. His writing reveals more about what it means to live out the Christian life than any simple declaration of doctrine could.

  • Chuck Nolan

    RLP doesn’t proselytize. He explores. He’s not afraid to show he is a Christian, but that’s not his purpose.

    He’s created and is creating a community of people who follow and participate in his exploration of life. The Web makes possible a kind of community not previously seen. Gordon is pioneering it.

    I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him, and he is one of God’s great humans. And I say this as an unbeliever.

  • Abby

    Sure David, I’d be glad to call in.

    Another area where the web is really usseful is in allowing professional religious people to talk about things they might be afraid to address with their congregations.

    Avowed, Practicing, Straight has been talking about sex anonymously.

    See http://openpew.blogspot.com

    “Well, maybe not completely. Maybe part of the reason the cute Anglo-Catholic sat me down and created a blog for me is because I’m a minister and I like sex and I’m not married. And that if my church found out, I might get in trouble, so I basically have to stay anonymous in this blog. She thinks this needs to be written about, and she’s probably right. How do I reconcile the fact I like sex with the fact that I not only love Jesus, but I’m sort of wed to him, too? And isn’t it a shame that we Christians (and ministers especially) have to stay in the closet, so to speak, about our sexuality?

    So I won’t locate myself geographically or even denominationally. But as I go along I’ll try to locate myself sociologically, experientially, and theologically. And hope all along that no one from my church finds out it’s me writing.”

    Also, it’s a handy way for people to discuss sermons. See Dylan’s lectionary blog (Real Live Preacher knows her) and Michael Povey’s blog at his church, St. James in Cambridge.

    http://www.stjames-cambridge.org/blog/

  • lmoritz

    Real Live Preacher fills a niche for me. I do not attend church regularly from a general falling out of how the church views certain aspects of life – women, gays, reproduction….

    RLP (Gordon) gives me back access to the human side of religon as opposed to just the dogma. It lets me feel better about being a Christian and has even inspired me to start thinking about going back to church – if only I could find the right preacher.

    Knowing that someone who ministers has the same thoughts and concerns that I do makes it all more personal – makes God more personal even. Thanks Gordon.

  • As a member of the first generation of children to be raised Internet-savvy, I find that my spirituality has been highly influenced by what I find and do online. There are of course potential pitfalls that need to be avoided, but having access to such a wonderful plurality of religious thought has done nothing but deepen my relationship with Christ and the world around me.

    This is so vitally important in America today, where diverse and/or dissenting ideas are discouraged, to say the least. Without the guidance of a couple renegade professors at bible college and instant access to wonderful writers and thinkers (like Real Live Preacher) via the Web since leaving college, I’d still possess a very narrow view of God’s interaction and presence in this reality we share.

    Reading blogs and essays from a variety of men and women responding to and in “real time” certainly inspires me to examine my own convictions, religious and otherwise. However, the Internet’s impact on my faith is far from being merely intellectual or emotional; in other words, internal. Recently, the Net has come to play a very important role in the development of my external, day-to-day practice as well. Primarily through the ministry of a group of Irish Jesuits, my prayer life has been revitalized through the practice of guided, contemplative prayer. Every day there is a new prayer for me to follow including a scripture passage, and meditations to guide my thought each week. This remarkable, free resource is found at

    http://www.sacredspace.ie

    and I cannot recommend it enough for anyone desiring a wholly practical, yet intimate and mystical connection with the Creator.

    As technology continues to evolve, new and creative ideas to inspire worship and real spirituality will emerge and join Sacred Space, Real Live Preacher and the other religious blogs, and the numerous chatrooms and message boards frequented by people of faith. God’s message of love and redemption is timeless, but the way that story is told will continue to change as the world around us continues to change.

  • Many, many moons ago, a friend popped into my IM window and said, “You have to read this guy’s blog!” The Real Live Preacher was talking about homosexuality and Christianity, it was the first of his “I Have No Title For This” articles (http://blogs.salon.com/0001772/stories/2003/02/18/iHaveNoTitleForThis.html).

    As someone who identifies as both Christian and homosexual, it was such a refreshing breath of the Spirit that I read all his archived posts in one night.

    RLP does what a good preacher should: challenges us to look at our lives differently and see through the same lens God does. And within the interactive medium of the blog, it’s more of a class than a sermon: we all talk back like I doubt many of us would face to face with our spiritual advisors.

    Peace, bretheren (and sistren!) 😀

  • Searching for religious stuff online is a big part of my religious “practiceâ€? (although that might be an overly generous term – I don’t do church, can’t stand devotionals, have a difficult time with prayer, and constantly waver between hopeful agnosticism and downright heathenism).

    What I like about KTB and RLP is that they explore big questions – without necessarily dictating answers. This is not exclusive to the internet. Chaim Potok and Madeleine L’Engle did that in their books (as did Sharlet and Atkinson), with stories and essays that ponder, wonder, and share the experience.

    I go online for religion (via blogs, websites, and discussion groups) because it is really, truly, and honestly a safe space. There are no “greeters� lurking in the Narthex waiting to accost me and make friendly, happy, welcoming small talk. No one is going to invite (or guilt) me into joining their Wednesday night bible study; I don’t have to sit through cheesy altar calls; there are no awkward stares if I choose not to take communion, or decide to exit because the person with the platform said something to make me angry. But this is hardly unique to the internet (television could accomplish the same thing).

    For me, the magic of “God Online� comes through the ability to interact with folks (and share the microphone) while maintaining that “safe space.� I can participate in a discussion, or just read and think through it myself. I’m able to share my disagreements with someone if they’re being stupid (and, should a sudden self-consciously shy moment hits me, I can always post anonymously).

  • RLP was the inspiration for my blog. I always wanted to write things down, but didn’t get inspired until I happened on a quote from RLP and went to check him out. Gordon writes as transparently as I hope to. It’s been a gas to not only meet him, but communicate with others that frequent his blog. It’s also brought new readers to mine. We share ideas, thoughts and our struggles online.It’s so much better than chatrooms.

    I have been connected to so many other bloggers through the RLP page. I appreciate his openess, and the openess of the readers on his site.

  • Shari

    Almost immediately RLP felt incredibly familiar. I felt I knew him. I too had grown up in the south, a good chunk of that was spent in Texas. So much of what he wrote echoed my own experiences and understandings of people and G*d. I was also drawn to the fearless openness in his writing. Although I haven’t lived in Texas for nearly two decades, I could feel it in his writing.

  • I’ve been reading RLP since its inception. A friend of mine dropped me an email one day and insisted that I check this guy out. He says he’s a preacher but you can be the judge of that after you’ve read what he has posted so far. Gordon certainly was different. A Pastor that uses profanity! It’s amazing how quickly news concerning him made the circuit of the Internet.

    I have read everything he has made available to us. I even purchased his book. He’s a very talented writer. I shared his book with a friend of mine in Pittsburgh, who has since shared it with a friend of hers, etc., etc. God only knows where it is today, but somehow I know…it’s still being read and enjoyed by someone, somewhere. There are few professing Christians that I am aware of that are as open and honest about their relationship with God as Gordon is.

    Once there was a time that I depended on the Internet for what I considered to be Christian fellowship in a virtual community. I gave up on that idea quickly. It simply did not work for me. It’s difficult to discern another person’s spirit when I am eye to eye with them. It’s impossible when one is attempting it on-line. Forrest Gump was right…life really is like a box of chocolates. One can never be sure of what they are going to get. God knows this also. Taste Him and see if He is not GOOD.

  • Real Live Preacher is one of my ‘daily’ reads. His insight into the trials, tribulations, and questions of his faith touch a chord with me. ‘Blind faith’ may be what is asked, but we humans seem to question our faith, and RLP portrays that in a real, human sense. The way he handles his questions lead others to look inside themselves to find their own answers.

  • Do you go online as part of your religious practice? What has it taught you? What have you gained? What have you lost?

    I cut & pasted the questions to try to stay on topic.

    I go online daily, it’s not really “part of my religious practice”. I read RLP along with other blogs, but I usually save his for last. It’s taught me that the image I was given growing up, with the preacher an actual stand-in for God, isn’t necessarily so. RLP is just a man, talking about his relationship with God. He’s also a writer, a father, a husband. What have I gained? Well, I was burned pretty well by organized religion when I was growing up, so what I’m gaining is, slowly, the willingness to participate in organized religion again. I’ve been trying to mesh mydesire to have a relationship with God and the “Christian” ideals about sexuality, womanhood, etc. RLP is becoming fundamental in my search, by NOT having all the answers. Does that make sense?

  • Aggie

    The Real Live Preacher site acts as a Gingerbread house for me. I find Gordan’s words tasty crumbs on most days, they make me hungry for more. He tempts me to continue to explore my own path to faith, and his perspective and insight keep me in motion. He writes as I imagine he speaks, in people-eze. It works for me, and I wish he’d hurry up and get another edition of essays out. One is not enough. Not nearly.

  • I’m a minister who blogs, but more I am a minister who reads blogs, especially RLP. There is something about the honesty, the good writing, and the willingness to doubt, struggle–“wrestle with angels”–that makes me feel less alone.

    I’m from a more liberal denomination and RLP helps me remember a Jesus and a kind of Christianity I can admire and even aspire to. His retellings of Bible stories have the ring of truth–and the Preacher’s Own Story taught me the difference between “faith” and “faithfulness”–something I talk about a lot in my own sermons now.

  • mattman

    As someone new to ordained ministry (2 years) I have found RLP to be a voice of solidarity, one who will speak honestly about the struggles those called to bring God’s Word to the people face. It was such a relief to know that I wasn’t alone feeling the things I did about church (i.e. not always wanting to be there on Sunday, the emotional drain that leading worship creates, etc.). Because RLP comes from a different background his writing has also helped dispel some of my preconceptions about other Christian traditions. The space created by this blog is a hopeful one for the universal church and those who can’t shake the claim God has somehow laid upon their lives.

  • The godblogs I love and visit aspire to an honest engagement with their doubts and failings in a way that creates something new and more whole. That’s what I strive for in my own blog—sometimes I get there, sometimes I don’t.

    Aside from blogging, some five years ago I finally admitted to myself that I had become a Unitarian Univeralist after taking the Belief-O-Matic quiz at Beliefnet.com. When it came back saying I was 99% UU—with Christian flavors starting only in fifth place—I could admit to myself that I’d changed.

    I’m not particularly proud that “a quiz changed my life”—though, to be more accurate, it helped me mark a change which had already happened. But grace happens, and you have to take it as it comes. Even if it’s online.

  • skays

    There’s a lot of talk among Christian circles about the ’emergent church’ and the ‘postmodern generation’. These terms have come to be because of the great disconnect between generations. The world is different now. People are thinking differently than 50-100 years ago. But many Christians are living their lives and ministering as though it is 1920.

    Churches are very diverse and the people who get the most attention are usually the middle class white suburban families that are the core of many American churches. We need a bridge between generations–RLP is a wonderful example of someone who can bridge the gap not only between generations of Christians but also Christianity and other religions.

  • Jon

    What a breathtaking title: The Protestant Reformation in Christianity, the Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist movements of Judaism, and all other religious subdivisions to date in human history must only rate version levels of 1.x in comparison. Raising the stakes to 2.0 implies fundamental redifining of the God-mankind relationship at a new level of intensity and scrutiny. To do so will require very thoughtful input from a broad array of theists and non-theists alike: a fitting challenge for Open Source.

  • I’m not a theist, but I’ve been reading RLP for years, now. He is one of my favorite writers on the web. Even though there are significant doctrines that we don’t share much interest in, the cash value of religion for RLP is compassion and love, and it makes him a real inspiration. RLP has really made me reevaluate, in a positive light, theists and theism.

  • scottaerwin

    I am also a real life preacher, also a baptist, and also involved in the same networks of baptist life that rlp resides. It gets extraordinarily lonely and isolated in this work. Your not supposed to burden others with your “stuff” so we suffer in silence until we just freak out and lose it, then were accused of having some moral “failure” but we usually are just having symptoms of a closed soul trying to be opened somewhere. RLP opens my soul. He speaks a language that my soul understands. In the Bible it says in Romans 8:26 that the Spirit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. The spirit uses RLP to intercede for me with groans that my own words cannot express.

  • Pingback: Open Source » Blog Archive » Wednesday Night()

  • donandval

    We read Real Live Preacher regularly. We’re Christians, which is a fact that may place us in the minority of RLP’s readers, but we go there for many of the same reasons that everyone else does. Honesty. Insight. Humor. A reminder that regardless of your spiritual beliefs you are a valued human being and we are all in this together.

    Gordon started RLP anonymously, because there were things he just needed to talk about and his real life persona made it difficult to do so. We really admire the fact that even though he “came out” as Gordon Atkinson, he hasn’t lowered the honesty level on the blog. That’s a major problem with people in most conventional churches (especially pastors)… they sacrifice honesty in an effort to present a flawless facade, as if appearing to be superior will foster some sort of trust or respect. RLP is a great example that a person can be themselves, and be honest about their flaws, and still be a positive influence in the spiritual pursuit of another. It’s inspiring to us, because we aren’t perfect and we aren’t any good at faking it, so we have a hard time fitting into a “regular” church.

    On the flip side, as much as we really love RLP and many other blogs, well… they aren’t church. Blogs are great for provoking thought and giving a forum to meaningful discussions, but let’s face it — there’s just something about meeting together with real live people that can’t be replicated in a blog setting. We hope to someday find a church we feel comfortable with, but even if do, we’ll still seek additional insight online. Thank God it’s out there!

    And to RLP we say, “Peace, brother!”. 🙂

  • As the community manager for one of the largest Christian forums on the web I see first hand how the INTERNET has shaped the faith of the masses who come in an attempt to solidify what they believe.

  • Administrator

    Fritzpw, tell us a little more about what you see.

  • Is Gordon still going to be on?

  • I commonly see people engaging in discussion on doctrinal teaching. Some of these people will fight tooth and nail in support of their position despite that position being proven false.

    While others engage and find their position sharpened and clarified.

    Iron sharpens iron.

  • Brendan

    Fritzpw, do you see them engaging online, tooth and nail, in a way that they wouldn’t in a church?

  • Absolutely.

    There’s a freedom for one to be a bit more aggressive in defending their position,

  • Brendan

    Thanks, Fritz, great point. I don’t know whether you heard it or not but we just brought it up on air.

  • shpilk

    Could be, that religion and the ether of the net are a near perfect match.

    Having no worry about ‘effects’ about what is said {as one guest just expounded} and no need to have bona fides makes for a union that gives near infinite possibilities.

    But is there a lasting influence, and lasting truth from this marriage, or is it just ?

  • Wow, so much for my radio background… I think I just about passed out. Thank you for your interaction, though. I am really enjoying the show.

  • Brendan

    shpilk, explain; what do you mean when you ask whether it’s just that you don’t need bona fides to participate on the Internet? It kind of sounds like you’re comparing online religion to the Protestant Reformation.

  • As Jeff said, there is a strong Protestant vibe to this whole deal… Not to put words in anyone else’s mouth, of course…

  • I found the comparison of the Internet to God interesting.

    I think one has to remember that the Internet is source of information and resources readily available with just a click or two of the keyboard.

    In many ways this is more like a giant library.

    The difference is that the Internet also serves as a conduit that allows individuals to readily connect in live communication with people from around the world.

    When asked why people come to my forum the #1 response is that people come back because of the connections they’ve made with other people.

    It is these online relationships that create an incredible bond… in some cases as strong as any relationship one may build in a local setting.

  • Brendan

    Fritzpw, can you leave a URL to your forum? I’d like to put it up on the blog post for this show when we wrap up.

  • shpilk

    Well Brendan, I am still trying to a handle on the concept.

    What is the measure of validity of a particular viewpoint?

    Would it be based upon how popular the weblog or website is?

    I have a little travel time on the net looking at religious web sites, most of them are based upon established religious structure – and this is not what I am making reference to – not the extension of a brick and mortar edifice.

    The questions I have pertain to those expressions that have no basis in established religious structure.

  • Sure!

    I manage the Crosswalk forums on the Faith Community Network.

    http://forums.crosswalk.com

  • Jeff’s one of the smartest people out there in his analysis and intuition about religion. Glad he’s on.

    I’m intrigued by this idea that allowing individual believers to create their own experiences of God. Jeff’s right that this is often a “Protestant� mindset. But even the most hierarchical of religions leave space for the unmediated experience of God by individual believers. In the Roman Catholic Church, Julian of Norwich, who had here series of visions while a nun before the Protestant Revolution, has become a Doctor of the Church.

    And what I like about the Internet is that it might allow people to know that even in the most non-protestant of religions there is room for their own experience of God.

    RLP does this for some. I had one of my very few mystical experience while reading his blog. And I think that that opening to other traditions (perhaps via doubt) may make our own religion more profound, deep, and genuine.

    (Accidentally posted on the Web 2.0 forum first.)

  • Brendan

    Shpilk, thanks, this is a great point, and it actually bears on a question Chris just asked, but we’re running out of time here.

  • shpilk

    Wonderful discussion all round – and it’s working.

    {Now if you folks could only go to two or three hours :}

    BTW .. has there been discussion about extending the program after radio air time by audio, strictly on the net ?

    I think there would be a continuation of at least part of the audience.

  • Brendan, Christopher, and all. Thanks for having me. It was a wonderful experience. What a great idea to have the comments working like this during the show.

  • Great show folks.

  • mfeltz

    Post Show Comentary:

    It was refreshing to hear open air discussion about God. I hope that there will be more shows like this in the future.

    On the topic of Dvinity and all that is sacred, has anyone brought up the issue of the forces throughout history that have attempted to destroy religions and upright faith in God(s), namely Marxist idealologies?

    As of late I have been reading a document called the Epoch Times Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. With so much attention on China these days from so many anlges (population, economic development, polution, spiritual development/decay), this document has provided some insights into a lot of questions. Furthermore, nearly 2 million chinese have quit the party after reading the nine commentaries, or Jiuping as it is called in mandarin.

    From my understanding of God, China is one of his favorite countries. Could it be that from within this great land we will soon see some truly majestic unfoldings?

    Just some food for thought…

  • What a stimulating and fabulous conversation! I loved having the blog comments entered into discussion during the broadcast as well — it really gets across some of the feeling one gets from conversation on the web. Thanks for having me!

    Sarah Dylan Breuer

    http://www.sarahlaughed.net/lectionary/ – Dylan’s lectionary blog

    http://www.sarahlaughed.net/gracenotes/ – Grace Notes (a personal blog)

  • like john reuben says. here’s my two cents.

    i think a lot of christians are trying to preach using their sites. it was the great commission, after all. does anyone else feel that its easier to preach like that than in person? and not just defend their beliefs or argue aggressively…

    christianity – a mode of lifelong inquiry indeed. let the seekers search online too.

    i find i’ve become bolder about being a christian after i’ve started blogging about it as part of my life. that’s an immense gain for me.

    i would like to note that what the web shows us of christianity is skewed in favor of those who are able to express their opinions here. as shown by the preponderance of what i shall call “the west”. where are the indigenous(for lack of a better word) expressions of faith? even though they are out there, they hardly affect us…

    i fear i have made no sense. but i cant seem to express myself any better tonight.

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  • Listeners might be interested in the first “open source” religion:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster