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Church After Google

I was speaking with another minister today about social networking and remarked that I hoped it wouldn't be too long before we would begin to some theological reflection emerging. I have come home to find the latest edition of the Princeton Theological Review is on 'The Church After Google'. The essays are academic and some a little heavy going, but its good to see some engagement with the ways church, theology and faith are being reconstrued by the new online media.

I know of very little other engagement, save an article on theological blogging by Ben Myers in Cultural Encounters (which due to a error in its publication, can be downloaded for free here), a chapter on blogging by Justin Bailey in Everyday Theology (Brazos, 2007), a book by Dwight J. Friesen, Thy Kingdom Connected (Baker, 2009) and some bits on facebook in Kester Brewin's book Other (Hodder & Stoughton, 2010).


Louise Polhill

Hi Andy,

Try the following for size. Doing some work on this myself at the moment - can you tell?! It's a thological reflection (based on a film) about personhood and community in contemporary culture. A decent chunk of it will be on how the internet is redefining community.

[The Expository Times article refers to a whole pile of other material too.]


Estes, Douglas, SimChurch: Being the Church in the Virtual World (Michigan, Zondervan, 2009)

Friesen, Dwight J., Thy Kingdom Connected: What the Church can Learn from Facebook, the internet and Other Networks (Baker Books, Michigan, 2009)

Hipps, Shane, Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith (Michigan, Zondervan, 2009)

Hutchings, Timothy, ‘The Internet and the Church: An Introduction’ The Expository Times 122 (2010) 11-16.

Rice, Jesse The Church of Facebook: How the Hyperconnected Are Redefining Community (Colorado, David C. Cook, 2009)

There are more too, but I've not referenced them yet - and I don't have them on me. Will try and remember to add more tomorrow.


Brian Brock (Aberdeen) has made some critical comments about blogging (based on readings around the ethics of technology) in conversation and correspondence, at least - don't know if he's gone into print on the subject.

'A New Kind of Conversation' (Brian Mclaren, et al.) might fit? I've not read it.

Why don't you propose a blog conference and resulting book?!

Andy Goodliff

Thanks Louise. Hope you find the Princeton Theological Review articles helpful.

Steve, it is in print. His book on technology came out in the summer. The chapter on blogging, etc is extracted as an article in the Princeton Theological Review journal referenced above.

David Bunce


More popular but non-the-less perceptive was John Bell's talk at Greenbelt last summer "Would Jesus be my Facebook friend?". Should be up on the Greenbelt shop to download, if not I have notes - he was broadly talking about personhood and exploring whether or not this was compatible with a Facebook type environment.

Was also going to mention "Church of Facebook" by Jesse Rice.

One final article from a psychology professor at one of the Christian Unis in the states - http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com/2010/11/kingdom-of-god-will-not-be-tweeted.html


Just to add to the list, I am pretty sure Elaine Graham (prof of Practical Theology at Chester) has written in this field too.


A number of the essays in The New Media Frontier provide some helpful reflection on the new media from a variety of angles. I particularly liked the ones by John Mark Reynolds, Matthew Lee Anderson, and Fred Sanders.

Louise Polhill

Thanks - I think the articles will be great!

This is another I have:

Waters, Brent, 'From Human to Posthuman: Christian theology and Technology in a Postmodern World' (Aldershot, Ashgate Publishing, 2006)

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