Thursday, October 13, 2005

A WEEK WITH ROBERT WEBBER- day 3


ROBERT WEBBER ON DIFFERENT KINDS OF EVANGELICALS:

Traditional Evangelicals have been shaped by the Enlightenment. So they work with modern philosophy, a modern understanding of science, history, sociology. They’re modernists, and so they interpret the Christian faith through these modern categories. And what’s very interesting about Traditional Evangelicals is that the categories through which they interpret the Christian faith are almost regarded as sacred, almost as sacred as the Christian faith itself. So if you say, “Well, I don’t believe in evidential apologetics,” there’s something wrong with you.

Another way to look at these groupings is to look through a communication lens. So, for example, Traditionalists are given to print communication, are much more verbal. The Pragmatists emerging in the ’80s and ’90s, they’re much more given to the communications revolution that took place in the ’60s and ’70s, which is oriented around television and broadcast. So their churches are broadcast churches, and they want to show the gospel and present the gospel and entertain people with the gospel. So they’re very much shaped by a broadcast model of communication.

Now a third group, that I call the Younger Evangelicals, or the Millennials — they’re shaped more by the Internet. Therefore, their approach to worship and the church is going to be much more oriented around the interaction of the Internet.

MY THOUGHTS:
I find this to be an interesting piece of information- about the younger evangelicals being shaped by the internet and how that impacts our approach to worship. I throw this question out for you to ponder:

How might the church be shaped by internet interaction? How could/or does this look?

7 comments:

gavin richardson said...

we've talked about this, how with blogging you can establish relationships with people across the world while you converse for and against differing points of doctrine, theology, social politics, etc. it then gives you a tie to that person who may be on the polar opposite of you, a tie that makes it harder to see the person as 'against me' or my particular cause at that time.

i think too that it will be to join ideas and stories from those practicing congregations who wish to shape their community (church & local). people will have more access to ideas, inspiration, practical nuts and bolts, and moral support.

Zoomdaddy said...

i remember church of fools (ship of fools' experiment) in internet worship. in many ways it was no more than a glorified chat room with fun graphics. did people truly experience the presence of God? did they demonstrate a strong obedience to the Sabbath commandment when the "assembled" online? did they truly embody a corporate expression of adoration? whichever of these standards one applies to worship, i still think that church of fools was lacking in them all. i am not familiar with too many other internet worship experiments, but i would be intersted in finding out what others have experienced.

Craig Moore said...

I think internet conversations help both sides to understand each other. I can easliy stereotype someone I disagree with and refute their positions, but with the internet they can respond and challenge me. That is good because it helps me learn more about the ideas of those I disagree with and they become more than just straw men to knock down. I like this kind of learning and I am personally working toward following this model in my blogging.

Eric Lee said...

I think the internet is great, but I have to--have to--acknowledge its limitations, especially in dialogue. Maybe it's the views I hold, or the fact that I used to be an argumentative fundamentalist and then an argumentitive political junky last year (both of which I am continually trying to repent of), but there is a lot of jerkiness on the internet. I'll let this Penny-Arcade comic sum up:

Green Blackboards (and other anomalies) (warning: foul language ahead)

It's so true, and is often discouraging. It's kind of a unique thing that doesn't quite happen in real life as much, it seems.

To make a final observation, considering I run across these attitudes so much, I wonder what kind of a public/private distinction is being fostered in today's "internet generation" where people lead public lives and then go out and do whatever silly things on the internet, all behind the guise of "anonymity."

Peace,

Eric

Thunder Jones said...

I think the Internet aids communication and could really be a plus for ecuminism (something "pragmatic evangelicals" discarded, if not loathed), but it shouldn't shape our worship. That's my biggest issue with a lot of Evangelicalism.

Church should look like Church, it should be Eucharistic in shape. It should look like the Church that Schmemann describes, not the modern "praise bands" that plague contemporary churches. You might be able to get big crowds with seeker-sensitive services, catchy choruses, or sermons that play to short attention spans and video clips, but the Church's liturgy should be about the worship in the form of Holy Eucharist, not preaching, music, or other hipster inventions. As we work towards making Church more marketable to the masses, we lose our identity.

For more rants like this, reference my post on UMC golden-boy Adam Hamilton's book Selling Swimsuits in the Arctic.

St.Phransus said...

thank you!! wow, you've read schmemann!!! i've just recently stumbled onto him through a friend.

Thunder Jones said...

Wainwright made me read two of his books in a class I took with him on the sacraments. I've got the Schmemann book on the Eucharist if you want to borrow it.