October 9, 2007

The Virtual Pastor

Category: Theology - Pastoral :: Permalink

Brian McLaren├é┬áraises some questions about the new technology that allows people to “minister” without actual contact with people:

Many of us have thought to ourselves, Ministry would be great if it weren’t for the people, and increasingly it has become possible to “have a ministry” without ever having to actually live, in your flesh, with people in their flesh. In fact, vicarious ministries (via books, radio, TV, or whatever) have a higher status in the minds of many than the work of actually being with people who argue, fail, disagree, react, sin, attack, have emotional breakdowns, get sick, call you at 2 a.m., betray you, try your patience, and eventually die and leave you in grief.

But as McLaren argues, such “ministries” damage people, including the pastors who “minister” from afar in this way. Worth thinking about in our technologized age.

Posted by John Barach @ 2:32 pm | Discuss (2)

2 Responses to “The Virtual Pastor”

  1. Chuck Hartman Says:

    Hi, John!

    I see from my daily news from http://www.Kurzweilai.net that avators in simulated worlds are now going to be ‘enabled’ (?) to move from one simulated environment to another, more freely.
    Kurzweil is interesting in one sense because he supposedly cured himself of diabetes in a disintermediation-ish way by researching it and acting. (Home schooling is the prime example of disintermediation in the last few decades.)
    But, to get to the point, someone could minister to him more profitably electronically because, first, he’s difficult to catch, and second, that’s how he brings information into himself.
    I’ve often thought of trying out MaeDay80 on a simulation site first, and I’ve read that big corporations do that for marketing.

    A second point (I almost said ‘pont’, or bridge! Pontifex!) would be related to our ‘resonating’ as divisibilities of the octave in our worshiping in the heavenlies on the Lord’s Day. There is a type of alternative reality.

    Then too, many have benefited I hear, such as Barfield, from Akashic ‘stuff.’ Wikipedia.

    Fourthly, a good appreciation of the knowledge industry, and virtual ministries is, tangentially, in Chrichton’s ‘State of Fear.’ There he has a professor say that since universities have lost their monopoly on the knowledge industry, they had to find another economic/ecological niche, and it is producing fears, so the legal-political-media complex can do social control, since Communism is dead. (But now we have Islam to enemy-ize.

    Thanks for your post.

    Oh, fifthly, a science fiction expert says that the whole of SF is a response to the Industrial Revolution, the trauma, the adjustment–in a series of virtual worlds first! (CH, this last).

    Love in Christ, true Vir and true Deus


  2. Chuck Hartman Says:

    Oops! ‘Avatars’

    Pax Christi,


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