In her new book, Rising from the Ashes: Rethinking Church, Becky Garrison compiles interviews with a range of leaders who are involved in alternative worship in mainline and emergent churches. Below are some of the responses she elicited with the question, "How do you see technology (blogs, podcasts) as tools to advance the gospel?"
Nadia Bolz-Weber: (e-mail): I wonder if there should be a Hippocratic Oath for Christians. "At first, do the gospel no harm." Technology is neutral. The intentionality around its use is what makes it work for good or evil. Here's my opinion: A room full of worshipers who stare for an hour at a huge video screen (not unlike the rest of their lives) with Tom Cruise film clips and vapid "Jesus is my boyfriend" lyrics: evil. A room full of worshipers who are focused on the central symbols of the faith, perhaps some of which are occasionally on a screen: good. I cannot stress enough that this is an example of my own sinful, narrow opinions and should not in any way be taken as authoritative in the least (although don't get me wrong, I'm totally right about this). I'm a big fan of blogs. When I started Sarcastic Lutheran: The Cranky Spirituality of a Postmodern Gal-Emerging Church ala Luther, I seriously thought that perhaps up to half a dozen of my friends would read it and mostly out of loyalty. I'm shocked to report that thousands of people from all over the world read the thing, many of whom e-mail me with messages like "Thank you so much, I thought I was the only one who thought like this." Now I see my blog as a ministry, a little piece of the Internet for the lunatic fringe of the church. Being part of the emerging-church blogosphere has led me to develop amazing friendships with folks in the ...1