Holy Holograms!
Forget video preaching, holographic technology is coming to the church sooner than you think.

Clark, a media technology company that supplies churches, is pioneering holographic technology that can create a life-size, three dimensional projection of a preacher on a platform. Blogger Tony Morgan was given a preview at Clark's offices near Atlanta. He writes, "Pricing is coming down quickly to the point that I won't be surprised if we see this technology implemented in churches within the next 12 months."

Morgan took a photo of himself standing beside the holographic preacher.

What do you think? Like Morgan do you "love these days we live in," or bemoan the loss of incarnate ministry? If the technology was affordable, would you consider it for your ministry?

**UPDATE**

This week film critic Roger Ebert, who has been unable to speak since cancer surgery removed his throat in 2006, debuted his "new voice" on the Oprah show. The technology uses past recordings of Ebert's voice to construct a digital replication. Whatever he types is read aloud by the computer in a voice remarkably like his own.

The technology is still under development, but if combined with the holographic images being developed by Clark, this could be the solution to the succession dilemma facing many megachurches. Andy Stanley may well be the teaching pastor at North Point well into the 22nd century.

March 03, 2010

Displaying 1–10 of 51 comments

Marie

April 12, 2010  3:30pm

So, I'm pretty young - 17 - and I'm definitely not afraid of new technology, but I think people comparing this to airplanes and radios and television are making a mistake. I agree that its silly to be afraid of new technology, but we have to be careful how its used. If the holograms are used like the radio and TV - to create shows people could watch at home that would minister to Christians and others - that could potentially be a great benefit (although it would have it's pitfalls - imagine 3D prosperity gospel tele-evangelists). But thats different from using them IN church. This new technology could have great potential in sharing the Gospel OUTSIDE of our churches, but inside a church, the real face-to-face relationships can't be compromised. I also have a problem with using this technology in worship services because it seems very sensationalist. Sensationalism like this makes people exited, but not for a genuine reason. Worship services are for worshipping God, and excitement we feel should come from that, not be artificially induced by lighting effects or holograms. I also think people become more easily fooled when a church becomes sensationalist (I'm thinking of mega-churches here). They feel moved no matter what the pastor is saying, because of the atmosphere, and then they believe him, even when they should know that what he's teaching is false. Because they feel moved, they think what they're hearing is truth. The Holy Spirit should move us in worship, not the visual effects. So, I think the technology has awesome potential, but it shouldn't be implemented IN churches. To all of you who are taking the "they said that about the television too" stance, imagine this: Instead of turning up, a pastor has somebody set up speakers so the congregation can hear his radio show. For the sermon, a screen is on the is so we can watch his someone's TV show. Or maybe in church we could each sit in front of a computer and enjoy our own personal interactive animated lesson? Do you see what I mean? You're right the technology has great potential, but when people say they don't want this in their churches, it's not like when they said television was evil. I think radio and television and podcasts and all of those things are great tools in spreading the Gospel, but I would be horrified to see them implemented in worship services (which is what the article proposes for the holograms). I very sincerely hope you would be too...

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Marie

April 12, 2010  3:03pm

So, the voice thing so that the guy can keep communicating is awesome. But the holograms seem off to me for anything except, like people said, dramatic production (and even then- is that really what we should be spending money on?), and maybe occasionally for other uses (depending on how small the technology becomes, maybe they could be brought to places where Christians are prevented from holding large meetings, and live too far away from each other to form small house-churches?). But as a common teaching method I don't like the idea much. As for the idea of maintaining pastors after their death and holograms with copied voices - talk about creepy. And there are enough problems with personality cults already. Can you imagine how infatuated a congregation would have to be with their pastor to want people to create the illusion of him artificially ministering from beyond the grave? Sounds like cult-mentality and idolatry to me... In general - holograms in ministry: no thanks. It would be pretty cool if they replaced telephones, though.

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Dan Lilldahl from Newnan, GA

March 19, 2010  6:24am

Robert, Thanks for your name-calling and lumping myself in with the other neanderthals who fear technology. We appreciate your condescension and smug attitude.

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sheerahkahn

March 16, 2010  10:46am

"It was (and still is) called "The Hour of Decision". Heard of it?" Nope, can't say I have. And thank you for clarifying and supporting my contention with your apt, and very useful example. You see Radio was/is a public domain, which means that everyone, including the godless heathens and soul-less reprobates who live outside the bible-belt, can get a taste of message via the airwaves...considering that they get a moment of need to listen to something that has never appealed to them before, tune in, and spend the time being yak'd at by a faceless voice. But the difference here is that holograms are not being "beamed" out to the unchurched on hologram tunable stations in the car and home...unlike your example, so that means the godless heathens and soul-less reprobates would have to pack up their already disintrested backsides, go find their local church, sit through a disney like production of a topic they're genuinely not interested in, and then you got something there about technology and the unsaved. Just imagine...if only Y'shua had waited two-thousand years to be born...all the people he could have reached by our wonderous technology...wow...just boggles the mind how the church got this far without the electronics.

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Robert

March 15, 2010  8:57pm

Reminder for previous nay sayers: The same "technology = ungodliness" accusations were said by fellow Christians back in the 50's about a certain 'radio' technology. They said "It's not possible for the Holy Spirit's work to be legitimized by transmitting God's word (or 'magically projected') over the air waves. What an ungodly waste of time and money!" Thank goodness, one simple young preacher didn't listen to them. Somehow, he seemed to gain quite the momentum using this new technology. And he used it to God's advantage by regularly sharing the Gospel with such a listener response that they gave him his own radio program. It was (and still is) called "The Hour of Decision". Heard of it? In addition to radio, this media-savvy visionary did the same to pioneer effective evangelism using other 'worldly' technologies; Television and Motion Picture mediums. In fact, his God-given preaching abilities had been in high demand throughout America and other parts of the world, simultaneously. And, believe it or not, God DID use his ministry internationally often heard in many places at the same time. But how could that work?.. .....leading souls to Christ effectively through these 'worldly' technologies again? Although, it DID seem to offset the limitations of only being able to humanly preach at one 'live' crusade, in one place at a time..... It did seem then, that God blessed his evangelistic efforts of BEAMING pre-recorded and 'live' broadcasts to millions and millions of people around the world, and with eternal benefits! Hmmmmm, his vision and pursuit of using alternative technologies for God's Glory seem to still be around today. Will these same nay sayers overlook the spiritual impact of the internet as well? Again, thank goodness Billy didn't listen to them......

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sheerahkahn

March 15, 2010  12:24pm

"My church has multiple local campuses plus partner churches around the country. Holographic technology will simply take the live video feeds (and DVDs) that we currently use to a higher and more realistic level." For some reason, which I'm still exploring, this statement makes me sad.

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SteveW

March 15, 2010  11:22am

My church has multiple local campuses plus partner churches around the country. Holographic technology will simply take the live video feeds (and DVDs) that we currently use to a higher and more realistic level. May God rise up more gifted preachers who actually feed those who hear them and more technologically creative geniuses who bring us the technology to continue to reach a spiritually starving world.

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Scott McQueen

March 13, 2010  4:41pm

Just my personal preference, but I go to church to see, hear, and interact with real people. I would rather have an unknown humble live person up at the pulpit than even the most famous preacher or evangelist in a hologram. When a church or people become more concerned with a specific personality it seems to border on idolatry to me. The technology is fascinating, and I would enjoy a 3D hologram over a flat screen movie. I'm sure it has a place, but again I prefer person (flaws and all) over a projection for my Sunday mornings.

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Reginald Perry

March 11, 2010  11:33am

Brothers and Sisters, I'm going to tread lightly here, because history has proven time and time again how we can quickly jump to conclusions without looking at all the possibilities. In terms of technology, someone said that personal computers would never be in every home, but apparently that assumption has been put to rest, and look at video technology. Right now, video technology does a lot for those that are sick and shut-in. Everyone has their opinion, and I respect that, but whatever can help to spread the gospel message is a plus. God Bless.

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sheerahkahn

March 11, 2010  10:38am

"Are we to openly invite ANTICHRIST INTO THE CHURCH via technology ? A Holographic image perfectly answers to the image in Rev 13 and according to the article it can simulate the voice of a dead person , making the effect the PERFECT CON JOB on the church ." There has got to be an internet maxim, like Godwin's Law, for Christians when someone ties some piece of technology or other item involved with the Church to Revelations..

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