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Friday, February 8, 2013

Part 5

I'm wondering about the ways media changes context. Who is our preaching audience and context? Who is our worshipping community? Even our radio broadcast begs the question.

Jim Rice from Sojourners is presenting. Jim is raising ecclesiological questions using models from Catholic theologian Avery Dulles. Four ecclesiological models from Dulles include institution, communion, herald and servant. Social media has aspects that support the institution of the church, and work to undercut it. Social media can serve community and herald modes of being church.

Monica Coleman of Claremont School of Theology is presenting now. She is talking about atonement theology. I'm not sure where she is going. Oh she is highlighting the role of new media as a mediator.

Now up, Lerone Martin, Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis. Martin is looking at the history of the use of electronic media by religious communities as a tool for proclamation from the telegraph on. He is asking what I think are the critical theological questions. Can we proclaim the gospel and make disciples in 140 characters or less? Martin thinks that social media cannot fully replace geographically based Christian life, but it can enhance them significantly. What does it mean that people are already using non geographically based media to replace geographically based Church life? This is even happening at CMC, and even now. What does it mean that each church member in an information age has access to volumes theological and biblical information. Clergy are needed not for expertise but for their curating and guiding abilities. Martin's is a fine and thoughtful presentation, the best so far.

Serene Jones, president of UTS is now speaking. "There is something about mobility" in the use of mobility, as we use these new ways of communicating to organize ourselves. Many provocative things being said now, but I can't keep up on my iPad. I will do a post later summing up the conference. Maybe when I am waiting hours on end at the airport. Here's a question from Serene Jones. Is the kerygma of the church going to be crowd sourced?