A different connection

A third and final excerpt from Phyllis Tickle’s 2008 book, The Great Emergence:

The computer and cyberspace …. have connected each of us to all the rest of us. … In our connectedness, of course, we also experience with immediacy the pain and agony, incongruities and horrors, of life as it is lived globally. …

The Reformation’s cry of sola scriptura was accompanied and supported by the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. The computer, opening up as it does, the whole of humankind’s bank of collective information, enables the priesthood of all believers in ways the Reformation could never have envisioned. It also, however, opens up all the information to anybody, but without he traditional restraints of vetting or jurying; without the controls of informed, credentialed access; and without the accompaniment or grace of mentoring. It even opens up with equal elan the world’s bank of dis-information. … (with) huge implications for the Great Emergence and for what it will decide to do about factuality in a wiki world.

Local churches now disaffiliating from the United Methodist connection are trending toward a non-denominational, congregational model that “networks” with like-minded people. One of my former churches recently voted to disaffiliate, with some supporters of exodus sporting “Independent Strong” buttons leading up to the vote. But, even the most “independent” congregations are connected with other faith communities, personally and via cyberspace through social media. It’s just a different connection.

From “Why are disaffiliating churches choosing to go solo rather than joining the GMC?” Jeremy Smith, Hacking Christianity, August 10, 2022 (photo screenshot from “The Matrix,” 1999)

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