My previous post made mention of modern and post-modern Christianity. Those are terms for theological and doctrinal trends over the past couple of centuries, and they can be weighty topics indeed. But my subject today is about a different kind of modernity. Have you noticed how churches and other Christian organizations have embraced many of the most recent technologies and social trends?
I suppose that the wide range of contemporary Christian music is a prime example of modernized Christian experience. The instruments, sound systems and multimedia features in our churches are right up to date with the contemporary secular music scene. We see modern communication technologies everywhere as well. Our churches all have web sites and email newsletters, and many of us can follow what our pastors are doing by following their Twitter feeds and reading their Facebook pages.
Churches and Christian organizations have been taking advantage of technological advances ever since Gutenberg printed the Bible on a movable-type printing press. I am a techie type myself, and my reaction to church adoption of modern capabilities is generally positive. However, I ran across an example last week that I am just not so sure about.
I’m sure most of you are familiar with at least some of the games that Facebook users play. I will admit to playing some myself. But I was just introduced to Journey of Jesus: The Calling. The promo says that this is a fun adventure where you play a major part in the Gospel story. So of course I had to try it. It is pretty simplistic as a game, and pretty simplistic in its presentation of the story of Jesus. The underlying motive of the game is obviously evangelism; the game is complete with a tab that takes you to the four spiritual laws. So is this a great new outreach tool based on the latest technology and social media? Or is it an offensive dumbing down of Christian faith and message that will only confuse people and cast Christianity as just another of life’s games?
You can try this game yourself if you have a Facebook account. It is at http://apps.facebook.com/journeyofjesus/. I would really like to hear what you think of it.