Theology After Google and the (Missing) Missio Dei (Part 2)
To follow up with Part 1 of this post, I’ve been reflecting on some struggles I’ve had with the overall assumptions or posture of the conference. For instance, in an ecclesiological sense, some of the content offered at Theology After Google (TAG) has been shared as how we can use social media to connect to the generations that are up and coming. I felt as though some of it bordered on methodological as a means to connect to said generations to the current structure of an institutional, western, and Christian religion. Theologian, screen writer and director Craig Detweiler made the comparison of Cheat Code books in gaming communities and the possibility that gamers could use concordances in Christianity much the same way. I found this problematic, bordering on the same kind of religious engagement that I’m trying to free myself from. Inferred in this is that people can be subsumed into the kinds of religious structure that already exist, but with a culturally relevant approach. It seems to leave out the aspect of loving the other that institutionalized religion have promulgated: this person/these people become our “project” to convert, where we clothe our efforts in the language/cultural memes of the proselytes.
Perhaps our conversation here at TAG is rooted in the Missio Dei (I would proffer this as a possibility of the follks facilitating our time here. . .). That is, it’s assumed that the content of this conference is rooted in the the micro sense of the Missio Dei. The question is, then, what is a macro perspective of the Missio Dei in Web 2.o? How is God working in Web 2.o in the Global sense? If the Missio Dei is something we are to participate in, it seems that we must do some serious reflection on where God is at work in this place. Someone mentioned at the conference that 25% of the global population is online. There is something of the Missio Dei in this, no? How do we understand life as a rich nation-state community that holds the highest percentage of cards in the realm of technology (along with a great deal more realms)? Where is the sense of Justice and Mercy and Grace in Web 2.0 as it pertains to pointing folks to God? How do we participate in Social Media where we aren’t primarily talking to ourselves? Is the Missio Dei being identified in these places?
To bring specific issues into the light, how does the technological growth rate effect the environment? How does the Google server farm aggregate effect our eco-foot print? What of our consumptive practices to remain connected to the broader culture and it’s draw on resources and effects as throw away products (think: cell phones)? This connects with the issue of capitalism and how we make decisions to participate in it. Peter and I, both from the Anabaptist community, had a conversation about these things at a break at the conference Friday morning. There are bigger issues of lifestyle and justice and living out of our faith that are at stake. Do we want our children to potentially grow up with an entitlement to PlayStation 4? Further, how do we push against a capitalistic economik that requires an underclass to produce our “needs”? African American’s and Latino immigrants – not to overlook the offshore MNC factories in non-western nations – work 2-3 jobs or 16 hour days, both at minimum wage – just to survive to enable us to have the goods that make digital culture possible.
Where is the Missio Dei in the context of these macro perspectives? Where are these questions theologically here at TAG?
Thoughts? Is there any truth in this rant?
~ by Brian Shope on March 12, 2010.
Posted in Culture, Economics, Emerging Church, Faith, Life, Missio Dei, Musings, Politics, Religion, Spirituality
Tags: America, Capitalism, Church, Contextual Theology, Craig Detweiler, Digital Culture, Environment, Media, Racism, Social Media, Theology, United States, Web 2.0