DB2.docx - RTCH 500 DISCU SSION BOARD Based upon your...

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RTCH 500DISCUSSIONBOARDBased upon your reading and study ofEcologies of Faith in aDigital Age,chapters 5-8, how would yourespond to someonewhorejected thepossibility of Christians growing spiritually in digital online settingsbecausespiritualgrowth requires physical face-to-face encountersbetween believers.This week’s assignment was to respond to someone who rejected the possibility of Christiansgrowing spiritually in digital online settings. The first thing that conversation will need toestablish is the fact that “digital revolution affects nearly every segment of our culture.” (113)Christians cannot ignore reality and the fact that technology and social media inevitably changedthe way we live and interact with the people around us. In the academic world children andadults are learning remotely, an aspect that COVID 19 accelerated and pushed upon many thatwould not even choose it as an option. Churches across the world chose to have remote onlineworship services in order to still keep Christians connected and growing. Digital ecology becamepart of the fabric who we are in 2021, and if 2 decades ago we were debating if we shouldsubscribe to internet or not, today the internet along with electricity, water, gas, sewage, areutilities that people need in their homes.As we were reminded in chapter 7, Apostle Paul used the best communication ways available inhis times to keep in touch with Christians from other places, teach them, encourage them, rebukethem, and help them grow spiritually. Through his letters he reached Christians that he nevermet, in places he never visited. One could argue, through internet, those letters are still reachingmany people digitally and in many online settings. Thedivine pedagogy(120), through physicalalong with digital avenues in its contemporary form, is just as complete and valid as it wasduring early church. The Holy Spirit uses any form of communication and learning to advancethe Gospel and unite global church. Just like any form of communication, digital ecologiesincluding social networks and other online spheres where people communicate and connect,could be used for good and for evil. Therefore, Christians ought to be aware of the power ofdigital platforms and use them to advance God’s Kingdom and to educate themselves and othersfor the purpose of spiritual growth.The authors state that “there is likely a correlation between the immersion of the self in healthyrelationships and spiritually formative experiences.” (130) Proving that the relationship amongChristlike people is real and strong in a virtual digital realm is not too difficult, looking howsocial connections, interactions and influences connect people across the world, cultures andbelieves. As Stephen and Mary emphasize, “socially networked people create a force of actionbecause of the strength found in unity” (130) Members of the body of Christ will inevitably growif there is evidence of a strong and united spiritual network. That network can betransformational at any of the physical, psychological, spiritual, emotional, and moraldevelopment dimensions. (133)Without social connections, there is no spiritual connection, no

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