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Over at the Out of Ur blog, a continuing conversation has been going on about the book I reviewed in my last post, SimChurch. The author of the book posted a response to critics on October 22nd and then today a response to that response was posted by Bob Hyatt.  Both are interesting and continue the debate…

Book Review: SimChurch

October 21, 2009 — 6 Comments

SimChurchJust this weekend I completed reading SimChurch by Douglas Estes.  For those of you unfamiliar with this new movement, the idea of online church is not just putting a recording of your church service online. Instead, it is actually conducting an entire live church service online, complete with worship, teaching, offering, fellowship, and possibly even communion and baptism.  This can include both churches with Internet campuses and those who conduct services in virtual worlds, such as Second Life. The author tackles questions surrounding the validity of online church and asks some tough questions.  He ends the book by challenging online churches to break the mold and attempt to do things that no physical-world church can.

If you have read this blog before, you know that I have been a critic of online church. However, as a lover of technology and the Internet, I am always open to thinking in new ways about things and want to see how technology can be used to share the message of Christ.  But I am also a realist: I know that just because we can do church online does not mean that we should. So I read this book with an open mind and heart – looking for new ways of thinking about online church.

Continue Reading…

Starting this last weekend, launched a series entitled “Behind the Curtain”. This series is going to give an “inside look” at Lifechurch to show us what they are doing and how they are making a difference. From their blog:

This weekend we launched Behind the Curtain, a new series where we’re looking beyond the weekend experience to see how the Church is making a difference around the world. We felt so passionate about sharing where God has been leading us during this season that we pressed the pause button on the series we had planned to do next, Five Easy Steps to Wreck Your Life. . . These are some of the ways that is changing our methods, but not our message, to reach our culture.

behindthecurtainAs you may know, I am a big fan of Lifechurch, but also a critic. You can find my opinions about online church and in general throughout this blog, but a good summary of my basic arguments is in this post.

The timing of this new series is interesting…with the Christian Web Conference coming up in a month and with its highlight being a debate on the use of the Internet to provide full church services – I wonder if Lifechurch is putting its arguments out there right now? It may just be coincidence, but it provides a great way to prepare for the conference!

What do you think? Can church be done in full online? Read the Lifechurch blog, read my posts, and then come to the Christian Web Conference to talk about it! Hope to see you there…