Call & Response Blog: Tom Arthur: Theology of the cloud
In a recent article on Faith & Leadership, Verity Jones points out how many Christian leaders talk about how to use social media, but few if any offer a theology of it.
Well, I’ll give it a try. Here’s a brief theological sketch for social media using four biblical-theological concepts: people of the Book, the ascension, perichoresis and the parousia.
People of the Book
... He [Paul] was and is not physically Present to provide this kind of influence on individuals and whole communities, and yet he was and is present to them through the act of writing.
The ascension and perichoresis
Social media gives us more opportunities than ever before (some deeper and more significant than others) to be present but not Present. We -- like all the writers of the Book -- mentor, influence, encourage, rebuke, train and simply tell stories through social media. Social media puts us, like Jesus, in a cloud where we are present to our friends and family but not Present to them. Social media, like Jesus’ second coming, points to a time when we will be Present together. Social media often is used to prepare and coordinate and enhance times when we are Present together. It even builds within us a deeper longing to be Present. You need only ask my parents whether video chatting with my fourteen-month-old son makes them long more or less to be with him. ...