Technology is revolutionizing community today. Nearly one billion people are already on Facebook, with more than a million “new friends” every week. The Internet and social media are connecting and reconnecting the world in ways undreamed of not long ago.
How will all of this impact community – the Christian koinonia which is such a vital part of the life of faith? In some ways, the intimacy of the Christian community is challenged as never before. Our kids go away to college and wonder why they should “suffer the word of exhortation” from a local pastor on Sunday mornings when “rockstar” preachers are easily accessible with a treasure of uploaded sermons on any topic that may be of interest at the moment.
And what about close friends? Why go through all of the motions and pay the price all over again to invest the time and energy into building interpersonal relationships when old friends are instantly available by Skype from any place on the planet? We all like our close and proven friends.
Life is changing. These days the challenges of time and distance are falling before the ever-increasing isolationist magnetism of computer media.
But we are nonetheless called to live in a community of faith, among those sharing our faith commitment. How do we do this in a manner that pleases God? We were not made to be alone. Christian virtues are not cultivated electronically and in isolation. Justice, generosity, charity – how do we grow in love and express the best of Christ in action in such a fast-changing and in many ways, disorienting world?
We at Knox Theological Seminary do not claim to have these answers. But we do know to ask the right questions. And we are seeking answers to our own interface with the world. We are confident that even when we don’t have the answers, God’s Word does! And that draws us together. The Word of God becomes the basis for our community. So we grow in grace together, confident in the One who directs all things to our good and His glory.