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Why God is more glorified by Web 2.0

web20logos.jpgThere is so much conversation about web 2.0; the term is losing its significance.  Yet something powerful is behind the internet shift that Christians should be aware of.  God is more glorified by Web 2.0 than Web 1.0.

At this point hopefully you either think I'm nuts or you are confused.  First, let's define Web 2.0 and for that we'll go to Wikipedia (a Web 2.0 application):

"Web 2.0 refers to a supposed second-generation of Internet-based services – such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, and folksonomies – that let people collaborate and share information online in previously unavailable ways." (Source Wikipedia: Web 2.0 )

Now let me explain why I believe Web 2.0 is more God glorifying.  For that I turn to C.S. Lewis' book "Four Loves" as he discusses a group of friends that we was extremely close to.  Yet in response to one of these friends (Charles) dying Lewis writes:

"In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out.  By myself, I am not large enough to call any person completely into activity.  I want other lights of my own to show all the facets.  Now that Charles is dead, I shall never see Ronald's reaction to a specifically Charles joke.  Far from having more of Ronald, far from having him all to myself now that Charles is away, I have less of Ronald." 

Lewis argues that he has less of Ronald because there was something within Ronald that only Charles could bring out. 

"In this, friendship exhibits a glorious nearness by resemblance to heaven itself where the very multitude of the blessed, which no man can number, increase the fruition which each has of God for every soul in heaven seeing Him in her own way communicates the unique vision to all the rest.  That, says an old author, is why the Seraphim in Isaiah's vision are crying out Holy, Holy, Holy, to one another." 

What C.S. Lewis tells us is that it takes a multitude to know an individual.  You can't know an individual the way a group can know an individual.  Only a group brings out the whole spectrum of that person.  This is even true of God.  You are not going to know God in a significant way, unless you are in a community with other believers.  By yourself you can only see God through your own eyes.  Further, those who remove themselves from Christian communities are holding back their particular perspectives that would show God in a unique way.  The community needs what you have, and you need what they have to see a fuller picture of who God is. 

This same fullness of community and conversation is provided in Web 2.0.  I quote O'Reilly Media, Inc. who coined the term 'Web 2.0':

If (blogging) were merely an amplifier, blogging would be uninteresting. But like Wikipedia, blogging harnesses collective intelligence as a kind of filter. What James Suriowecki calls "the wisdom of crowds" comes into play, and much as PageRank produces better results than analysis of any individual document, the collective attention of the blogosphere selects for value. (Source O'Reilly Media )

Web 2.0 is at it's heart about a fullness of community learning, interacting and growing together.  It is in this fullness we can share ideas and reflect our own perspectives that benefit the whole.  It is here that I believe God is more glorified in the community of Web 2.0 than in the singular voice of Web 1.0.

4 Comments

  1. I would go as far to say Web 2.0 is more “Christian” 🙂

  2. I’ll admit, I hadn’t thought of it that way, but I agree that the social/community/networking element of Web 2.0 does have great benefit for the church. Of course, I might not go all the way and call it the Body of Christ 2.0. Thanks for the post.

  3. I like this article. It’s very interesting how web 2.0 can allow us to communicate ideas. Another good web 2.0 site of a friend of mine is http://www.microexplosion.com – the whole site is about web 2.0

  4. Great article! I like the way you bring C.S. Lewis to bear on the web. Community IS better.

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