In the old days, we used to be able to travel and meet in person to discuss interesting and important issues in theology and ministry. During that time, I hosted several Festivals of Theology, at which we heard seven or eight fascinating presentations on a range of subjects. This is a revised version of Alastair Robert’s … Continue Reading
To a little fanfare, and quite wide coverage in the media, the Church of England has launched guidelines on the use of social media, and a social media charter, to which I have signed up. The guidelines offer nine directions for how to enable the world of social media to be a better place (though … Continue Reading
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already all-pervasive in our daily lives. From social media algorithms, to medical equipment detecting heart conditions. But the ‘robots’ in our lives look very different from the robots imagined in science fiction: they look like servers hidden away in secure buildings, and for most of us they look like our computer … Continue Reading
At the recent Festival of Theology, we heard eight fascinating presentations on a range of subjects. This is a revised version of Alastair Robert’s presentation on virtue ethics in a virtual age and offers a brilliant insight into the dynamics of social media and their impact on discipleship. The Promise of Virtue Ethics Over recent … Continue Reading
What is the new environment of the world of social media like, and how can we fruitfully share faith in it? In some ways, there is no bigger question facing the church in the West, and it is key in our engagement with the under 40s, Generations Y and Z. And it is the subject … Continue Reading
It is astonishing to find that the level of violent conflict in the world at present has pushed stories about ISIS rape and murder of Christians in Mosul down to third place in the news. Western military intervention in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan was in large part based on a narrative that as countries become … Continue Reading
The real danger here is a lack of critical thinking, a lack of interest in the question: ‘Yes, it might be entertaining, or engaging, or say what I want to hear—but is it true?’. There is a caricature which says that concern for the truth is the preserve of anally-retentive, awkward, conservative/fundamentalist Christians. But it is not. It should be the concern for all Christians. The way many people, and in particular Christian influencers, are using social media is corroding this concern for asking even basic questions of truth. And in turn this is corroding understanding of faith, the reading of Scripture, and even Christian discipleship. We will all be the poorer for it.