Emerging Digital Culture

“You’ve got a church movement growing up in Starbucks all over the country now. So the digital culture is far more eclectic; it’s far more encompassing, much more grass roots interaction as opposed to someone from the top bringing it down and disseminating it out . . .” Rex Miller

Like myself, Rex Miller has been talking about the convergent church – church in the new media age. I have had some email banter with Rex and he is a good sport and a sharp thinker. I often quote him on the idea of Database vs. Documentary (i say database vs. document . . . which sounds better) but i did take it from him, and from Lev Manovich’s “Database as Cultural Form” Here is a great interview with Rex on Homilectics called “The Church in an Emerging Digital Culture”.


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Ed C says:

    Very true. And we wonder why Institutional Church leaders feel threatened by the emerging church.
    How can the bottom up culture coexist in Christian community with top down culture?
    Should we gracefully go our separate ways? Form
    sub-cultures/support groups within the larger group? Something else? Obviously each situation will vary, but nevertheless, any thoughts?
    My own groups are somewhere in between.

  • andrew jones says:

    my groups are generally the two extremes – the very old and the very new . . .
    the very traditional and the very experimental
    the very wealthy and the very poor
    the very urban and the rural/island
    the educated and those cut off from knowledge
    both groups seem to get along fine, and both are misunderstood by the middle group
    BTW – most people group movements happen among the poor, and involve the wealthy/elite (according to missiologist Viv Grigg)
    cf. Francis of Assissi, Mother Teresa, etc
    Go seperate ways? Impossible when there is only One Body of Christ. Easier for Siamese twins to be seperated.

  • Ed C says:

    I share your desire to avoid splitting up the body of Christ. Just wrestling with the feeling of being on the fringe. Sitting and sharing with some friends over the weekend seemed like a support group for people who did not fit into the scheme of the mother church. I compare our way of meeting to a network hub that’s interconnected and shooting info back and forth, while we don’t fit in with the floppy drive approach to ministry.
    I guess I’m just wrestling with the possibility of finding a better way. Should we be more involved in the mother church, or should the mother church view us as a plant in a new area among new people? I guess that’s what I mean when I say we’re in between right now. We’re teetering between less involvement or more involvement in the traditional church.
    And of course how you define “involvement in a church” will change how you answer that question!
    Relationally? We’re still very connected. Is that enough? Programmatically? Barely connected. Should that be required?

  • andrew says:

    i would hope that the mother church has enough vision to reproduce, and multiply, and send you out at a shoot that stays connected.
    best for both – if the timing is right and it is done well.

  • Boltono says:

    yawn! Listen, you pump-ups….round and round you go…divest the brain cells you don’t need and get over to http://boltono.typepad.com
    At least I offer a challenge beyond the regular guy. And let’s face it, you and we all need a way out from the merry-go-round, and then into the wilderness and beyond to the stars and beyond if you are courageous enough…JESUS! There’s that word….how many of you actually use it in your “conversations”!!?

  • Tim says:

    In terms of keeping the body together; why can’t we be big enough to run multiple models and approaches?
    I realise practically this starts to get messy, but surely an understanding of the differences, their reason and then their purpose can help us get over our own insecurities and work in a context in which people we are ‘connected’ with are taking a different approach to the same task.
    If, as a church, we are not able to manage this, then surely some of the challenges of taking the gospel to such a different world than most of the church knows and understands is going to be beyond our capacity …

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