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There was quite the dustup at Christianity Today’s Out of Ur blog this week over Douglas Estes’ article on virtual churches, and this article emerges out of his new book: SimChurch: Being the Church in the Virtual World
. I include his concluding paragraph, but I’ve got these two questions first:
The good news for the world today is that virtual churches, Baptist churches, banana-tree churches, underground churches, Lutheran churches, communal churches, house churches, and yes, even tragically-hip Pacific Northwest alternative ‘pub’ churches are real churches. You may not want to meet in synthetic space–and I would not want to meet in a bar–but it doesn’t change the fact that when the people of God meet together for the purpose of glorifying Him, it’s a real church. Online churches are real churches with real people in real relationships with a real God simply meeting in synthetic spaces.