Anyone, and I mean anyone, who can help us think about how the gospel and the church and life itself is being reshaped (or influenced or revolutionized) by social media like Facebook is worth listening to. Jesse Rice’s new book, The Church of Facebook: How the Hyperconnected Are Redefining Community
, is not only worth listening to but it’s worth church staffs reading together to discuss.
The Church of Facebook does not approach the subject with a holier-than-thou critical attitude, it doesn’t bring in Bible and theology to make it sound Christian… the sort of approach that may sound right but be short on critical analysis. My summary statement:
Facebook is a spontaneous ordering of humans that both benefits us and is reshaping our sense of community and provides us with challenges …
The Church of Facebook explains through (what I’d call) social psychology how the Facebook phenomenon arose (spontaneous order is his term — great story to begin the book) and what it provides for 300 million people (connection, not to be confused with community) and how it is illuminating so many things about life (like relationships) and how we are adapting to it in so many ways … and then he offers some warnings about how to live in a Facebook world as followers of Christ.
There’s more to be said about Facebook, and more will be said over the next few years, but this is a fine book and one that penetrates deeply into the Facebook world and then comes out to explain to us what is going on in that world.