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Technology For the Masses: Churches Going Hi-Tech 249

Posted by samzenpus
from the open-up-your-pdf-and-sing dept.
theodp writes "More and more, reports the Chicago Tribune, churches are embracing the use of tablets and smartphones during services. At Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago's South Side, the Rev. Otis Moss III preaches from his iPad. 'There was a time in the church when the Gutenberg Bible was introduced,' notes early adopter Moss. 'There was a severe concern among ministers who were afraid the printed page would be such a distraction if you put it in the hands of people in worship.' Tech-savvy churchgoers are also on board. 'In the service, when they say to pull out Bibles, I pull that phone out,' Ted Allen Miller said of using his Android smartphone at Willow Creek Community Church."
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Technology For the Masses: Churches Going Hi-Tech

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  • Is this flamebait? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mu51c10rd (187182) on Monday April 09, 2012 @09:51AM (#39618245)

    I know this article will generate legions of flamewars and hostility. However, i would like to mention that belief in a God is not mutually exclusive with belief in science. Many religious worshipers don't think the world was literally created in 6 days, nor is 6000 years old, nor discard evolution.

  • by davide marney (231845) <davide.marneyNO@SPAMnetmedia.org> on Monday April 09, 2012 @10:00AM (#39618345) Journal

    The church has historically been an early adopter of mass communication technologies, the best example being the publication of the Gutenberg Bible [wikipedia.org] which marked the start of the mass-produced book printing revolution. One Bible mobile app that I think is really notable is the YouVersion app (youversion.com): multiple translations, reading plans, bookmarks, notes, social networking; it has it all. An excellent example of a learning tool.

  • by daem0n1x (748565) on Monday April 09, 2012 @10:01AM (#39618361)

    Err, the vast majority of a given population back then couldn't read, so on what rational basis would that concern be placed

    The ministers were afraid people would become curious with all those pretty printed symbols and tried to learn how to read them. Then they'd lose their minister jobs. Ignorance and superstition are close friends.

  • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Monday April 09, 2012 @10:02AM (#39618385) Homepage

    I go to church and do not believe in God. One of our two main ministers is a Buddhist. The other is Christian (of a near-Catholic variety). We publish the sermons weekly as an audio stream, are working on video, and have considered live streaming and tablet-formatted newsletters.

    Attending a church, using a given technology, holding a particular belief, and being a member of a website are all independent events, with their own independent causative situations.

  • by cwgmpls (853876) on Monday April 09, 2012 @10:23AM (#39618593) Journal

    1) No all people who read and study the Bible are deniers of science.

    2) Using 21st century technology (iPad) to study the Bible is just as strange and unusual as using 15th century technology (printed books) to study a set of documents written between 1200 BCE and 100 CE.

  • by operagost (62405) on Monday April 09, 2012 @10:26AM (#39618615) Homepage Journal
    Now that purely secular authorities are in charge, I'm sure we'd never see them enhance their power through the ignorance of the populace! 2,000+ page bills, anyone? "We need to pass the health care law so that you can see what is in it."
  • My guess is this has to do with politicizing of faith. When you have a pastor telling a 15 year old girl that she can't be a Democrat and good Christian at the same time, then you've got an earthly power structure that depends on faith for stability and anything that undermines the faith is a threat.

  • by geoffrobinson (109879) on Monday April 09, 2012 @10:37AM (#39618733) Homepage

    I would say the same thing as a theist.

    Isn't interesting how doing science requires believing in induction, that the future will be like the past. But if you don't assume that the reason why the future is like the past is due to God sustaining and creating those rules, you have laws of physics resting on nothing. There's no reason they won't change.

    Or the fact that atheists trust their own rationality. I mean you have your thoughts being due to brains that weren't designed for any particular reason. Why trust your own rationality? As JBS Haldane wrote:

    "If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true ... and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms."

    Or that materialists like to use immaterial laws of logic.

    Funny goes both ways.

  • by Defenestrar (1773808) on Monday April 09, 2012 @10:46AM (#39618805)

    No, I think the point of the above poster was that one of the two can undergo in situ testing whereas the other can merely investigate current observable state and effect to theorize about initial cause. By a strict definition of science (the experimental testing of a hypothesis), you can accept the iPad on a scientific basis, but can not accept cosmology/evolution on a scientific basis until we are advanced enough to either create our own universes to observe, or may set up a megayear experiment with observational parameters for a static and some evolving ecologies.

    What separates you and operagost is evidence of thinking. You know what that confirms don't you?

  • by Defenestrar (1773808) on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:48AM (#39619399)

    Am I foolish for attempting to clarify another persons point on slashdot? (quite likely) Or was it for attempting to objectively looking at something from an alternate position?

    You link appears to fail to address the point I mentioned regarding application of the scientific method in a controlled experiment however. There's plenty of observational data from within our own system (such as the newt story with regional differences in coevolved toxin/resistance to TTX), but I didn't see any controlled experiments (e.g. in region 1 we force random mating and in region 2 we allow preferential mating).

    I'd also like to point out that I've also not stated what my position is, although you seem to have drawn conclusions about that anyway. Would you say that your verbal semantic fluency is on par with your apparent reading comprehension? Or is it only written discussions you have trouble with? You certainly aren't alone however. Many people in a debate (particularly this one) get so caught up shouting their own position that they fail to listen to what another side might be saying. The worst case is when both sides reach this point. I know I've fallen within this communication pitfall in the past (and will likely do so again - it's related to human nature after all).

  • by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp.Gmail@com> on Monday April 09, 2012 @12:11PM (#39619647) Homepage Journal

    The ministers were afraid people would become curious with all those pretty printed symbols and tried to learn how to read them. Then they'd lose their minister jobs. Ignorance and superstition are close friends.

    Once again, the old "educate them and they'll lose faith" saw.

    Except... it's not true, and never has been [newgeography.com]. The spread of literacy and Christianity went hand-in-hand in the West. You're more likely to be deeply faithful if you can read your own scriptures, not less. And especially in the case of Americans that are religious, they tend to be especially more so the higher their level of education [sciencedaily.com]:

    "

    Many in the pundit class identify religion as something of a regressive tendency, embraced by the less enlightened, the less skilled, intelligent and educated...Some might be surprised to learn that religious affiliation grows with education levels. A new University of Nebraska study finds that with each additional year of education, the odds of attending religious services increased by 15%. The educated, the study found, may not be eschewing religion, as social science has long maintained, even if their spiritual views tend to be less narrow, and less overtly tied to politics, than among the less schooled.

    I've noted here in past posts that the 9/11 hijackers were all educated, and that the London bombers were British-born, with a lifetime of Western liberal educations and economic and political opportunity. Their immigrant parents were poor and uneducated when they came to the UK, and were much more moderate. And yet their Westernized, educated children chose Jihad.

  • by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Monday April 09, 2012 @12:46PM (#39620075) Homepage

    Isn't interesting how doing science requires believing in induction, that the future will be like the past.

    Living requires the assumption that the future will be like the (apparent) past. If the future is unrelated to the past, then memory and experience and choice and action are all meaningless. For there to be such a thing as choice, one must be able to predict the effects of one's actions. The point of choosing an action is to have a certain effect on the future. If the future does not follow from the past, experience is useless, and memories may well be arbitrary—after all, they're being remembered in the future compared to the time those memories were supposedly made.

    You can't choose to believe that the future does not follow from the past without contradiction. Perhaps it doesn't—but there is no point in entertaining that possibility. It can never form the basis for any action or belief.

    But if you don't assume that the reason why the future is like the past is due to God sustaining and creating those rules, you have laws of physics resting on nothing. There's no reason they won't change.

    And if you do assume that, then you have the laws of physics resting on an unfounded belief, and there is still no reason why they won't change. Since the result is the same, one might as well choose the principle with fewer unnecessary assumptions.

    Or the fact that atheists trust their own rationality. I mean you have your thoughts being due to brains that weren't designed for any particular reason. Why trust your own rationality?

    You are attempting to make a rational argument against rationality. This is a contradiction. If your argument against rationality were well-founded, it would invalidate itself.

    One trusts one's own rationality—within limits—because one has no choice.

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