Will Facebook kill the church?

Wayne Slater writing on The Dallas News Religion Blog asks six religious leaders if Richard Beck’s essay challenges the church:

In How Facebook Killed the Church, author Richard Beck argues that our new connectivity online is not necessarily a good thing for organized religion – at least in one respect. He says it offers a replacement for the important social function that houses of worship have long provided. One reason that millennials are leaving, he says, is because the digital world is providing a sense of community that has been an aspect of churches and other communities of faith.

Obviously, religion provides something substantially more profound than a sense of community. But isn’t social affiliation a part of it? Isn’t a sense of community part of the institutional strength of our places of faith?

The question is similar to last week’s Texas Faith question, but explores more directly the place of new media and the community that religious institutions traditionally provide. So is the broader digital world is providing something our places of faith once did – a center of social networking? Is that a problem? And if so, what do we do about it?

Read the answers here.

Read the essay here.

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