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The power of the new media to manipulate & evangelicalism’s fundamental authority problem


The title may be a mouthful, but does raise some interesting issues. If you are a follower of Christ and are reading this (an internet user) then these issues do and will continue to affect you.

Personally, I made the choice a couple years ago not to be swayed by the authoritative opinions made by others on the internet, no matter how well known (or respected) they are, but to do my own reading/research, pray, and depend on the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I end up agreeing with the person, other times I don’t.

In the age we now live, one in which this media called the (Christian) internet can exalt and promote, or on the other hand, literally destroy a ministry or teacher/preacher overnight, its necessary AND vital that we don’t automatically follow, like dumb sheep, the opinions of others: for just as the secular news media can (and most certainly does) manipulate how we view news events around the world, the Christian internet media (websites, blogs, etc.) can do the same.

Saying all that, InternetMonk’s Chaplain Mike makes some interesting observations using the subject of the latest internet brew’ha concerning Rob Bell’s book,

My Quick Take on the Bell Blow-Up (Subject: Rob Bell vs. Justin Taylor, John Piper, Kevin DeYoung, Al Mohler, et al.)

This post isn’t about Bell or his latest book, (I have never followed his teachings nor read any material written by him) but concerns not allowing ourselves to become “apathetic, spiritually lazy” believers who can be easily swayed in our opinions or manipulated by others: no matter how well meaning they may be.

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5 comments on “The power of the new media to manipulate & evangelicalism’s fundamental authority problem

  1. Hi,
    Tim Challies wrote a good article echoing more or less what you are saying

    http://www.challies.com/articles/at-the-speed-of-the-web#more

  2. Over time, from participating in various online discussion venues on various subjects, I’ve come to view the Internet as both useful, and a vast sewer of misinformation.

    I find the “crisis of the week” thing in the Christian discernment blog world tiring. The “Rob Bell thing” is the current example of that. This stuff needs to be noted and remembered, but very often they’re a flash in the pan. I think my personal effort is better invested in mastering sound stuff, than battling every heretic that pops up.

    (And for Heaven’s sake, don’t leave your church based solely on what some guy on the Internet said.)

    For your amusement: “Someone is wrong on the Internet!”

  3. PJ:

    “… but to do my own reading/research, pray, and depend on the Holy Spirit. “

    Last I checked in the Scripture, “every Christian read/listen up”, you are suppose to start with this premise.

    As babes in Christ I suppose we can be easily swayed these days by all the avenues available, the internet and street bookstores and Church “in” house bookstores notwithstanding the pulpit preachers leading you down prime rose avenues. This does not lead to edification nor true fellowship in Christ and His Gospel.

    Being a noble Berean is the best approach to Christian maturity but some will end up being like the lazy Thessalonians, who, apparently needed more help.

    One point to note about maturity in Christ is what seems to be a side note to it, found here:

    Heb 6:3 And this we will do if God permits.

    Any way you shake it, doing your own reading and research, praying and living by Faith led by the Holy Spirit is best left to oneself!

    When we are led this way, Christ becomes the King of all and unity in His accord will break out all over the world!

    Until then, hunker down, it’s looking to becoming a bumpy ride for Christians, whether mature or not, the next few years in this godless world God has us dwelling in!

  4. Yet another reason why I do not like Internet Monk. Look, Rob Bell, Brian McClaren and his little bunch attack orthodox Christianity – and preachers and theologians who represent it – all the time. Where are people like Internet Monk when the heretics do it? This one sided nonsense is just that: nonsense. The heretics and blasphemers get to say and do what they want and no one says anything. But when the orthodox rise up, everyone gets offended, accuses them of being narrow-minded, hateful and divisive and says “who gave you the authority to speak or judge?” It is a double standard.

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