The present influence of new media and digital democracy in shaping information, requires the evangelical church to pioneer new approaches of framing biblical revelation and authority in order to engage in effective mission in the twenty-first century. As society confronts the implications of the Information Age, the Church faces societal shifts that intersect with its mission. The new digital media are changing how society communicates ideas and explores knowledge. Internet outlets, such as Google, Wikipedia, and Twitter, exert an increasing influence over epistemological issues concerning how knowledge is sought and deciphered, and how justified belief is distinguished from social construction.
Such influence poses a challenge to the Church’s mandate to proclaim the Word of God. The postmodern generation of Christian leaders finds its claim to revealed knowledge marginalized and dismissed as irrelevant and outdated. Members of the digital generation thrive on decentralized authority, democratic knowledge base, and truth as a process of discovery. The Church’s traditional framing of authority and truth is in danger of missing the generative ethos of the time. This paper will offer an examination of these cultural reverberations and the challenge posed to the Church. As the heart of technological innovation, special emphasis will be given to California’s Silicon Valley and the unique opportunity afforded to its churches to foster a practice of discovery and decentralized authority within their appeal to biblical truth.
The paper will consist of three parts; the first will offer the context of this ministry challenge, looking at the philosophical and cultural factors involved. The second provides theological reflection of biblical authority and revelation from ancient through modern teaching of the Church. The third part explores a reframed ministry strategy for biblical dialog within the environment of digital natives, recognizing recent cultural influence, while maintaining the absolute and singular voice of God.
Content Reader: Craig Detweiler, PhD
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Brown, Garrett, "God’s Voice for the Digital Age: Biblical Authority in a Wikipedia World" (2013). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 139.