The internet is killing Christianity.  I’m even surprised I haven’t heard it being called the antichrist or the beast in Revelation.  I try to think of a few reasons:

A less religious demographic driving the conversation.  Anyone on the internet for any length of time will notice it has an atheistic bent.  Part of this has to do with the fact that young people who are from a less religious generation write the comments tend to be atheistic and (at least in America) atheists are stigmatized so they find a refuge online (similar to how people with disabilities do the same).

Lopsided Reading Ground.  People of faith might be evangelical in real life but it’s the atheists that are evangelical online.  The best arguments against faith can be found with a cursory Google search.  The best arguments for it are locked up in books that cost $9.95 each or more.  Of course we could blame the publishing companies for this, authors of faith might see their work as a ministry but if the gatekeepers on top do not, they won’t allow said authors to distribute their work for free.  There is no reason C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity and Peter Rollins’ Orthodox Heretic shouldn’t be (legally) free online perhaps with moderated comments section (those of faith can think of their favorite authors and chances are they aren’t available free online).  There’s even a book that criticizes neo-atheism.. but you have to pay for it.

There is also the issue that the internet has changed the structure of thinking—people like their information in bite size news article chunks.  Authors of faith should be mindful of this and structure the writing they wish to reach people with accordingly.

Non-incarnational virtuous cycle.  The internet is a non-incarnational medium.  Atheism is a non-incarnational way of life.  The two go together and spur each other along.  Religion happens in the flesh through the medium of hospitality.  As one spends a higher proportion of their time on the internet, even if all they’re doing is reading the Bible, just by the fact that they are in a non-incarnational medium means they are drifting away from faith in an important way.  A lot of people don’t realize this because they were told the faith was primarily about taking in and spitting out the right information.

Read Part 2

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