One function of blogs is to share half-baked ideas. The weekend saw blogs by Richard Littledale (here) and Vicky Beeching (here) exploring issues of digital legacy. Does an excessive use of social media drown out the awareness of our own mortality and finitude? Is the presence of an on-line self after death helpful for people? What about setting tweets or facebook comments to appear ‘beyond the grave’?
As I’ve read the blogs a couple of thoughts occur which might add to the debate about Social Media (and my previous post about women, men and God).
1. God had a purpose and will for whole creation; something which included humanity. So God created the world. This included both a ‘calling the world into being’ and also forming the world by creating order out of chaos. The first chapters of Genesis see a movement from formless and void to humanity living in dynamic relationship with God.
2. Sin ruptures that relationship. Every area of the Universe is changed by this but this disruption doesn’t mean that nothing of God’s goodness, plan, call or intention remain.
3. The unfolding Biblical story thus moves from creation, fall to recreation.
4. Humanity then finds itself living between chaos and dynamic covenant community. The effect of sin is to keep us slipping back towards chaos – the redemptive purpose of God continues to move us towards the new creation.
5. Fallen humanity however tries to cope with this slide to chaos by instigating control. Thus we see the rise of Patriarchy, dominating rulers, greedy and unjust traders. In place of a God created community we have control by one person over another.
6. As people we seek control. Over our own lives and destinies as we plan and prepare. Over our own identity as we distinguish ourselves over and against others. Over our own character as we project ‘who we are’. In contrast to God’s intention that our lives are lived in relationship with him, our identity being found in Christ and our self worth being created in the image of God.
Social media is great. I use it a lot. Its value is in facilitating community but the danger is we use it as a means of controlling our environment, our relationships and our ‘self created’ selves.
Those of you with Theological College backgrounds will recognise that these ramblings owe something to Calvin, Brueggemann and Fretheim (particularly Fretheim's analysis of Exodus).