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Technology For the Masses: Churches Going Hi-Tech

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the open-up-your-pdf-and-sing dept.

Android 249

theodp writes "More and more, reports the Chicago Tribune, churches are embracing the use of tablets and smartphones during services. At Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago's South Side, the Rev. Otis Moss III preaches from his iPad. 'There was a time in the church when the Gutenberg Bible was introduced,' notes early adopter Moss. 'There was a severe concern among ministers who were afraid the printed page would be such a distraction if you put it in the hands of people in worship.' Tech-savvy churchgoers are also on board. 'In the service, when they say to pull out Bibles, I pull that phone out,' Ted Allen Miller said of using his Android smartphone at Willow Creek Community Church."

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Posting from my iPad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618145)

FIRST POST FOR JESUS!

That's right bitches. Time to take it to the next level courtesy of the wizardry of a certain Steve Jobs. Keepin it real with an iPad

Re:Posting from my iPad (4, Informative)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618321)

The iPad and such might make it easier (especially when it comes to the really big books, as it definitely saves bulk in many cases [apple.com] ), but I do have one nitpick with the summary...

re: " 'There was a severe concern among ministers who were afraid the printed page would be such a distraction if you put it in the hands of people in worship."

Err, the vast majority of a given population back then couldn't read, so on what rational basis would that concern be placed?

Re:Posting from my iPad (4, Insightful)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618361)

Err, the vast majority of a given population back then couldn't read, so on what rational basis would that concern be placed

The ministers were afraid people would become curious with all those pretty printed symbols and tried to learn how to read them. Then they'd lose their minister jobs. Ignorance and superstition are close friends.

Re:Posting from my iPad (4, Informative)

kbonin (58917) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618487)

The primary concern the clergy had with the laity having Bible's in their own language was that they might actually read it and compare what it said to what was being taught from the pulpit. Christianity has had almost 2000 years of significant forks - its history is rife with individuals trying to make their church more popular by blending in local non christian concepts, softening the tone of unpopular language, and removing or changing phrases that might offend. My favorite data point - God's name appears almost 7000 times in the original texts, yet most modern translations have dropped that to between three and zero! Why? Because 'its tradition not to use it', and 'it might confuse people who should believe that Jesus is God', which is hard to make people accept if the Bible is left in its original state as referring to Jesus as the Son of an Almighty God with a different name that most Christians have been told they should not even pronounce.

The power of the clergy came from them telling the people that the Bible was best left in Latin, they should believe what they were told, and follow what the King said. Their telling people to obey the King kept their comfortable relationship with the ruling classes. For a long time anyone in possession of a Bible in English would be executed, most often because they quickly realized the Trinity was a false teaching. For example, the last person officially burnt alive for this in England was a medical student in 1612.

Fun quote: "Canon 14. We prohibit also that the laity should not be permitted to have the books of the Old or New Testament; we most strictly forbid their having
any translation of these books." - The Church Council of Toulouse 1229 AD

A confused post (3, Informative)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618757)

Just to start, the "Vulgate" (Latin translation of the Bible) is so called because Latin was the ordinary language of educated people. The Bible wasn't left in Latin; the texts that have come down to us are in Hebrew, Greek, Coptic and a few others. And the first translation at the behest of an English King was into English (the King James version.)

Your comment about modern translations is also confused. The Jews have a taboo on the pronunciation of the Name in Hebrew. This is why Jews may cheerfully say "God forbid" or "from your mouth to God's ears" - the word "God" in English isn't forbidden. (and I wouldn't directly print even a transliteration of the name on Slashdot, despite being an agnostic.) The nonexistent word "Jehovah" arises precisely because pointed versions of Torah used to point the name with the vowels of Adonai to remind the reader to substitute Adonai instead, and insufficiently educated Christians thought that it was a real word.

The real problem with the laity reading the Bible without sufficient education turned out to be entirely justified. The fear was that, through lack of scholarship, they wouldn't understand what they were reading, and would start up deviant sects. The existence of the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons, which began in exactly such a way, makes the point. The really weird thing to my mind is the fundamentalist Evangelicals who combine the non-Biblical overemphasis on Jesus to which you (in my view correctly) allude, with a ridiculous misunderstanding of the way to understand Genesis.

Re:Posting from my iPad (1)

Deep Esophagus (686515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618811)

Can you cite some specific examples where God's name was redacted to emphasize Jesus' deity? There are no "original texts"; there are only oldest possible copies. Whenever I'm puzzled by popular interpretation of a difficult passage, I pull up a side-by-side [bible.org] comparison [scripture4all.org] of the oldest source material and English translation. I don't read more than three words of Greek or Hebrew, but those two sites helpfully provide word-for-word literal translations (e.g., "Thus for loves the God the system as besides the son of-him the only-generated he gives that every the one-believing into him no should-be-being-destroyed but may-be-having life eternal"). While there are numerous places that a word with multiple possible meanings can (and does) lead to conflict over interpretation, I have never seen any translation issues that change the basic theology.

Re:Posting from my iPad (3, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618615)

Now that purely secular authorities are in charge, I'm sure we'd never see them enhance their power through the ignorance of the populace! 2,000+ page bills, anyone? "We need to pass the health care law so that you can see what is in it."

Re:Posting from my iPad (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618595)

A gradual increase in literacy roughly coincided with books-- especially the bible-- being available in the vernacular (that is, not just "scholarly" languages like Greek and Latin).

Not really shocking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618159)

Attitudes about tech like this vary widely by denomination, and with some groups this is no surprise at all.

Many Evangelical and Pentecostal groups have been using tons of tech and trying to make church look like Vegas for decades.

If these were small town Baptists on the other hand, I'd be shocked.

Re:Not really shocking... (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618229)

I'm a member of a very conservative Baptist congregation, and ipads, smartphones with the YouVersion Bible app, as well as Kindles abound. It's been that way for years now.

Re:Not really shocking... (3, Interesting)

Deep Esophagus (686515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618871)

I've been living in relatively small towns (pop. 50,000 and 20,000) for the past fifteen years, attending convservative evangelical churches. Two of them make extensive use of multimedia presentations, which I have to admit was a bit of an annoyance to me -- I stop seeing the worship as a sincere expression of faith from the heart but instead it starts looking as you said, iike a Vegas performance.

I have tried using my Kindle when we're told to pull up a specific chapter, but the interface is so tedious I'm just getting to the passage by the time the preacher finishes reading it. Much faster than to grab a dog-eared print copy and flip to the right section. My wife likes using her smartphone, though, and I've even seen smartphones among folks I wouldn't have expected. This particular congregation is largely older ranchers.

It's different, that's all (2)

Thyamine (531612) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618175)

Just like anything else, it's different so some people will find it weird or wrong in the beginning. Or assume you are looking at porn in service or some equally ridiculous claim. And the only reason this is even a story is because it involves churches which are often steeped in tradition and not generally the first to use tech, although that's really a church by church decision.

Re:It's different, that's all (-1, Flamebait)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618215)

Well, for me, the interesting part is that they're using 21st century technology to focus all your attention on a set of documents written between 1200 BCE and 100 CE, even to the point of denying the science that makes the 21st century technology possible.

Re:It's different, that's all (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618311)

Seriously? Because the only science most of them seem even interested in denying is origins (both cosmological and biological), and some bits of mostly reproduction-related biology -- none of which has a bloody thing to do with smartphones and tablets. Yes, a few extreme whackos oppose relativity (without which, no GPS) as part of their young-earth trip, but these are AFAICT a small minority among the young-earthers -- and that's the only electronics-relevant science I've ever heard of any of them denying.

Re:It's different, that's all (-1, Troll)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618395)

seem even interested in denying is origins (both cosmological and biological), and some bits of mostly reproduction-related biology -- none of which has a bloody thing to do with smartphones and tablets.

If you deny the scientific facts about evolution how can you accept them about electricity and magnetism? Creationists should eat their own dog food and live like in the Middle Ages.

Re:It's different, that's all (2)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618541)

Since you asked, the evidence that an iPad works is directly observable, while evolution requires-- if you'll excuse the layman's term-- "faith" in experts, as the cause and effect are not directly observable. Thanks for not taking it to an absurd level like some, who claim that creationist don't believe in gravity and the like.

Re:It's different, that's all (0)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618575)

Since you asked, the evidence that an iPad works is directly observable, while evolution requires-- if you'll excuse the layman's term-- "faith" in experts, as the cause and effect are not directly observable.

So, what separates both is the amount of... thinking? Thank you for confirming that creationists are brain dead retards.

Re:It's different, that's all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618687)

And thanks for showing once again that geeks are ignorant scum blinded by their own spittle drenched hate.

Re:It's different, that's all (2, Insightful)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618805)

No, I think the point of the above poster was that one of the two can undergo in situ testing whereas the other can merely investigate current observable state and effect to theorize about initial cause. By a strict definition of science (the experimental testing of a hypothesis), you can accept the iPad on a scientific basis, but can not accept cosmology/evolution on a scientific basis until we are advanced enough to either create our own universes to observe, or may set up a megayear experiment with observational parameters for a static and some evolving ecologies.

What separates you and operagost is evidence of thinking. You know what that confirms don't you?

Re:It's different, that's all (1)

SpeZek (970136) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618837)

By a strict definition of science (the experimental testing of a hypothesis)

So, not by the actual definition of science, but by an artificially constructed one?

Re:It's different, that's all (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 2 years ago | (#39619057)

Nothing contrived here. No general lumping of other tools like mathematics, engineering, logic, various analytical techniques (e.g. PCR, peptide mapping, carbon dating, etc...), into the parent term of science either.

Science [merriam-webster.com] (see 3a) in the strictest sense requires adherence to the scientific method [merriam-webster.com] .

Re:It's different, that's all (0)

BisexualPuppy (914772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618899)

but can not accept cosmology/evolution on a scientific basis until we are advanced enough to either create our own universes to observe We have one, and evolution hasn't stopped 6000 years ago you fool. Look at that : http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/search/topicbrowse2.php?topic_id=52 [berkeley.edu]

Re:It's different, that's all (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618559)

Creationists should eat their own dog food and live like in the Middle Ages.

umm, you are aware of their various social and educational policies, right?

The interesting part is they always want everyone ELSE to live according to their policies, but they themselves should be free to (fill in the blank with decades of corrupt televangelists, corrupt priests, etc)

Re:It's different, that's all (1)

richpoore (925284) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618849)

There are extremists in Islam, Christianity and Evolution. Eugenics is an example of the negative outworking of extreme evolutionary thought. This being said, even most Christians who want freedom and believe it is being threatened is merely the freedom of speech. While it is somewhat offensive, I don't want daem0n1x to be censored. He should be able to say that people who believe like I do should eat dog food, even if he's in public office or a high school teacher. I won't vote for him and would challenge him as my teacher, but in the same vein, Christians shouldn't be censored from speaking about our faith, no matter where, or who we are.

Re:It's different, that's all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618675)

Why can't you?

First, you're neglecting that man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal. Holding an inherent contradiction is quite easy for the human brain unless pushed (by yourself or circumstances) to actively consider the point of conflict -- as long as you use one rule in one circumstance, and a different rule in others, never both at the same time, you can do just fine.

Second, it's not all that hard to draw lines (again, rationalizations) suggesting that this is "Real Science" and that is "Atheist Dogma". Evolution is particularly easy to dismiss in this regard, as it's easy to write off observational science as distinct from experimental science, and, to date, we don't have the ability to do any experiments testing or confirming specific aspects of evolution with obvious significance to non-biologists. Synthetic life would go a long way; making everyone a molecular biologist so they can understand the experiments we can run and their relationship to evolution as a whole would go farther. Even so, a scientist with infinite resources to experiment still can never honestly claim to have proved evolution has happened -- at best, we can prove it's wholly possible and posit a complete, specific roadmap of how every species came to be, but when the creationist fires back "Well, evolution could have happened, but it didn't -- a (sky)wizard did it!", all you can say is "I found no need of that hypothesis."

Re:It's different, that's all (1)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618693)

There is disagreement among scientists across a broad range of questions. Since one of these groups is by definition not accepting "correct science", should they be required to deny all scientific principles, too?

Few "creationists", though, deny the scientific statement "evolution occurs" as a causal statement affecting biology. They tend to deny the untestable, unscientific hypothesis "only evolution occurs". If you're among those who deny correct science through accepting that hopeful non-sequitur equivocation of the term, maybe you should book that time machine trip yourself...

Re:It's different, that's all (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618823)

They tend to deny the untestable, unscientific hypothesis "only evolution occurs".

If it were that simple, the whole thing would have blown over. No scientist has ever said "only evolution occurs"; they've all said that evolution is the only thing that has ever been observed occurring, and there's no evidence that would lead anyone to even suspect that anything else occurs.

And it's when crackpots say that their ignorance is the evidence (!) which leads them to suspect (or worse: know for sure) that the FSM designs life, that scientists hand those crackpots' asses to them.

Re:It's different, that's all (1, Interesting)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618903)

"Scientists" per se, tend to avoid that form of statement, yes. Dawkins et al, however, have made a very comfortable living stating exactly that. Any presentation of "religion versus science" in only possible insofar as one is using "evolution" in an untestable, hence unscientific sense.

In general, though, the statement that "there's no evidence that would lead anyone to even suspect that anything else occurs" is directly factually false. We -know- design occurs, if for no other reason than biology exists that we ourselves have designed. We are arguing about the possible scope of "when" design is a factor, not "if". That it -is- a factor when talking about "existence in general", is now established fact.

Re:It's different, that's all (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618935)

Few "creationists", though, deny the scientific statement "evolution occurs" as a causal statement affecting biology. They tend to deny the untestable, unscientific hypothesis "only evolution occurs".

Nice try. Creationists say evolution is wrong because it contradicts what's written in their Holy Book. Are you REALLY trying to equate that with controversy among scientist??? According to you, creationists do not defend that "evolution does not exist". They just defend that "not only evolution exists". Even if it was true, what is the other thing that "exists"? Do you have any scientific argument to present here or you feel happy just by trolling?

Good luck with your bullshit.

Re:It's different, that's all (1, Interesting)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39619043)

Creationists say evolution is wrong because it contradicts what's written in their Holy Book.

Really? Have you actually ever heard one say this, or is this just the Straw Man that came most quickly to mind?

Are you REALLY trying to equate that with controversy among scientist???

There is controversy among scientists. When you deny this, reality will remain precisely the same, that there is controversy among scientists. Apart from those in the ID camp, there are notions of, say, "panspermia" as a causal factor, and great, systemic disagreement as to the particular paths evolution has taken.

Do you have any scientific argument to present here or you feel happy just by trolling?

Lots of them are available for a little googling. That tends to be a more intricate argument at the level of biology than I'm looking to start at this point, though. Behe, as usual, is a good place to start on the biological level. My point here is simply, and accurately, the exclusion of other causal factors when using the term "evolution" is untestable and hence unscientific, and the word cannot be used that way -scientifically-, only philosophically.

Re:It's different, that's all (1)

richpoore (925284) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618769)

Not that this hasn't been said before, but there is a difference in the realms of science which refer to repeatable, observable happenings (e.g. electricity, magnetism and micro-evolution) and science which cannot be repeated or observed (e.g. macro-evolution or the big bang theory)

Re:It's different, that's all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618355)

Well, for me, the interesting part is that they're using 21st century technology to focus all your attention on a set of documents written between 1200 BCE and 100 CE, even to the point of denying the science that makes the 21st century technology possible.

I'm not sure what "denying the science" [of the Big Bang and Evolution] has to do with the technology involved with moving electrons around. All of the technology required for making a smartphone can be derived without relying on the theories abouth the origins of the universe and life on our planet.

Re:It's different, that's all (4, Insightful)

cwgmpls (853876) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618593)

1) No all people who read and study the Bible are deniers of science.

2) Using 21st century technology (iPad) to study the Bible is just as strange and unusual as using 15th century technology (printed books) to study a set of documents written between 1200 BCE and 100 CE.

Re:It's different, that's all (1)

Kismet (13199) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618967)

1200 BCE? Let's see... late bronze age religious documents... you must be talking about the vedic texts known from what we call "Hinduism." The religious texts of the Jews and Christians didn't begin to appear until much later.

Re:It's different, that's all (2)

IorDMUX (870522) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618323)

although that's really a church by church decision.

I'd say region by region, rather than it being driven by denomination. I was going to a church in Los Altos (not far from Google Headquarters) in 2008, and smartphones were the medium of choice for following along in the scriptures. First iPhones and later the G1 when it debuted...

Fast forward two years, and I moved to Fremont, about 15 miles counterclockwise around the bay. In church there, one day, I pulled out my HTC phone and and was met with questioning stares. I raised a question about a scripture and was asked "Wait, you can read the Bible on that thing?"

Different regions, different people, same church, different attitudes toward a great many things -- technology included.

Religion's Selective Science (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618207)

It's funny how the same science which is great for developing an understanding of the principles behind all these useful pieces of technology is suddenly useless when it comes to explaining the principles behind the formation of the world.

Re:Religion's Selective Science (2)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618359)

What's the difference between "God created the universe" vs "big bang created the universe"? Did you know the big bang/expansion hypothesis was from Georges Lematre, a Belgian preist -- "The Cosmic Egg exploding at the moment of creation", as he described it.

Re:Religion's Selective Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618561)

Approximately the same difference as characters in a book acknowledging the author who wrote the book and characters in a book suggesting that the book contains sufficient conditions for it to have written itself.

Re:Religion's Selective Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618985)

Which just serves to confirm your ignorance.

No one should have an issue if someone spreads the hate based on knowledge and correct information. Informed hate, so to speak.

It's when ignorant mouth-breathers such as yourself seek to promote hate simply by parroting ignorance they may have heard or read elsewhere, probably in a schoolyard, that some of us feel the need to call you an ignorant moron.

At the very least, you should read the bible. At least then, you may have an argument to stand on.

Re:Religion's Selective Science (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 2 years ago | (#39619033)

What's the difference between "God created the universe" vs "big bang created the universe"?

One is testable and the other isn't -- obviously, we can't create another Big Bang, but we can test that, "If the Big Bang happened, the background radiation should look like X and the galaxies should act like Y, and there should be Z amounts of certain elements, etc.".

Not to mention that "God created the universe" is pretty vague. How? Which God? What can we learn from it?

Re:Religion's Selective Science (1)

sarysa (1089739) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618477)

Communication tools tend to get a bit more love from churches. In 10 years we could have local, interactive mass anywhere. Most churches want that...especially for the sake of the sick.

Re:Religion's Selective Science (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618591)

It is funny how Angry Atheists and Conservative Christians. Take a such a simplistic view of the Bible, and usually cannot get past the first chapter of the Bible. And keep going back to it to disprove each other.

Genisus isn't a blueprint on how God created a world. They needed to start the book so that is how they started it. It doesn't really give a moral lesson, other then saying universe is big and complicated So complicated that God needed a day off. 7 days and 7 nights bits 7 is because it is Prime number and Prime numbers have been sacred, and most of the cultures didn't have that advanced of a number scheme of the time of the story to express large numbers.
However Genesis basically points out that a lot of our pain in the world is based on our desire for knowledge. Once we strive for knowledge we will know more pain and suffering, however after we get knowledge we as a culture can never go back to blissful ignorance.

Re:Religion's Selective Science (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618973)

However Genesis basically points out that a lot of our pain in the world is based on our desire for knowledge

Personally my feeling is that our desire for knowledge has reduced pain. And tuberculosis. And smallpox. And the need to scavenge wood to make a cup of boiled nettles. And hey, even pain.

Re:Religion's Selective Science (5, Insightful)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618733)

I would say the same thing as a theist.

Isn't interesting how doing science requires believing in induction, that the future will be like the past. But if you don't assume that the reason why the future is like the past is due to God sustaining and creating those rules, you have laws of physics resting on nothing. There's no reason they won't change.

Or the fact that atheists trust their own rationality. I mean you have your thoughts being due to brains that weren't designed for any particular reason. Why trust your own rationality? As JBS Haldane wrote:

"If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true ... and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms."

Or that materialists like to use immaterial laws of logic.

Funny goes both ways.

What always amazes me... (1)

Covalent (1001277) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618243)

...is that as more technology becomes available, the true believers seem MORE certain of their faith. I'm not sure if that is a result of the technology or just a shift in the way religions operate, but it seems like questioning your faith used to be considered a good thing and is now very much a bad thing.

Re:What always amazes me... (1, Insightful)

Boronx (228853) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618643)

My guess is this has to do with politicizing of faith. When you have a pastor telling a 15 year old girl that she can't be a Democrat and good Christian at the same time, then you've got an earthly power structure that depends on faith for stability and anything that undermines the faith is a threat.

Re:What always amazes me... (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618669)

...is that as more technology becomes available, the true believers seem MORE certain of their faith.

What may be happening is that as communication tools improve those true believers have the ability to communicate more freely so the rest of us see more of their communications.

If you look at all the neo-nazi groups, pedos, and scammers on the internet you might get the impression there are more of them then there were a few years ago. The truth is they can just communicate better now.

Re:What always amazes me... (1)

saider (177166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618671)

Most likely because like minds can now find others via the intertubes, reinforcing their belief. Note that this also works for conspiracy theorists, hate groups, and other minority belief groups.

Re:What always amazes me... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618691)

...is that as more technology becomes available, the true believers seem MORE certain of their faith. I'm not sure if that is a result of the technology or just a shift in the way religions operate, but it seems like questioning your faith used to be considered a good thing and is now very much a bad thing.

One possible explanation, in a quote from Andre Malraux (with my emphasis):

The great mystery is not that we should have been thrown down here at random between the profusion of matter and that of the stars; it is that from our very prison we should draw, from our own selves, images powerful enough to deny our own nothingness.

Chasing "the American dream", a even a middle class (much faster for a redneck or whitetrash) individual doesn't take much to realize that s/he's nothing and have very little control over what governs their life... what choice does such a person have? Science is not accessible to her/him and science doesn't promise a better life (not in terms of gizmos, but in terms of denying their nothingness)... where can that person find salvation other than religion and/or arms?
Is there any wonder that nowadays social frame resembles quite a lot the early** medieval times - religion practices included? (a democracy and elections? To what good is you can change the persons in power if the effects over you life are null?)

Another one, from the same author, and I'll leave it here:

Athirst for personal salvation, the West forgets that many religions had but a vague notion of the life beyond the grave; true, all great religions stake a claim on eternity, but not necessarily on man's eternal life.

** the time when it was NOT the church that was the most oppressive, but the barons and lords of the land.

Is this flamebait? (3, Insightful)

mu51c10rd (187182) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618245)

I know this article will generate legions of flamewars and hostility. However, i would like to mention that belief in a God is not mutually exclusive with belief in science. Many religious worshipers don't think the world was literally created in 6 days, nor is 6000 years old, nor discard evolution.

Re:Is this flamebait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618349)

I know a woman who does advanced digital signal processing, but who refuses to use the office microwave because it is contaminated with non-kosher food. She also thinks there were no people before 5772 years ago. That said, she isn't a very good engineer. I also know a mathematician who is a christian fundamentalist. He isn't a very good mathematician, either. Good enough to teach high-school, but that's more of a comment on how poor math education in high-school is.

Re:Is this flamebait? (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618745)

I'm hoping you aren't a statistician.

Re:Is this flamebait? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618367)

Believing/thinking that there may possibly be a god is not mutually exclusive with science.

Believing in a specific god that died, became a zombie, and flew up to heaven IS mutually exclusive with science.

Re:Is this flamebait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618409)

Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Re:Is this flamebait? (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618629)

How so? You can believe that science is entirely correct without believing that it MUST be able to explain everything. Having faith that science can explain everything is not scientific in and of itself. That's philosophical. It may well be that it is only capable of explaining a subset of things in the universe, i.e. that it can explain the natural, but not the supernatural.

Also, see Arthur C. Clark's line that, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Re:Is this flamebait? (2)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618719)

The whole Jesus = Zombie bit is an example of profoundly immoral argument. Name anything you believe in, absolutely anything, and somebody can oversimplify and reduce it to an absurdity or a profound insult. Marxist? Then you believe the state will wither away by getting larger so you're obviously an idiot! Capitalist? Then you worship a giant invisible hand that requires occasional human sacrefices - what a maroon! Pick a side, and then describe a strawman version of the other side and declare yourself winner, that's all you're doing.

Re:Is this flamebait? (1)

kidcharles (908072) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618983)

The whole Jesus = Zombie bit is an example of profoundly immoral argument. Name anything you believe in, absolutely anything, and somebody can oversimplify and reduce it to an absurdity or a profound insult. Marxist? Then you believe the state will wither away by getting larger so you're obviously an idiot! Capitalist? Then you worship a giant invisible hand that requires occasional human sacrefices - what a maroon! Pick a side, and then describe a strawman version of the other side and declare yourself winner, that's all you're doing.

Point taken. The difference is that interpreting economics from a Marxist or capitalist viewpoint does not require ignoring well-established physical laws.

Re:Is this flamebait? (2, Informative)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618439)

Even the extremely conservative Roman Catholic Church officially recognises evolution. Here in Europe most people never heard about the Creationism stupidity in their lives. Only in the USA and a few Muslim countries you can find batshit religious fanatics trying to push that shit around, and being taken seriously.

Re:Is this flamebait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618599)

I can't tell if you are serious or being sarcastic. Trolling perhaps? The things you mention exist everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

Re:Is this flamebait? (1)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618571)

Yes, but that was only to modify the religion to accommodate the recent findings of science. I mean, it's not like allegorical reading was being advocated by Christians in like, the -third century- or anything...

"And with regard to the creation of the light upon the first day, and of the firmament upon the second, and of the gathering together of the waters that are under the heaven into their several reservoirs on the third (the earth thus causing to sprout forth those (fruits) which are under the control of nature alone), and of the (great) lights and stars upon the fourth, and of aquatic animals upon the fifth, and of land animals and man upon the sixth, we have treated to the best of our ability in our notes upon Genesis, as well as in the foregoing pages, when we found fault with those who, taking the words in their apparent signification, said that the time of six days was occupied in the creation of the world."

--Origen of Alexandria, Contra Celsum, 248 A.D.

(/sarcasm)

Re:Is this flamebait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618583)

It's not a matter of believing in some deity. It's that any clown can come up with a church of his own, and there will always be morons that will regard him as something special.

Re:Is this flamebait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618663)

Science is not a believe. It is a human construct that helps us understand the world around us by applying logic to it.
And you are wrong, believe in a deity and science are mutually exclusive. If you believe in there being a deity, for which there is no objective falsifiable evidence whatsoever, you are completely ignoring science.

Even more so if you believe in a very specific deity with very specific characteristics over possible other deities with other characteristics.

Science shows us there is no evidence for the existence / non existence of any Deity, either way. Logic dictates that the believe in a Deity therefor has the same credibility as the believe in Invisible Pink Unicorns, UFO's and leprechauns with pot of gold.

Religious articles? Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618247)

This has no place on Slashdot. Anyone intelligent enough to be a member here does not worship a zombie god. We don't need articles about modern technology assisting in brainwashing the masses with nonsense.

Re:Religious articles? Really? (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618329)

Wait, which religion has a zombie god? That sounds awesome! I might convert from Celestia worship for that.

Re:Religious articles? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618489)

Christianity totally rocks. Not only a zombie god, but you eat him.

Way better and less controversial or boring than other popular gods.

Re:Religious articles? Really? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618633)

Catholics do.

There are 3 persons to one God.
The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The Father is alive and kicking.
The Son died and came back to live in 3 days (a Zombie)
The Holy Spirit (a ghost)
God is 2/3 undead.

erm... (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618791)

I think we're misusing the word zombie here.

It's my understanding that a resurrection is a complete respawn with original stats.

Re:Religious articles? Really? (3, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618385)

I go to church and do not believe in God. One of our two main ministers is a Buddhist. The other is Christian (of a near-Catholic variety). We publish the sermons weekly as an audio stream, are working on video, and have considered live streaming and tablet-formatted newsletters.

Attending a church, using a given technology, holding a particular belief, and being a member of a website are all independent events, with their own independent causative situations.

Re:Religious articles? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618429)

Assuming it's a Christian church, why do you and the Buddhist do that? Seems a bit like working for a tobacco company and being against smoking.

Unitarian Universalist (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618725)

I would assume it was a Unitarian Universalist (UU), which is what I am. I remember going to Sunday School, learning about Noah’s arch, playing the evolution game, practicing medication, being taught how the brain works (The instructor brought in real human brain in formaldehyde – we were 9).

Theology and Science are two very important methods of thoughts – designed to asked different questions - Why are we hear and how things work.

  UU are Existentialist in matters of faith. i.e. You personal belief (or non-belief) is based on your own personal experiences and not on external facts. And the best way to celebrate faith is to get together and explore it communally. That is, you believe in God because you have had a personal experience, not because Rabbi points to a burning bush while a priest point’s to a hole in the ground. As such there is a wide range belief. You can have people of Christen, Buddhist, Earth Centric, and Secular Humanism all in the same congregation.

Re:Religious articles? Really? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618709)

my church streams services live and i have a few pointers

1 sort out your lighting during the install of the cameras
2 make sure that your outbound bandwidth can handle the stress of streaming
3 expand your sound "station" to hold all the "stuff" so that folks doing the various bits can coordinate
4 make sure whoever is first to speak during a service knows that Waiting For The Divine To Inspire only goes as far as when your service starts. (we actually have a projector with a timer in the corner as a Hint that shows other stuff during the service)
5 make sure that all of your Deacons "buy in" on the project before you start spending money.

email me directly with questions

old news? (3, Informative)

ibennetch (521581) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618293)

Maybe we're all just really high tech, but my pastor has been using his laptop in services for ten or fifteen years. Rather than carrying a Bible and notepad, many of us in the congregation have been using laptops with Bible software for following along and note taking. One of the first things my wife did when she won an iPad was to get a Bible program and set up her note-taking system with it. Somehow I'm able to avoid the urge to check my email; I think in part because I have a close network of friends who won't hesitate to call me out if I'm goofing off.

Carrying a digital Bible has many advantages; quickly changing to another reference, access to different versions, cross referencing and Strongs lookups...I'd have trouble going back to paper.

Re:old news? (0, Flamebait)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618521)

My preist uses a laptop (running ubuntu and libre office) to keep track of all the boys he sexually molests.

As someone who grew up in Southern Baptist church (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618301)

I can tell you that the evangelicals down south have been doing this for years and years and years. I grew up being pointed to Blueletterbible.com too. (I was around 6 when we got AOL 2.0 or something, and around 12 when we got DSL; my dad was an early adopters).

It's funny, in retrospect, that these people couldn't figure out how basic biology functions and yet can manage to pump an image of a jumping and hollering preacher 40' in the air on an enormous projection screen. Hell, some of the churches we went to even had radio shows where they broadcasted the preacher's drivel worldwide.

Church as early adopter (3, Insightful)

davide marney (231845) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618345)

The church has historically been an early adopter of mass communication technologies, the best example being the publication of the Gutenberg Bible [wikipedia.org] which marked the start of the mass-produced book printing revolution. One Bible mobile app that I think is really notable is the YouVersion app (youversion.com): multiple translations, reading plans, bookmarks, notes, social networking; it has it all. An excellent example of a learning tool.

Re:Church as early adopter (-1, Troll)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618739)

An excellent example of a learning tool.

Sadly it's not teaching something that's worth learning.

Church as slow adopter, technology drives change (2)

cwgmpls (853876) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618777)

An interesting observation. But it was not the established Church that adopted the Gutenberg Bible -- printing and reading the Bible in the local language was actually heavily resisted and forbidden by the established Church of the time.

Rather, communication technology like the Gutenberg Bible played a central role in the reformation of the Church. It allowed those dissatisfied with the established church to learn and organize for themselves, and establish a new church, the Protestant movement, that was more to their liking and better suited their needs.

What will be interesting to see is not so much how established churches adopt new technology, they are generally quite slow and resist such technology. Rather, it will be interesting to see if today's disruptive communication technologies enable people to start new movements to reform the church, or create a new church better suited to our times. You may read up on the Emerging Church Movement to get a taste of what that may be like.

Re:Church as early adopter (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618807)

Weren't the faith healers using wireless audio decades ago so assistants could feed them information about the people they were "healing?"

iPad Game Changer (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618351)

Swiping things and making gestures with your fingers can now be considered christianly behavior.

Re:iPad Game Changer (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618501)

Catholics have been doing that "sign of the cross" thing for millennia. Now they can do it on their iPads!

Re:iPad Game Changer (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618847)

The tilt sensors can be used for Genuflection Detection (tm).

As someone that doesn't go to church (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618393)

this strikes me as a bad idea... a big part of going to a church service in person has to be human interactions and I'd think all the tablets would get in the way.

Re:As someone that doesn't go to church (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618499)

OK so you have no experience or evidence but felt like posting anyway. (I married into a churchgoing family... guess where I spent last sunday morning? None of them are believers (just social/traditional) so we all get along better than might be expected...)

this strikes me as a bad idea... a big part of going to a church service in person has to be human interactions

LOL if anything its the other way around, during services.

Non-services related activities, yeah, thats nothing but kids goofing off as kids do, and parents playing "holier than thou".

I'd think all the tablets would get in the way

Some of the commandments seem a little outdated.

Re:As someone that doesn't go to church (2)

pitchingchris (2591965) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618547)

I would agree. I work with some technical aspects of my church and while I want to add some accessibility enhancements, I don't want to detract from the service. You don't want to turn people's focus from the speaker to a device. That said, it would be nice to have features for those with disabilities, be able to share notes, and maybe eventually be able to get a transcript that you can review later (helps reinforce things, especially if you have some hearing/vision/language impairment).

Re:As someone that doesn't go to church (1)

gauauu (649169) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618661)

this strikes me as a bad idea... a big part of going to a church service in person has to be human interactions and I'd think all the tablets would get in the way.

There are really two parts to most modern church services:

"corporate worship" time, which includes singing, greeting, group prayer, etc. This is really based on the idea that human interaction really encourages, grows, and solidifies your faith.

"teaching/preaching" time, which is the sermon. This was originally based on the idea that you'd have someone more studied in scripture/theology who could teach you spiritual truths (or teach applications of those truths) in a way that the lay person might not be able to come up with themselves. During this time, I'm not interacting with people around me -- the only real advantage in doing this as a group instead of (now that we have the internet and tons of easily accessible resources) individually, is that other people in my church are hearing the same teaching, and we can discuss it together afterwards. Because of this, I believe that any tools that help you understand, remember, and apply the teaching are useful.

The funny thing is that both of these have become part of the traditional "modern" church service, although they are very different in format and purpose. I wonder how long we will continue to try to mix both things in most churches, before realizing that there may be better ways of "doing church"

Religion (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618417)

Fuck it.

Such a distraction.... (1)

aDSF762 (865834) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618457)

'the printed page would be such a distraction if you put it in the hands of people in worship.'

Yup thinking for yourself is a terrible distraction, you just might learn something.

Karl Marx... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618495)

... never foresaw that religion would become the iPiate of the Masses...

    Groucho Marx, on the other hand, embraced technology, although how it got in his pajamas we'll never know.

news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618513)

There is technology and organizations use that technology....How is this news?!

I remember when (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618533)

Someone from the pulpit pointed to me mid-sermon and asked me where my scriptures were. He had caught me looking at my PDA.

I held up my palm pilot, and continued reading the verses he was interested in us following.

He shook his head and said it was amazing that someone could hold the scriptures in such an itty bitty device, all those years ago.

Now, as I teach lessons at church, I'm "annoyed" because sometimes the kids are doing something OTHER than following the scriptures on their phones, and sharing it with others in the class.

I know that sometimes the word of God isn't the most enjoyable subject to be studying, but it's pretty disrespectful to be such a distraction during class.

Re:I remember when (0)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618781)

I know that sometimes the word of God isn't the most enjoyable subject to be studying, but it's pretty disrespectful to be such a distraction during class.

Yes, dam those kids who try to think for themselves. Clearly it's more important that they are respectful servants than free thinkers.

Re:I remember when (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618879)

Playing angry birds does require a lot of free thinking.

Re:I remember when (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618881)

Some things _should_ be disrespected.

What is the right religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618701)

Have you ever put any thought into.. If Jesus was born in Bethlehem then it should be Jewish or Muslin.

Another application (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618705)

Churches could create an app that displays the relevant verses/other information at a given time so you don't have to search for them. It could be implemented either by using a wifi network or a predetermined schedule.

Doesn't surprise me (3, Interesting)

gravis777 (123605) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618761)

LifeChurch actually wrote one of the most popular Bible apps out there. My pastor at my church has started telling people to pull out their phones and tabletts for about a year now. I went with a friend to a very traditional church at one time, and the pastor there, in his 70s, was preaching from his phone. It's still the Bible, no matter what form it takes. The electronic form makes it easier to make notes, cross reference, post to Facebook and Twitter, look up stuff online, and easier to carry. I actually find myself reading it more as I can easily carry it with me in my phone. It is probably the greatest advancement to the Bible since the Guttenberg press, with the NIV and other translations being the second greatest advancement (which you can also get in the Bible apps)

Place for technology (1)

scottlpatterson (928858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618893)

I prefer NOT to use technology for most bible reading. At times it helps as I can look up things quicker, but, I often get distracted and do something else non-related. As a leader of youth (12-14 yr olds), I see lots of iPods and such. Yes, they have a bible app, but, they are also doing other things that are not related (texting, games, etc). I think each person needs to carefully weigh the pros and cons of using technology. For me, I'm much more productive using the printed bible.

LdS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39618947)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has two official applications for smart phones. "Gospel Library" includes not only the Scriptures, but our hymnal, monthly magazines, and worship curriculum. The other application is a directory for the congregation - names, email addresses, phone numbers, and callings. It even includes a congregation calendar.

My biggest complaint is that currently only English content is available.

Oh, the irony... (1)

the saltydog (450856) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618955)

...of theists who actively deny science (evolution, global warming, complete lack of evidence of their favorite deity, etc.), yet they still get to use the fruits of all the technology derived from it.

I cringed when those ExxonMobil commercials came on during the Masters telecast... I mean, seriously - in a science test out of 31 countries, we came in 17th place?!?

I suppose Rick Santorum might think even that's too high; what else should you expect in a place where the intellectual bankruptcy of "intelligent" design is given equal weight in the classroom with evidence-based science?

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