Archives For Book Review

As you know, I am now on a “half-sabbatical” for the next two semesters here at Biola, with one of the outcomes being a book on using the Internet and social media for ministry. As part of this process, I am spending some time reviewing some different materials for possible inclusion in the book and/or my online course this summer.  As I complete my review of these materials, I will post a summary to this blog. To see all my reviews, click here.

Yesterday, I finished working my way through Persuasive Technology by B.J. Fogg. Dr. Fogg is the founder and leading researcher in the field of “captology”, which is defined as the design, research, and analysis of interactive computing products created for the purpose of changing people’s attitudes or behaviors. Though not written specifically to help churches and ministries with their online efforts, this book has a myriad of insights that are extremely applicable to those us interested in understanding how our ministries can have a more effective online presence.

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Book Review: SimChurch

Dave —  October 21, 2009 — 6 Comments

SimChurchJust this weekend I completed reading SimChurch by Douglas Estes.  For those of you unfamiliar with this new movement, the idea of online church is not just putting a recording of your church service online. Instead, it is actually conducting an entire live church service online, complete with worship, teaching, offering, fellowship, and possibly even communion and baptism.  This can include both churches with Internet campuses and those who conduct services in virtual worlds, such as Second Life. The author tackles questions surrounding the validity of online church and asks some tough questions.  He ends the book by challenging online churches to break the mold and attempt to do things that no physical-world church can.

If you have read this blog before, you know that I have been a critic of online church. However, as a lover of technology and the Internet, I am always open to thinking in new ways about things and want to see how technology can be used to share the message of Christ.  But I am also a realist: I know that just because we can do church online does not mean that we should. So I read this book with an open mind and heart – looking for new ways of thinking about online church.

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Book: The New Media Frontier

Dave —  December 22, 2008 — 1 Comment

newmediafrontiersThis is the second in a series I’m writing describing the books I’m planning on using in my upcoming course on Internet ministry. Last time, I discussed the Aubrey Malphur’s book ChurchNext. That book, written in 2003, was a relatively short book focused on explaining to church leaders why they should embrace change in the shape of the Internet. This book, released just a few months ago, shows what a difference five years can make. Written for pastors, educators, youth leaders, academics, and anyone else who who has a passion for sharing the message of Christ, this book explains why it is crucial to get involved with the Internet as a medium and describes how it can be used in a variety of fields. Its focus goes far beyond having a web site, blogging, or podcasting, and focuses on all the “new media”, including social networking, online education, and video.

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