The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
The advances of the web have changed the world. Now we must learn to use it at its best.
No other invention has changed the world as much in the last decades. The internet appeared as an internal communications system but its evolution and growth have turned it into a practically indispensable tool.
The way we communicate with each other or read the news, the way we learn, do business or politics... Everything is now more or less processed through the internet.
As well as the rest of society, evangelical churches have also changed as they adapt - sometimes a bit slower than the rest – to the technological changes in daily life. More and more churches have a website and social media profiles. This online presence has become more important to visibilise what the church is and what it believes about God and the world.
The Bible has jumped from print to the screen, and the opportunities of bringing the gospel to more people than ever before in history is a major reason to be thankful for the tech developments of the last 30 years.
Of course, the internet has also been used for evil. The production and wide circulation of pornography, the eruption of online gambling companies, the chaos of fake news, and the diffusion of harmful ideologies such as radical jihadism, are some of the challenges at the moment.
As we rear our head into the immediate future, we realise that it will be soon difficult to escape the omnipresence of the ‘internet of things’. As citizens, we increasingly worry about how governments and companies control the places we visit, who we communicate with and what we consume. Even the first inventors of the ‘world wide web’ now alarm about the negative developments in the last years and the need for the society to respond to these misuses.
As we look closely at the internet, we see the fingerprint of its creator: the human being. Capable of developing great creative initiatives for the benefit of all, we are also doing harm to our neighbours and to the environment in which we live. The history of internet could be well described in the words of Ecclesiastes: “There is nothing new under the sun”.
Christians should use the full potential of the online web for good. The Protestant Reformer Martin Luther saw the press, a great invention of his time, as “a great gift from God”. Could we say the same of the internet now? In our hands there is now a an even bigger tool to spread the gospel throughout the world.
A media project like Evangelical Focus, born in the era of internet, was started to serve these purposes. Our vision is to do a responsible journalism with a commitment to the gospel and its values. We have the mission of reaching the people in Europe and elsewhere, offering a platform of encounter and dialogue - building bridges with those who surround us.
Our desire is to serve the church with relevant contents on current issues with a Christian perspective, which helps us all to understand our culture and be “prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that you have”, doing it “with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
This is our essence and the values through which we would like to contribute to the advance of God’s mission in this hyper-connected planet. In a time of great technological changes, people need an encounter with God as much as ever.