Cool Whip Church: Part 1

I’ve been reading up on ecclesiology and ‘cyber-church’ over the past couple weeks because of a paper I’m working on for college and an illustration from Albert Borgmann’s Power Failure really helped me put ‘cyber-church’ into perspective.

We have this technology that allows use to do incredible things and often without thinking about it.  For instance, we eat things sometimes assuming they are one kind of food when they are in fact quite a different kind.  Whipped cream is a prime example, we go to the grocery store and buy Cool Whip and treat it just like whipped cream, but it’s not at all.  It’s so much not whipped cream that Cool Whip is not allowed to even refer to it as whipped cream.  Yet, everything about it tells us that it is whipped cream: it’s taste, look and consistency.

This is the same for ‘cyber-church’: technology has allowed us to duplicate ‘church’ in our living rooms and office chairs, and at first glance it looks and feels like church, but when it comes right down to it, many of the things that make church church are simply missing and cannot be reproduced with technology, and any attempt is woefully inadequate.  What we’re left with is an imitation church that should really never have been called church to begin with.