Would Jesus have a Facebook page?

Posted Apr 24, 2012 | New Media Project

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By Lerone A. Martin


Best practices: During February, March, and April, 2012 the New Media Project bloggers are looking intentionally at new media “best practices.” Join the conversation: What are the new media best practices in your church or organization? What are some other examples of how communities engage in new media well? Tell us in the comments below.

Drew Goodmanson, CEO of the web-based solutions firm Monk Development, Inc., told USA Today, "Jesus would not have a Facebook page. He wouldn't be stopping in an Internet café to update his status."

To be sure, Goodmanson endorse the ways in which new media allows people to “have a digital Bible in the palm of their hand or connect with others in prayer any time anywhere.” Moreover, his company builds web-based solutions for a host of notable business clientele, as well as several religious organizations, including World Vision, Crossway Books and Bibles, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and Denver and Fuller Seminaries.

Nevertheless, the tech-savvy executive, paradoxically, does not believe that Jesus would use Facebook to “connect with others” nor to keep his apostles and friends abreast of his “status.”

Goodmanson’s stance is ironic and somewhat surprising. Somehow, he makes a clear distinction between the utility of helping companies accomplish their respective goals through web-based solutions on one hand, while rejecting the premise that using Facebook can be consistent with the ministry of Jesus on the other hand. Perhaps for Goodmanson, new media is too intertwined with consumer and business culture to be consistent with the ministry of Jesus.

What do you think?

This week, the New Media Project blog concludes its three-month focus on best new media practices. Might another way to identify best new media practices for faith communities be to explore where in the culture of new media we find things that are contrary to religious purposes? I wonder if this line of exploration might help us identify further best practices. Share with us what you think.

Lerone A. Martin, a research fellow for the New Media Project, is Assistant Professor of American Religious History and Culture at Eden Theological Seminary in Saint Louis, MO.

The New Media Project is a research project helping religious leaders become theologically savvy about technology. To request permission to repost this content, please contact newmediaproject@cts.edu.

3 Comments

  1. 1 Brian 31 Jan
    I think it would be more inclined to denote, should Jesus have a Facebook.
  2. 2 Richard Littledale 31 Jan
    I agree with Goodmanson. An incarnate Saviour would prefer people over pixels, every single time. See "Jesus as your Facebook friend" : http://richardlittledale.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/jesus-as-your-facebook-friend/
  3. 3 Steven Hunter 31 Jan
    The question of whether Jesus would have a facebook page/account (or twitter or any other platform for that matter) is a bit of a red herring because we are transposing our understanding of Jesus in the context he came to earth and then making our own (biased) judgment on what he would or wouldn't do.

    http://fingerinallthepies.blogspot.com/

    Having said that it seems to me that Jesus would want to share the good news with all. To use a comparable person in our time the Dalai Lama, he is on facebook and twitter.

    Social media is essentially a means to an end - connecting with people and sharing your news/views etc. - so is there any downside to Jesus being on social media? I don't think so.

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