One of the greatest insights of the Google-World is the freedom of Beta. A Beta is more than a product not-yet-ready-for-consumption, but a way of thinking, creating, and living. It owns being unfinished. It expects contribution, evolution, transparency. For a long time all of culture was under a spell. It believed in the myth of perfection. A closed process of creation. An established finality before completion. Before Beta, a mistake, glitch, virus, or crash was an embarrassment, a failure of the developers. Now these ‘bugs’ are opportunities for learning and we thank people for pointing them out as they join in to improve.
What does all this Beta talk have to do with the Church? Everything. One of the greatest insight that the Emerging church movement has shared with the Church is this love for the Beta. A call for honesty, transparency, innovation, creative participation, and inspired imagination. When we look at the Church we think Beta, not because we begrudge what is there, but because we know God is not done, the body of Christ is in the Beta and it is beautiful.
In this conversation Philip Clayton, Spencer Burke, Florin, and myself explore this Google-ly metaphor and ask this question, ‘How far does the Beta go down?’ Is our worship in the Beta? How about the church structures, or our theology? What about our own life of discipleship and our community? Maybe we could go one step further and say that the entire world is in the Beta? What if we even ask,Is God in the Beta?
While I am sure some will think we go too far in this conversation, it will also show how we plan on talking about a real God who was and is being revealed in Jesus Christ. Philip calls out some forms of progressive theology when he visited the Nick and Josh Podcast. Thanks to Spencer and the ooze viral blogger crew for sharing the conversation. If you blog and like free books you should join them!
For more info on ‘Theology After Google’
Ohhh and if you haven’t….you should order Philip and my book!
Ohhh let me remind you how awesome the Theology After Google line-up is….
Tony Jones, Spencer Burke, John Franke, Helene Slessarev-Jamir, Adam Walker Cleaveland, Bob Cornwall, Dwight Friesen , Jon Irvine, Monica Coleman, Glen Stassen, Philip Clayton, Ryan Parker, Bruce Epperly, Barry Taylor, Ryan Bolger, Jana Riess, Doug Pagitt, Phil Snider, Emily Bowen, Jeff Jarvis, Steve Knight, Jonathon Walton, Joshua Case