Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $5.49 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Church of Facebook: How the Hyperconnected Are Redefining Community Paperback – Bargain Price, October 1, 2009
|New from||Used from|
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From the Back Cover
A revolution is underway. A Wi-Fi, worldwide movement that is changing how we interact with others. It's a seismic shift that is redefining the idea of community. Every day millions of people connect through online social networks, sites that allow us to follow our friends, and shape how they view us.
But while personal profiles are revealing, they hint at even larger truths. They uncover our desire for identity, our craving to be known, and our need to belong.
Jesse Rice believes that Facebook offers a profound look at our deepest needs. Join Jesse as he explores social networking and its impact on culture and the church. Filled with fresh perspectives and provocative questions, The Church of Facebook encourages us to pursue authentic relationships with God and those around us.
About the Author
Jesse Rice is a Contemporary Worship Arts Director at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, a large and thriving congregation in the heart of Silicon Valley. Living at this crossroads of faith and technology, Jesse is an authority on the search for meaning in a fast-paced, too-much-information world. He is a sought-after worship leader with almost fifteen years of experience working with college students and young adults. He and his wife, Katie, live in Palo Alto, California.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Rice is a writer and musician with a master's degree in counseling psychology who previously served as a worship arts director. He has a bright future as a writer.
The Church of Facebook is actually partially misnamed: Rice doesn't relate Facebook much directly to the church or even use the church as a metaphor for Facebook, although he does deal with community (as the subtitle suggests). What he does do (and does well) is to analyze the ways that the social media, exemplified by Facebook, are changing our behavior and relationships. Unlike some of the other books on the topic I've read, Rice has gone beyond the mere truisms that any book on the subject can tell you. Instead, he goes deeper into the hows and whys of how Facebook and other social media are changing us, and not necessarily for the better.
Rice chose Facebook (FB from now on) because it best represents 3 realities that are work in the technologies we use:
1. "There is a force capable of synchronizing a large population in very little time, thereby creating spontaneous order."
2. "This spontaneous order can generate outcomes that are entirely new and unpredictable."
3. "These unpredictable outcomes require the affected population to adapt their behavior to more adequately live within the new spontaneously generated order."
Chapters 1 and 2 relate to point #1 above. Chapter 1 on Connection was a very slow part of the book, and I was afraid the book would not get to the point. In Chapter 1, Rice makes the point that everyone is looking for a home and that FB is a home.
Chapter 2, "Revolution," talks about the rapid rise of FB and the changes it has begun to bring. Rice further defines "home" in terms of home is: "where we keep all the stuff that matters most to us;" "wherever we find family," "where we feel safe because we can control the environment," and "where we can just be ourselves."
Chapters 3 and 4 relate to point #2 above. In Chapter 3, Dispensation, Rice begins to examine the more negative side of FB and the outcomes it generates. FB empowers us with an endless number of choices over which we have control. But, paradoxically, too much control generates the same outcome as having not control. Users of FB and other social media are "hyperconnected," and FB leads to relationships that are less mature and less "real." In Chapter 4, "Illumination," Rice explores how FB collapses social contexts so that information and social acts lose their context, distorting our identities. 3 boundaries that get fuzzy in FB are: privacy and authority; peer and romantic relationships; and time management and person identity.
Chapters 5 and 6 relate to point #3 above. Chapter 5, "Adaptation," explores the issue of community, and here Rice persuasively concludes that FB, ultimately, facilitates "connection," but not true, genuine "community." In Chapter 6, "Regeneration," Rice begins by looking at Jesus encounter with the woman at the well and from that derives the belief that to use FB in a wise way requires intentionality, humility, and authenticity. One of the challenges will be to combat "busyness" and "procrastination."
Rice concludes with a list of 5 what might be considered "best practices" for FB and social media in general. This is a good list and a good start, although we all need more discussion of practice and not just theory.
Although The Church of Facebook gets bogged down too much by its anecdotes sometimes, it is lively and essential reading. The book would also benefit from the addition of an index.
If you are concerned about how the social media are distorting us and want to understand better how they are doing so, then The Church of Facebook is a great place to start.
I cannot endorse the beliefs that people should be accepted by God as they are. God's son united with a person upon regeneration is what allows God to accept man. Apart from Jesus man cannot be accepted by God. I wish this point was a little more clear in the book.
Second, loving oneself is not the purpose God gave man, as the final chapter states. I can understand that self condemning mind sets are merely prideful, as one ultimately thinks, "Surely God cannot help me." But a little more clarity through passages like mark 12:30-31, show God created man to love God and others, not primarily oneself.
That stated, I truly enjoyed and have benefitted from this cultural exegesis on the subject of Facebook and social media. 6 years after the book has been published, there are still poignant truths that address the human social networking condition.
The author writes with great wit and flow. The book is not difficult to read, and it is clear that the topic has been well researched.
One of my favorite aspects of this book was the tying in of real historical events that emphasize and lay a framework for the topics of the chapters. The Samaritan women example was excellently tied into humans being thirsty for something to satisfy, and seeking out places to quench that desire. The other examples of the millennium bridge, Hubble telescope, and even Oliver sacks story of Virgil, we're all well placed into the logical coherence of this book.
I have already recommended this book to friends and others who work in the youth field, as well as coworkers in the IT department I work in. It is a valuable easy read, and I look forward to using the wealth of knowledge I have gained from it in my ministry and relationships with others.
It will leave you thinking, going back to highlighted paragraphs (pages sometimes), playfully considering life.
No easy answers are given, but lots of pokes to get you started in this vast and relatively unexplored cyber universe.
For the past several years, Jesse Rice has had a unique perspective on this topic. Fist, Jesse has been living in Palo Alto, CA, just a few steps from Facebook's headquarters, and the epicenter for the development of new social technology. Second, Jesse has been both living in Christian community throughout that time, and serving a large community of young adults while on staff at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church. Thus, he has seen both the effects of social networks on people in general, and Christian community in particular, very early on.
In the book, Jesse humorously and lovingly walks readers through the potential issues social networks present, and prophetically challenges readers to engage with others on Facebook (and in every situation) with intentionality, humility, authenticity, and love. I'm very thankful Jesse wrote this book, and would recommend it enthusiastically to those interested in building community in the years to come.