Cyberspace and the Book

Cyberspace stands in sharp contrast to the book. The book is linear.Its very nature affects how and what we understand—and so does the nature of cyberspace. But they are very different. The communications medium employed shapes the message: “the medium is the message” is true, whether one accepts all the details of McLuhan’s communications theory or not. There are inherent characteristics in the very medium that do affectboth what can be communicated and how it is communicated. Technology is not neutral.

Television, for example, molds and shapes what we understand from a message and even how we view our world as we peer through its lens (more on that below). Likewise the technology of cyberspace. Staring
into its glassy face affects the shape of the message transmitted, the receiver, and the transmitter in unexpected (and often unhelpful) ways. The book differs from both television and the Internet in significant ways—ways that impact the nature of Christianity.

Christianity, as Judaism before it, is a revealed religion. Its base is in revelation. From the first recorded revelation of God and his will to humanity—inscribed in stone by the finger of God—to the Torah, to the completed OT, to the incarnational revelation of the Son, to the writings which comprise our Greek testament, all assume propositional truth as the essence of communication. We have a worldview that is almost exclusively text-based.

Communicating the Text in Cyberspace

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