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Always On: Practicing Faith in a New Media Landscape

, 2019
ISBN: 9781493418022



Many of us are “always on”—scrolling through social media, checking email, or searching the web. New media spaces can be sites and instruments of God’s unconditional love, but they can also nurture harmful conditions and become sources of anxiety, jealousy, and despondency. How can we discern, articulate, and embody ways new media (including social media) can nurture healing Christian community?

Always On provides useful tools for helping students and congregants understand the world of social media and engage it faithfully. It traces the impact of social media on the Christian life and enables Christian communities to address its use in constructive, pastoral ways. The book examines how new media use shapes a person’s theology and how it can communicate and embody visions of the good life. Discussion questions and sample exercises for each chapter are included.

The Theology for the Life of the World series discerns, articulates, and commends visions of flourishing life in light of God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ is God come to dwell among humans, to be, speak, and act “for the life of the world” (John 6:51). The diverse and multifaceted books in this series contribute to the task of discerning and pursuing the flourishing of all in God’s creation. They share the conviction that theology is vital to exploring the character of true life in diverse settings and orienting us toward it.

Resource Experts
  • Proposes that new media has both glorious possibilities and profound brokenness
  • Prepare pastors to facilitate interested conversation about new media
  • Provides insight into why new media is connected to Christian faith
  • Introduction
  • Interested Conversation
  • Traversing the New Media Terrain
  • Shaping Stories
  • Online Jesus
  • The Convergence
  • Glorious Possibilities
  • Epilogue
This book couldn’t be more timely. More and more our lives and identities are being worked out in digital spaces that are always on. So we are asked to be always on, performing and reforming our identities, seeking likes and retweets to confirm our being. What does this mean for formation into the life and death of Jesus Christ? What does it mean for the pastoral task of building community? Angela Gorrell takes up the challenge in Always On. This is an exciting, deep, and well-written project that promises to get you thinking. Dive in!

—Andrew Root, Carrie Olson Baalson Professor of Youth and Family Ministry, Luther Seminary; author of The Pastor in a Secular Age

Always On is a timely and important call to focus on who and what matters even amid the distractions that vie for our attention. Rather than merely asking us to turn off our devices, Angela Williams Gorrell invites us to turn on the possibilities of ‘hybrid faithful living’ and of caring for others across the digital divide. Highly recommended.

—Craig Detweiler, president, The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology; author of Selfies: Searching for the Image of God in a Digital Age

In Always On, Angela Gorrell takes us straight into the new media abyss that we all face every day. Using her background as a pastor, theologian, and new media researcher, Gorrell invites us to consider how new media affects every aspect of our lives and how easily we can find ourselves lost in the process. She doesn’t give in to the temptation to blame social media but rather helps us recognize how little attention we give to the ways we allow it to consume us. This is a helpful, practical book on one of the most pressing and real-life struggles we experience today.

—Chap Clark, author of Hurt 2.0 and Adoptive Church; pastor of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Newport Beach, California

  • Title: Always On: Practicing Faith in a New Media Landscape
  • Author: Angela Williams Gorrell
  • Publisher: Baker
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Pages: 208
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Topic: Technology

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Angela Williams (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is assistant professor of practical theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University, in Waco, Texas. She previously served as associate research scholar for metrics and evaluation, field development, and public engagement at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture at Yale Divinity School, where she worked on the Theology of Joy and the Good Life project with Miroslav Volf. Gorrell researches, writes, leads workshops, trains, and consults regarding the relationship between new media culture, joy, and visions of the good life.


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