Homeschooling, home church, and the internet.

I learned a lot about New Monasticism this week, though as is often the case with discussions regarding theology and ecclesiology, I’m left with even more questions than answers. It was good to sit and eat with Jon and Sparky and talk about NCAA basketball, long drives and what it means to be church.

The coffeehouse theology group that meets once a month also discussed this topic, and we had originally hoped to sit with Jon together, but schedules just didn’t work out. The coffeehouse group helps to sustain and enrich me because the people who gather there are all committed to Christ and to truly working for the body. I hope it enriches the others as well.

In discussing New Monasticism, our discussion also involved home churches. We also touched on the topic of homeschooling, which shares some things in common with home church. One of the things that we can all acknowledge is that the internet has played a large role in growing these movements.

People who had so often felt alone, whether in removing their kids from public and private schools, or in preferring to worship in small group settings, are now able to talk about this with people in other towns, states and countries.

Certainly, the groups existed before the internet was such a cultural force in the world, but they were restricted by the costs of publishing and travel as well as the difficulty of even finding others who were thinking in similar ways.

Now, regardless of your particular interest, you can just google it. You may have to go to the second or even third page, but you will find others with similar interests. This is both blessing and curse, of course, but it’s certainly a phenomenon that we didn’t have 25 years ago.

We have used a very new technology to fortify ideas that are very old. New Monasticism leans heavily on the monastic orders that have been with us for ages. Public schools have only been around for minutes in the days of history. It will be interesting to see the directions that these movements take as they continue to build on the resources the internet provides.

I love Google.

I know that it may be a problem, but I really love Google. I shouldn’t. It’s the big guy, the heavy-hitter, the Goliath of the internet. But they can do amazing things.

Try it.

Play around with it a little while. See what you can find. If you have a google account, you can add books to your library, much like Library Thing (which I also highly recommend) except with bookmarks to full texts of some books.

Do you have a copy of the 1905 Methodist Hymnal? Congratulations, you do now. You can download it, print it, do whatever you want with it. Want to read about Wesleyan conferencing prior to the 100th anniversary of Methodism? Help yourself.

I know, I’m totally geeking out on this, and there are certainly other ways of coming up with these books, but this really is an example of the good things of which the internet is capable.

High speed fast

Starting tomorrow I will be without high speed internet access for six straight days. I know I’ll survive, but SIX DAYS?! I’m headed to the land of the ice and snow (Syracuse, NY) so I’m sure I’ll enjoy myself, but really, six days? Maybe a neighbor of my sister-in-law will have an open wifi connection. How will I do without great videos like this one?