questions for Shane Hipps | theology of facebook 4

In my last post on Shane Hipps, I meant to ask a couple more questions:

1. Hipps mentioned that a Second Life is in some way an extension of televangelism, and says "How you incarnate the gospel ina dis-incarnate setting? I don't know how to do it." People will know that I have a strong sense of agreement with part of what is being said here... I typically say "A relational gospel is best communicated relationally."

My question for Hipps: doesn't the ability for interactivity dramatically distinguish Second Life from TV or radio that rely on a one-way broadcast mode of communication? In this sense, TV is more like Power Point?

2. Hipps says that the idea of a "shared imagination of the future" is easy to find online, because you'll automatically seek out those who think like you do. A real community has to do more real work to forge this, it seems like he'd say.

My question for Hipps: isn't this a feature of affinity-based groups of any kind? For instance, junior high youth group? Mom's with toddlers groups? Chess clubs? The local Democratic party office? People have chosen to associate with people that think similarly to themselves for much longer than online communities have existed. Sure, the School House Rock Fan Club can now have members in both Chicago and Australia. But aren't these like-minded groups are just extensions of human behavior since specialization (accelerated by industrialization and mass literacy)?

Note instead groups that hold together disparate opinions or mirror real life communities, like the Shaw neighborhood of Washington DC where my sister and brother-in-law ( and their church connect with a highly diverse neighborhood that struggles forward together. What do these add to our conversation?