Computers and internet dating
Barna's research indicated that two-thirds of professing born again Christians owned a personal computer, fifty-six percent owned a desktop computer, sixteen percent owned a laptop/notebook PC, and seven percent owned a palmtop computer.These figures are identical with the overall use of these items by the general American adult population. According to Barna, "More than nine out of ten Senior Pastors use a computer at home or at the church." (12) These pastors tend to "use computers mainly for communications and study, with word processing clearly the dominant application." (13) According to Barna, "Born again and evangelical Christians are every bit as likely as non-Christians to use the digital superhighway." (14) His data shows that forty-eight percent of adult Christians have home Internet access.Steve Hewitt claims that Christians have had a slow start when it comes to computer usage."While the world embraced the introduction of the PC, Christians and churches were fearful, and viewed this electronic tool as a personality with a dark soul," he says.First, the Internet offers easy and quick access to enormous amounts of information. Demy states, "Staggering amounts of information are available to anyone with a phone line and a personal computer." (4) Those doing research on the Internet can tap into important documents, photos, online encyclopedias, and other educational and reference materials.The Internet also provides up-to-the-minute news, weather reports, and scores from last night's game.
Among the Net-based religious endeavors deemed most appealing were listening to archived religious teaching, reading online 'devotionals,' and buying religious products and resources online.
According to the Pew study, the top five activities of Religious Surfers on the Internet are: (1) looking for information about their own faith (67%); (2) looking for information about another faith (50%); (3) emailing a prayer request (38%); (4) downloading religious music (38%); and (5) giving spiritual guidance via email (37%).
(24) What did Religious Surfers do online in their most recent Internet session?
Nevertheless, this section will address four key issues associated with computer technology.
These issues include: (1) the Internet and spiritual community, (2) information overload, (3) the dark side of the Internet, and (4) the Internet and disembodiment.
(25) Of all the Net-based religious activities, the most attractive option for Christians was listening to religious teaching online.