Kingdom Metaphors 3: The Network of God

I posted this blog years ago while sub teaching in a class at MWHS called “Advanced Game Programming.” Geeks, nerds, and PC gaming addicts all register for this semester class where they can learn how to make a creative contribution to the wide world of network gaming.

With this new global community, or network, of individuals in mind, who share in the common love of all things computerish, I offer you the next metaphor McLaren provides in his book The Secret Message of Jesus for ‘The Kingdom of God’ that Jesus claimed was now breaking into history through his life, death and resurrection:

“God is inviting people into a life-giving network. First, God wants people to be connected, plugged in, in communication with God, so God can transfer to them what they need–not just information but also virus-debugging software, along with love, hope, empowerment, purpose, and wisdom. Also, each person who is connected to God must become integrally connected to all others in the network. In this way, the network of God breaks down the walls of smaller, exclusive networks (like networks of racism, nationalism, and the like) and invites them into the only truly world wide web of love. The network exchanges information and increases understanding for all participants. The network becomes a resource for people outside the network as well, and of course, people are always invited to enter the connectivity themselves.

The metaphor of an ecosystem could work in a similar way: we are currently living in an imbalanced, self-destructive ecosystem, but God is inviting us to live in a new network of relationships that will produce balance, harmony, and health. The metaphor of a community works along similar lines. One thinks of theologian Stanley Grenz speaking in terms of the community of God, or Dr. King’s preferred phrases, the beloved community or the inescapable network of mutuality.”

This metaphor may be especially accessible to the teenage culture that is so enthralled with and involved in internet communities – whether gaming universes or social forums like MySpace or Facebook. What do you think? I suspect this metaphor will strike a special chord with some of my more computer-savi friends.

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