A part of what we do here at Kiln of the Soul is aimed at helping you grasp the nature of virtual reality. Not as a feature of gaming, but as a different realm of reality that still affects us here in the real world — colloquially referred to as “meat space.” In case it wasn’t obvious to you, some features of our virtual parish are restricted to what is possible in the virtual realm.
For over a decade I’ve taught that “theology” is a mental frame of reference; it is not truth. It is a personal response to moral truth and the presence of the Holy Spirit. It’s a person-to-person relationship with God; theology should be largely personal. People within the same culture do tend to have a similar theology, and there would naturally be common elements that allow us to talk to each other, but nobody’s theology is normative in the sense of some imaginary orthodoxy. God’s truth is not a proposition nor a collection of propositions. The Hebrew language and intellectual traditions would flatly deny the notion of “propositional truth.”
On the other hand, there is a body of biblical doctrine. Still, it requires a Hebrew frame of reference to understand what you are supposed to do with it. If you change the context in which this doctrine is applied, it naturally changes some of the outcomes, and the way we express it. The virtual realm is a different context from our “real world.” While virtual reality does overlap with meat space, it has become a thing unto itself. It began as nothing more than the restrictions of computer networking applied to human interactions, but has since then become the monster that has begun to affect “reality.” Humanity has an instinct to invest more and more of itself into the virtual realm, and it will become the basis for a new civilization; thus my terminology of Networked Civilization as eclipsing Western Civilization.
Not everyone is cut out to think like that. Still, I’m not going to hide from you the source of our decisions here at Kiln of the Soul as a parish, nor how we came up with the distinctive religious principles behind Radix Fidem (the name for our approach to religion). And as much as possible, I’ll try to help readers to see how I think about these things, including my prophetic chatter here about events in our real world. Our shared faith and the world around us would be quite impossible without universal networked communications. The faith would still be there, but the sharing would not. And I can assure you the political context of the US today is a direct result of the existence of the Internet. Trump could not have become President without it.
Let me encourage you, as much as you can, try to grasp the nature of virtual reality. Much of what we are facing in this world is simply impossible to understand otherwise. And most of us would have never become acquainted and shared our faith without global instantaneous communications. Our fellowship rests on this. This is the future of theology and what churches will become.