From: "carr0023@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <carr0023@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 14 Jan 1995 10:29:45 CST
14E Saturday/January 14/1995/Star Tribune
Religion goes on line with the latest technology
by Steve Gushee
Cox News Service
"Welcome to the electronic pulpit, down-loaded with Bibles and prayer
groups that circle the globe. The latest technology has been harnessed
to address our oldest questions.
Cardinal John O'Connor, archbishop of New York, went on-line last
Tuesday for a "chat" via the Prodigy computer service. During his 30-
minute session, he responded to several dozen computer users' questions
about prayer, morality and the church.
The cyberspace conversation provided no fireworks, but, if the message
was mild, the messenger is widely respected and the medium is revolution-
"I think when we get comfortable with systems like Prodigy, it will have
a great impact," O'Connor said. "It is certainly a way to reach people
who never come to church."
"I feel as though I'm on 'Star Trek,'" O'Connor said of his experience
"This sharing of information and conversation creates a 'virtual de-
nomination,'" said the Rev. Gene Wilks, pastor of Legacy Baptist Church
in Plano, Texas, and an advocate of computer technology in the church.
"You don't have to be in church. It cuts across all lines. What draws
you together is the shared information and what your interest is."
Christian Interactive Network, or CIN, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,
reaches into the technological marketplace and provides a path for the
gospel, said its president, Greg Darby. CIN is available on CompuServe
and is one of only two full-service Christian on-line ministries, he said.
"If you think of CompuServe as an office building, we have 10 floors,"
he said. "Prison Fellowship is on one; American Family Association is on
another; the National Network of Youth Ministries on a third." Any
subscriber can call in, join a discussion or offer suggestions.
Tien Dau Ministries has a floor, via CIN, on CompuServe. They are
convinced that the information superhighway is the most efficient way to
touch the Orient and believe that they will reach 1.2 billion Chinese
people with the gospel through cyberspace.