A Brief History of The Digital Gospel
For Christians, the allure of using technology to spread the gospel is difficult to resist. The Bible is a rich and complex text filled with prophecies, history, and stories that inspire and challenge believers. As such, it is only natural that some of those believers want to share their deep appreciation for the Good Book with others. However, we need to appreciate how recent this ability has been. For centuries after Christ’s death, Christianity struggled as an underground religion in a hostile world before being accepted in 313 C.E. Over the next thousand years or so, technological innovations and electricity helped take the Christian message from small groups of followers to dominance over Western ideologies.
The Spread of Christianity
The spread of the Gospel throughout the Roman Empire was a story of great and rapid growth. The first half-century saw Christianity spread across all of Greece, Macedonia, Syria, and Asia Minor; by the end of this period, it had also penetrated Egypt, Italy, Spain and Gaul (France). This is an impressive achievement for any religion.
Some historians have argued that this rate was artificially slowed down by Constantine’s conversion to Christianity in 312CE which allowed him to suppress paganism while at the same time persecuting other faiths such as Judaism or Manichaeism, who he thought posed more direct threats to his rule than Christianity did. However, even if we accept this view then it still leaves us with an incomplete picture since even under such conditions Christianity still managed to spread rapidly through Europe for several centuries following Constantine’s death until eventually becoming established as Europe’s main religion around AD 1000 when about three-quarters of Europeans were Christians – a very different situation from today where less than half now identify themselves as such!
Inventing the Printing Press
What did the press look like? It was a large wooden box with a bed, a frame, and rollers. The bed held metal type that was arranged into words, phrases and sentences. The frame held paper or parchment against the metal type. Rollers pushed the paper through so that ink from an ink ball could spread across it as it passed under each letter of metal type in turn.
The Emergence of the Missionary
Missionaries have been the primary agents of gospel advancement throughout history. The role continued in the modern age, with missionaries serving as the first to plant churches and spread the gospel via radio and television. As technology advanced, so too did missionary work. In fact, it is safe to say that many of today’s missionaries could not do what they do without digital technology at their disposal.
Missionaries continue to be on the front lines when it comes to advancing Christ’s kingdom around the world and into every corner of society and they have got much to teach us about how we can use digital tools more effectively for whatever purpose God has given us.
The Birth of the Internet
In the 1960s, a man named Robert Taylor was working for the Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA). The goal of ARPA was to research and develop technology that would be beneficial to the military. They wanted a way to communicate with each other while they were away from their families and friends. After research, Taylor created ARPA Network (ARPANET). This network allowed computers across the globe to communicate with each other through standardized protocols or rules.
At around this time, there was another man named JCR Licklider who worked at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. He had been working on an idea called “Intergalactic Computer Network” which he believed would allow people from all over the world to communicate with each other through computers in different countries without having any knowledge about how these computers worked or what language they spoke. This idea became known as “The Digital Gospel.”
The Digital Age
- Digital evangelism is the use of digital technology to spread the gospel. It includes all forms of evangelism that use digital devices, such as computers, tablets, smartphones, and other mobile phones.
- Digital evangelism is a way to share the gospel with the world. It can help believers from various parts of the world communicate with each other and learn about each other’s culture through social networks like Facebook or Instagram.
- Digital evangelism is a way for people who are not Christians to find out about Christ through your posts on social media sites like Twitter or YouTube videos about Jesus Christ’s life
Christians have used modern technology to spread the gospel from the very beginning.
The earliest Christian missionaries were sent out by Jesus himself, who instructed his disciples to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Over time, Christianity spread throughout Asia Minor, Greece, Rome and eventually much of Europe. The Roman Emperor Constantine converted after seeing a vision of a cross in the sky; this led him to make Christianity legal in 313 CE., which is known as “the Edict of Milan”. Many other rulers followed suit over time until there was no longer any effective opposition against Christianity within Western Europe by 476 A.D.
The printing press was invented around 1440 A.D., allowing for more widespread distribution of Bibles across Europe (and later America). This helped make it possible for Christians to reach out even further beyond their local communities with news about God’s love
As we have seen, God has been using modern technology to spread the Gospel for a very long time. From the printing press to television and radio, Christians have applied modern technologies to their evangelism efforts. Today, this means using Facebook and Twitter to share their faith with others who might not be reached in traditional ways. While there are some challenges associated with the digital ministry, we can be encouraged by the fact that it is nothing new! The digital gospel is not an invention of our time; it’s just another example of how Christians have used new technology throughout history.