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The Church of Facebook: How the Hyperconnected Are Redefining Community

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This timely release explores the community-altering phenomenon of social networking sites and what it reveals about friendship, God, and our own hearts.  With hundreds of millions of users, social networks are changing how we form relationships, perceive others, and shape our identity. Yet at its core, this movement reflects our need for community. Our longing for intimacy, This timely release explores the community-altering phenomenon of social networking sites and what it reveals about friendship, God, and our own hearts.  With hundreds of millions of users, social networks are changing how we form relationships, perceive others, and shape our identity. Yet at its core, this movement reflects our need for community. Our longing for intimacy, connection, and a place to belong has never been a secret, but social networking offers us a new perspective on the way we engage our community. How do these networks impact our relationships? In what ways are they shaping the way we think of ourselves? And how might this phenomenon subtly reflect a God who longs to connect with each one of us?  The Church of Facebook explores these ideas and much more, offering a revealing look at the wildly popular world of online social networking.  


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This timely release explores the community-altering phenomenon of social networking sites and what it reveals about friendship, God, and our own hearts.  With hundreds of millions of users, social networks are changing how we form relationships, perceive others, and shape our identity. Yet at its core, this movement reflects our need for community. Our longing for intimacy, This timely release explores the community-altering phenomenon of social networking sites and what it reveals about friendship, God, and our own hearts.  With hundreds of millions of users, social networks are changing how we form relationships, perceive others, and shape our identity. Yet at its core, this movement reflects our need for community. Our longing for intimacy, connection, and a place to belong has never been a secret, but social networking offers us a new perspective on the way we engage our community. How do these networks impact our relationships? In what ways are they shaping the way we think of ourselves? And how might this phenomenon subtly reflect a God who longs to connect with each one of us?  The Church of Facebook explores these ideas and much more, offering a revealing look at the wildly popular world of online social networking.  

30 review for The Church of Facebook: How the Hyperconnected Are Redefining Community

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Wells

    I appreciated Rice's perspective. He's a leader in his arm of The Church and he's asking/exploring the questions I am as well. How is social media redefining our understanding of relationships and community? How are we to respond? What are the opportunities? I wish I could have given the book 3.5 stars. I picked the book up out of the religion section at Santa Barbara's Borders when I was traveling last week and finished it quickly. I am fascinated by this subject, having personally been deeply a I appreciated Rice's perspective. He's a leader in his arm of The Church and he's asking/exploring the questions I am as well. How is social media redefining our understanding of relationships and community? How are we to respond? What are the opportunities? I wish I could have given the book 3.5 stars. I picked the book up out of the religion section at Santa Barbara's Borders when I was traveling last week and finished it quickly. I am fascinated by this subject, having personally been deeply and painfully impacted by my involvement in social media over the last two years. I have barely begun to write all I want to on this subject. I was excited to read Rice's book...Why the explosion? How do the generations differ in the way they view what is happening? How are our relationships...in business, families, and romance being fundamentally affected? Bring it on! Tell me what you know! Having studied Human Development in college before the Internet and social media, I am convinced Humans are fundamentally Developing differently by the depth and breadth of social media's impact. So now what? Unfortunately, Rice's writing style became tiresome for me...opening chapters with long stories not related to social media meant to illustrate his points that I finally started skimming. And I was looking for the book I want to write, but am not sure I can. He called his book The CHURCH of Facebook. I find myself waiting (again) for church leaders to use the platforms we so easily give them to SPEAK UP...CHALLENGE us, be provocative, talk about the real heart of the matter, MOVE ME and those of us who call ourselves part of the church to a RADICAL new perspective that leads to action. Rice ended his book with a list of "action steps" that took up the last four pages and I was left saying, "Well, DUH!" Be authentic. Choose to stay unplugged sometimes. That's all you can give me? What about how to be reconciled with our pasts? What about how we decide what to post and who to friend? How do we respond to each other when community, even virtually, rips open and exposes our hurts and hearts? Is anyone talking about this? Guess I'll have to write the book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Keiki Hendrix

    In 'The Church of Facebook: How the Wireless Generation is Redefining Community' Jesse Rice (writer, musician and worship arts director) presents the issue of our basic human need to ’connect.' Delving deep into this issue of how Social Networking reflects this need is the focus of this book. The information is informative, educational, and often inspiring and humorous; a great formula for discussing any issue or idea. His illustrations match well to the area of connectivity he discusses in these In 'The Church of Facebook: How the Wireless Generation is Redefining Community' Jesse Rice (writer, musician and worship arts director) presents the issue of our basic human need to ’connect.' Delving deep into this issue of how Social Networking reflects this need is the focus of this book. The information is informative, educational, and often inspiring and humorous; a great formula for discussing any issue or idea. His illustrations match well to the area of connectivity he discusses in these six chapters, almost provoking one to research the illustrations themselves. What is spontaneous order? How did Facebook become the phenomena of Social Networking? Is there really power in your online profile? How Social Networking consumes us almost unintentionally? What is the nature of a relationship; must it be geographically bound? In this new Social Networking World, what are some prudent limitations? This book is well researched engaging the reader not only to consider the dynamic of the Facebook and Social Networking in general but the underlying human need it addresses offering not only wise options to manage you online presence but opportunities to reach vast numbers of people. This is central focus of the book. Facebook is a tool and an opportunity to reconnect lost relationships and share our lives with others we may never physically meet. In the final chapter of the book, several good tools are mentioned and some great strategies are given such as practicing intentional, mindful, and authentic interaction In preparing this review, I visited the author's website and found some very funny material. I would urge you also to visit. My favorite portion was on the author's FAQ page. You will find some very interesting comments here. It is a must read for humor value alone. For instance, his response to the question ”Who is Jesse Rice?" The answer given: "Jesse Rice (who is not a recognized cult leader, at least not of any cults particularly large or bovine in nature) is the author of this blog and the entertaining and informative book, 'The Church of Facebook." About the author: Jesse Rice is a writer and musician who served for eight years as a worship arts director at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, CA. Jesse has a Master’s degree in counseling psychology from Santa Clara University and is a sought-after worship leader and speaker with more than fifteen years experience in church ministry. Jesse and his wife, Katie who is also a musician, have been married for three years. Disclaimer: The review copy of this book was provided free of charge by the author's representative and was donated to the Westwood Baptist Church.

  3. 5 out of 5

    David

    Rice gives some good pointers about the reality of Facebook's (and social media's) impact on relationships, and offers good direction for what church relationships should be like and how social media helps or hinders in various aspects. There is a lot of filler in the book, so much of it can be skimmed or scanned quickly for the gist; the major points are fairly easy to spot. The last half of the last chapter is the nutshell; Rice offers five ways to redeem social media for authentic relationship. Rice gives some good pointers about the reality of Facebook's (and social media's) impact on relationships, and offers good direction for what church relationships should be like and how social media helps or hinders in various aspects. There is a lot of filler in the book, so much of it can be skimmed or scanned quickly for the gist; the major points are fairly easy to spot. The last half of the last chapter is the nutshell; Rice offers five ways to redeem social media for authentic relationship. Overall, a decent look at the subject of relationship and technology for the church.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Gottfried

    The premise was fascinating, and it was easy to read despite raising challenges to current thinking & culture of social media. Author's voice reminded me a bit of Malcolm Gladwell, and it seemed well-researched. I know this will sound crazy, but it's a only a few years old (2009) and already a bit outdated. I would have liked to read Rice's thoughts about the way FB after the IPO uses targeted ads & makes offers to "promote" status updates, etc. (for $), for example. The premise was fascinating, and it was easy to read despite raising challenges to current thinking & culture of social media. Author's voice reminded me a bit of Malcolm Gladwell, and it seemed well-researched. I know this will sound crazy, but it's a only a few years old (2009) and already a bit outdated. I would have liked to read Rice's thoughts about the way FB after the IPO uses targeted ads & makes offers to "promote" status updates, etc. (for $), for example.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Insightful.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bob Morton

    Interesting book. Not sure why it was called Church Of Facebook other than to catch people's attention. Christianity is not really brought in till the last 1/4 of the book. Each section starts with a story about something that seems to not make any sense. The first chapter and the story that goes with it seems to be the longest and for the sake of argument, does not seem to make a whole lot of sense. In fact, I got bored with the story the first time and put the book down. Later I picked it back Interesting book. Not sure why it was called Church Of Facebook other than to catch people's attention. Christianity is not really brought in till the last 1/4 of the book. Each section starts with a story about something that seems to not make any sense. The first chapter and the story that goes with it seems to be the longest and for the sake of argument, does not seem to make a whole lot of sense. In fact, I got bored with the story the first time and put the book down. Later I picked it back up and ran it again. Having read it once, it was a faster read and I could more on to later material. Chapter 1 is the linchpin of the rest of the book. It is the cornerstone on which everything builds for the rest of the book. Make sure to understand what the author is saying. I could not recommend this to others because of that or if I did I would make sure that they do understand how everything works from chapter 1 forward.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    Interesting read on the start and continuing development of Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, who developed the idea while a student at Harvard. However, it's more of a book about the connectedness that people are searching for and finding on Facebook. In telling this story, the author (Jesse Rice) precedes the history of Facebook with a detailed story on the advancements mankind has made with the invention, of all things, the air conditioner. Rice discusses the changes that the air cond Interesting read on the start and continuing development of Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, who developed the idea while a student at Harvard. However, it's more of a book about the connectedness that people are searching for and finding on Facebook. In telling this story, the author (Jesse Rice) precedes the history of Facebook with a detailed story on the advancements mankind has made with the invention, of all things, the air conditioner. Rice discusses the changes that the air conditioner facilitated in just about every area of life. As one reads this account, they may be tempted to ask what this has to do with Facebook, but Rice connects the dots well as he weaves the topic of connectedness all throughout the book. Thus, it doesn't take the reader long to understand the point that Rice is making. He does this a few more times throughout the book, using other manmade inventions or feats to illustrate his points. Rice compares all the sharing that is done online as "...a kind of Facebook family reunion..." (p. 80). Of course with Facebook, unlike actual family reunions or get-togethers, one can easily ignore or block those that become annoying. We've probably all heard stories about people ending relationships (including marriages) online. Another observation is that "Facebook provides a safe environment where users can operate 'just as they are'..." (p. 84). While this is true, it's interesting to observe those who attend conservative churches sharing things that they wouldn't share with some of their fellow parishioners. It says something about the church (and our world) that we worship and rub shoulders with people on a weekly basis (sometimes more often than that) and only find out their likes, dislikes, hobbies, transformative life events, etc. online. As the author puts it, "Our tendency toward oversharing can be an attempt to get other people's attention. At its worst it is a form of emotional pornography--we get the brief and intense feeling of intimacy without having to worry about commitment, conflict resolution, or the time required to build a truly intimate relationship. This pattern of oversharing does not promote intimacy. Rather, we're just getting 'our stuff' out of our system so we feel better" (p. 205). Of course, the oversharing can have its consequences in the "real" world as some people have lost jobs and relationships based on things shared online. Another downfall to all this connectivity is "we are ever-connected to anywhere other than here and now" (p. 146). How true this is. One of my pet peeves is to talk to someone and have them stop in mid-sentence to text someone or read an e-mail. We may be more connected, but we're also more distracted. The author likens this experience to a man named Virgil who had been blind for much of his life. When he received his sight back, it wasn't perfect and he had trouble distinguishing between certain things. As one would expect, as he adjusted to having his sight back, his eyes would "dart from one new revelation to the next and he was unable to stay focused. Much like Virgil, we are easily distracted by colorful, moving objects" (p. 147). However, connection is not all bad. What we have to do though as we enter this new era is "(1) adapt the way we think of community and (2) adapt the way we live in community" (p. 162). To run from it, deny or denounce it, is not the answer. We need to embrace culture, engage it and redeem it. As one author observed, although she has reservations about the notion of an online community, she admits that "many incredible things happen. I've seen believers and unbelievers unite in generously donating close to $200,000 to social justice and poverty. I've seen people openly discuss taboo subjects...and theologically grey topics" (p. 167). The author concludes the book by offering ways that we "can begin practicing intentionality, humility, and authenticity in our hyperconnected" (p. 211) world. They include: regular check-ins with one's self so that you become more in tune with your own feelings; not going online as soon as you wake up or right before going to bed; mindful and authentic Facebooking; intentionally adopting one or two Facebook friends a month and focusing your attention on them for a period of time (p. 211-214).

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gea

    Rice, Jesse. The Church of Facebook: How the Hyperconnected are Redefining Community; David C. Cook; ©2009. The Facebook Community or is it a community? Throughout this book Mr. Rice challenges the reader to rethink both community and connection through the use of historical records and recent examples. He ends the book with challenges to seek humility, authenticity, and connectedness. Mr. Rice indeed challenges the reader to rethink their “life” on Facebook and what this has brought about in th Rice, Jesse. The Church of Facebook: How the Hyperconnected are Redefining Community; David C. Cook; ©2009. The Facebook Community or is it a community? Throughout this book Mr. Rice challenges the reader to rethink both community and connection through the use of historical records and recent examples. He ends the book with challenges to seek humility, authenticity, and connectedness. Mr. Rice indeed challenges the reader to rethink their “life” on Facebook and what this has brought about in the digital age. He, like many others, shares that Facebook has become “home” rather than one’s real “home.” In one illustration after another, Mr. Rice causes us to look within and to ask ourselves “why am I on Facebook?” Is this what Jesus had in mind when He said to go and make disciples? How do we in the 21st century meet the needs of those who are basically lonely? Is the success of the internet able to fill that void? Or is it because as needy as they may they don’t want to really take the time to cultivate them for any sundry reasons much like the woman at the well. Why did she go in the middle of the day? How did Jesus “Facebook Friend” her? He took time; he interacted where she was emotionally and realistically. He listened face to face. He did not stop to check “critical emails” but rather sat and waited on her. Mr. Rice encourages the reader at the end of the book to rethink and rekindle those real life friendships. Take time to unplug and plug into face to face relationships. Why can’t we seem to accomplish this feat? We are basically overly busy and overcommitted to jobs, and our connections via Facebook, Twitter, email etc. He also challenges our thinking that says our needs are being met but in reality we are hiding on Facebook rather than choosing personal interactions. We thus are losing the ability to think and react critically, ability to carry on conversations with depth and caring. The Facebook Christian is building virtual friendships rather than personal friendships. He challenges us to think: are they the same? He, like many others who are studying this new phenomenon, are finding that one of the biggest negatives is that the Facebook Christian has lost the ability to be alone, to reflect and to meditate. We need to unplug and reconnect in face to face relationships. Worthwhile read. The examples given help to understand his premise and his understanding of what is really happening in this cyberspace world that we now find ourselves tethered to or as one person said: we are like a turtle tethered to our shell of cell phones, computers but not to real people. Facebook Christians are with us whether we want it or not. The trick will be to help each one of them to locate and find person to person relationships which will develop one’s ability to share the gospel message and make disciples.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jared

    I'm still firmly convinced that the impacts of the "digital revolution" on human identity & society are only now beginning to reveal themselves. Absolutely EVERYTHING from the arts to politics to religion to education are not simply "adapting" to these new technologies but are being fundamentally altered. It may even be more accurate to speak of digital "EVOLUTION" rather than "revolution." The impact of digital technology/media is certainly not my area of expertise...it's more of an ongoing cur I'm still firmly convinced that the impacts of the "digital revolution" on human identity & society are only now beginning to reveal themselves. Absolutely EVERYTHING from the arts to politics to religion to education are not simply "adapting" to these new technologies but are being fundamentally altered. It may even be more accurate to speak of digital "EVOLUTION" rather than "revolution." The impact of digital technology/media is certainly not my area of expertise...it's more of an ongoing curiosity. Thus, a book like Rice's appeared to be "right down my alley," if you please; set to address the challenges of being the Church in a digital age. I think this book does two things remarkably well: 1) I think Rice addresses the alarmist trends that accompany all new technological breakthroughs; he does a good job dismantling the whole "Facebook is ruining humanity's ability to have meaningful relationships" argument. 2) The heart of Rice's argument is that social media platforms simply offer a DIFFERENT (which does not mean GOOD or BAD) way for humans to connect; it cannot and does not "replace" face-to-face association. Overall, however, I was disappointed with the book's depth of analysis and the superficiality of the practical suggestions about how to effectively utilize the social capabilities digital media. I feel Rice spent too much time on illustrations of his points rather than their implications. Finally, there was almost no analysis of the missional role of the Church in the world of social media...rather than thinking about how the corporate Church can and should be a "presence" in the digital world, Rice focused exclusively on the role that Christian INDIVIDUALS should play in their personal worlds. Granted, it is important that Christians think about such issues, but, unwittingly, Rice has apparently "given in" to the hyper-individuality of the online world rather than speaking prophetically to it. I suppose that my rating reflects not so much a flaw with this book as it reflects my very different expectations and interests (I WOULD say that the book's title is rather misleading). For a broad overview of the basic issues related to digital life in the 21st century, Rice is good place to turn. But for deep theological analysis of what this means to us as the Church...well...I'm still looking.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Candice

    Upon publication in 2009, this book may have seemed groundbreaking as Facebook spilled out of the university network into the rest of the world. I found, however, that reading it in 2014 was not extremely beneficial. In a world where people can't seem to talk about "all this technology" enough, this felt like another 40-something talking about the negative impact that social networks seem to be having on interpersonal skills. Don't misunderstand me, I absolutely believe that social networks like Upon publication in 2009, this book may have seemed groundbreaking as Facebook spilled out of the university network into the rest of the world. I found, however, that reading it in 2014 was not extremely beneficial. In a world where people can't seem to talk about "all this technology" enough, this felt like another 40-something talking about the negative impact that social networks seem to be having on interpersonal skills. Don't misunderstand me, I absolutely believe that social networks like Facebook are consuming a certain segment of the population, but I suppose I'm just sick of hearing about it. The discussion that I enjoyed most in Rice's book was that of the ingredients of community. He references Shane Hipps' ingredients for meaningful Christian community: 1. Shared History 2. Permanence 3. Proximity 4. Shared Imagination of the Future Hipps and Rice acknowledge that the fourth ingredient is the most difficult to obtain because of the challenges that stem from the first three. Hipps' argues that the idea of an online community is changing this formula. "What's fascinating is online community gets you that fourth ingredient fastest, easiest, immediately, but denies the other three." The biggest take away from this book is a plea to engage in community outside of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Like I said, this is not new information, but it does need to be reinforced.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    "The Church of Facebook" progresses rather differently. I read the first chapter and wondered how the material in the chapter related to the title of the book. Chapters two through four were interesting, but I was still left with the same question. In chapter five the concepts started pulling together. The final chapter, six, came out flying based on the encounter of Jesus with the woman at the well. Throughout that last chapter, the author pulled together his information into a tightly woven bo "The Church of Facebook" progresses rather differently. I read the first chapter and wondered how the material in the chapter related to the title of the book. Chapters two through four were interesting, but I was still left with the same question. In chapter five the concepts started pulling together. The final chapter, six, came out flying based on the encounter of Jesus with the woman at the well. Throughout that last chapter, the author pulled together his information into a tightly woven book. Finally I knew what he was talking about. Do not be tempted to skip the first five chapters in order to get to the "good stuff". Jesse Rice uses the information from the other chapters to underpin and strengthen chapter six. Chapter six will not be as meaningful if you do not understand what happened in the earlier sections of the book. Quote: "Jesus was not interested in a relationship with the woman based on false modesty, church niceties, or piety. He was interested in 'dealing with problems at the root' in order to offer her a brand-new 'community.' He wanted to show her a relationship rooted in authenticity. Let's be honest with each other, said Jesus. Let's see things as they really are and build on that. Let's not play games and pretend." p. 185

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christy Lockstein

    The Church of Facebook by Jesse Rice is a surprisingly good read. There are a ton of books on the market with Christians trying to analyze the current culture and how social networking sites relate to religion. This isn't those books; trust me, I've read quite a few. Rice, who has a Master's degree in counseling psychology, uses several different studies of human development and psychology to explain the sudden popularity of Facebook which has only been around since 2004 and has exploded since 2 The Church of Facebook by Jesse Rice is a surprisingly good read. There are a ton of books on the market with Christians trying to analyze the current culture and how social networking sites relate to religion. This isn't those books; trust me, I've read quite a few. Rice, who has a Master's degree in counseling psychology, uses several different studies of human development and psychology to explain the sudden popularity of Facebook which has only been around since 2004 and has exploded since 2007. Humans require connectivity, and we find that through Facebook, but it's a pseudo-connectedness where we control every aspect of contact allowing only superficiality. The charm of this book is Rice's humor. He injects just a touch of sarcasm to alleviate the weight of the scientific studies. He doesn't force religion on every page either. He talks about Jesus and how he truly connected with people. Rice doesn't condemn using Facebook instead he offers ways of making the connections we make with other users more real and reflective of our faith. This book isn't just for Christians but for anyone interested in understanding just why Facebook is just so addictive.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Haije Bergstra

    The book has some great thought about how social media shapes our thinking of community. Show the positive side of social media, but also give some recommendations how to use in a healthy way. Quotes: There is a force that is capable of synchronizing a large population in very little time, thereby creating spontaneous order. We, like celebrities, are faced with the tempting idea that it is better to be liked than to be ourselves. Being always-on naturally prevents us from seeing clearly what is rig The book has some great thought about how social media shapes our thinking of community. Show the positive side of social media, but also give some recommendations how to use in a healthy way. Quotes: There is a force that is capable of synchronizing a large population in very little time, thereby creating spontaneous order. We, like celebrities, are faced with the tempting idea that it is better to be liked than to be ourselves. Being always-on naturally prevents us from seeing clearly what is right in front of us. Our tendency toward oversharing can be an attempt to get people´s attention. At its worst it is a form of emotional pornography - we get the brief and intense feeling of intimacy without having to worry about commitment, conflict resolution, or the time required to build a truly intimate relationship. By authenticity I mean a central genuineness and awareness of being.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eric Dunn

    I enjoyed this book very much. It had a great deal to say about intentionality. I think that is a topic that is far too often overlooked in our day and age. This book talked about how to be intentional when it comes to your Facebook habits, but also when it comes to life in general. We need to be more intentional about our relationships. We need to invest more time in the face to face aspect of human interaction and not rely so heavily on our social interactions. This book makes you sit back and I enjoyed this book very much. It had a great deal to say about intentionality. I think that is a topic that is far too often overlooked in our day and age. This book talked about how to be intentional when it comes to your Facebook habits, but also when it comes to life in general. We need to be more intentional about our relationships. We need to invest more time in the face to face aspect of human interaction and not rely so heavily on our social interactions. This book makes you sit back and look at your daily habits and see just how reliant you are on social media and things of that nature. I would challenge you to read this book and then take a look at your life and see where you fit into the "always on" mentality that seems to be the way of the world today. This book is definitely worth the read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Roger Miller

    Jesse Rice must be ADHD, every chapter was a different story of a seeming unrelated topic to Facebook. Opening Chapter was the Millennium Bridge in London and it's disastrous opening day. Because of this style it was hard for me to follow his points. His closing chapters were more focused and raised some relevant issues on the dangers of hyper connectivity and how to relate to one another. The highlight of the book was his discussion on what Facebook is redefining community. How Facebook is caus Jesse Rice must be ADHD, every chapter was a different story of a seeming unrelated topic to Facebook. Opening Chapter was the Millennium Bridge in London and it's disastrous opening day. Because of this style it was hard for me to follow his points. His closing chapters were more focused and raised some relevant issues on the dangers of hyper connectivity and how to relate to one another. The highlight of the book was his discussion on what Facebook is redefining community. How Facebook is causing our relationships to be much more consumer driven. On Facebook there is no commitment or if a friendship is not beneficial you can just unfriend some one. It is friendships based on image and not character. Skip to part four of the book if you want a handy guid on the benefits and dangers of Facebook.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Community is an integral part of life. It’s hard to believe that Facebook started out in 2004 – in seven years, over 750 million individuals have become a part of this social networking phenomenon. What are these people seeking to get from their experience on Facebook? In his book The Church of Facebook, author Jesse Rice seeks to determine the motivating factor(s). One of the main issues he raises is can you really have true community online – without having face-to-face relationships? Read my e Community is an integral part of life. It’s hard to believe that Facebook started out in 2004 – in seven years, over 750 million individuals have become a part of this social networking phenomenon. What are these people seeking to get from their experience on Facebook? In his book The Church of Facebook, author Jesse Rice seeks to determine the motivating factor(s). One of the main issues he raises is can you really have true community online – without having face-to-face relationships? Read my entire review: http://scottcouey.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/the-church-of-facebook-community-or-connection/

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dan Hunter

    For a while now I've been concerned about the Facebook addiction that has affected most of us. I've been asking myself, why are we no longer communicating face to face? Why are we relying on Facebook for our "relationships" and communication? Reading this book helped clarify some of these questions. I like how Jesse Rice set the tone and example to communicate how this Facebook phenomenon has taking control of our lives or how we've let it take control of our lives. Here's one of the things that For a while now I've been concerned about the Facebook addiction that has affected most of us. I've been asking myself, why are we no longer communicating face to face? Why are we relying on Facebook for our "relationships" and communication? Reading this book helped clarify some of these questions. I like how Jesse Rice set the tone and example to communicate how this Facebook phenomenon has taking control of our lives or how we've let it take control of our lives. Here's one of the things that caught my attention and made me know that this book was going to be eye-opening. About the Millenium Bridge example. "There is a force that is capable of synchronizing a large population in very little time, thereby creating spontaneous order."

  18. 5 out of 5

    John Richards

    It's tough to say that a book written in 2009 is dated, but in the social media world five years is a very long time. Although I will say that Rice's practical tips to end the book are on point as he discusses three tools to effectively navigate our Facebook worlds: intentionality, humility, and authenticity. He uses the story of Jesus with the woman at the well to demonstrate these tools and gives some practical ways to do all three in Facebook communities. Facebook is still quite relevant and It's tough to say that a book written in 2009 is dated, but in the social media world five years is a very long time. Although I will say that Rice's practical tips to end the book are on point as he discusses three tools to effectively navigate our Facebook worlds: intentionality, humility, and authenticity. He uses the story of Jesus with the woman at the well to demonstrate these tools and gives some practical ways to do all three in Facebook communities. Facebook is still quite relevant and has a ton of users, but one has to wonder if a decade from now a discussion about connecting and community on Facebook will be relevant. For now, this book can help those who feel like Facebook has taken over their world. It can help them use the platform redemptively using Rice's three tools.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Grant Davis

    This book wasn't at all what I thought it was going to be, but I found it to be fascinating. I had picked this up because of the ministry I do online, but I foiund that this book spoke to other topics as well. I gives a great history of the origin of facebook as well as some easy-to-understand philosophical and psychoogical insights that anyone that is in modern ministry will find vastly helpful if they are at all "connected" by the Internet. The straight-forward discussions on the changes of mo This book wasn't at all what I thought it was going to be, but I found it to be fascinating. I had picked this up because of the ministry I do online, but I foiund that this book spoke to other topics as well. I gives a great history of the origin of facebook as well as some easy-to-understand philosophical and psychoogical insights that anyone that is in modern ministry will find vastly helpful if they are at all "connected" by the Internet. The straight-forward discussions on the changes of modern culture were immensely beneficial as well.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alyson Browning

    If you are of the Facebook generation, I don't highly recommend this book. It was an interesting read with great stories telling the ins and outs of Facebook, but for someone of the Facebook generation, it was like reading my own history and learning nothing new. I will say that Jesse speaks to the avid Facebook user in the last chapter, especially in the last few pages, giving tactics for using Facebook with purpose. On the flip side, if you are a little leery of jumping on the Facebook bandwag If you are of the Facebook generation, I don't highly recommend this book. It was an interesting read with great stories telling the ins and outs of Facebook, but for someone of the Facebook generation, it was like reading my own history and learning nothing new. I will say that Jesse speaks to the avid Facebook user in the last chapter, especially in the last few pages, giving tactics for using Facebook with purpose. On the flip side, if you are a little leery of jumping on the Facebook bandwagon, this book is perfect for you.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

    Good points about the connectedness we need and why we seek it out via Facebook, even if the author believes Facebook the best and really only community connectedness platform. (Um, hey, Goodreads, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and Ravelry come to mind immediately as other options, though Google+ and Pinterest weren't options when the book was written three years ago). Still a useful introduction to why faith communities need to understand - and how to begin to understand - digital community as a Good points about the connectedness we need and why we seek it out via Facebook, even if the author believes Facebook the best and really only community connectedness platform. (Um, hey, Goodreads, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and Ravelry come to mind immediately as other options, though Google+ and Pinterest weren't options when the book was written three years ago). Still a useful introduction to why faith communities need to understand - and how to begin to understand - digital community as a matter of faith community.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Henrik

    Unfortunately this book didn't turn out to be what I thought it would be. The title gave me the impression that it would give me a fresh insight into how Facebook and hyperconnectivity shapes the church of today and what can be learned from this. This turned out to to not be the focus of this book. Jesse Rice is a great storyteller and shares many illustrations and stories. The problem is that they are too long and make me pretty frustrated. Many footnotes are supposed to be fun but makes the rea Unfortunately this book didn't turn out to be what I thought it would be. The title gave me the impression that it would give me a fresh insight into how Facebook and hyperconnectivity shapes the church of today and what can be learned from this. This turned out to to not be the focus of this book. Jesse Rice is a great storyteller and shares many illustrations and stories. The problem is that they are too long and make me pretty frustrated. Many footnotes are supposed to be fun but makes the reading more tiresome. The book was published in 2009 which means it's also a bit outdated.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dennise Gonzalez

    Insightful The last couple of chapters are the nucleus of the book, what you look forward to. I got a bit lost in the examples at first but the author masterfully connected everything in the end making this a very enjoyable yet profound cultural x-ray. It will leave you thinking, going back to highlighted paragraphs (pages sometimes), playfully considering life. No easy answers are given, but lots of pokes to get you started in this vast and relatively unexplored cyber universe.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Johnny Brooks

    I couldn't figure out why this book was called The Church of facebook. It wasn't really about the Church. In fact I could have lived without the Christian references. It mostly felt like he threw them in just because he had to. However this was an excellent book about facebook and how it is changing the way we relate to one another. I enjoyed the stories at the beginning of each chapter, and how he related seemingly unrelated issues to facebook. Well done. I couldn't figure out why this book was called The Church of facebook. It wasn't really about the Church. In fact I could have lived without the Christian references. It mostly felt like he threw them in just because he had to. However this was an excellent book about facebook and how it is changing the way we relate to one another. I enjoyed the stories at the beginning of each chapter, and how he related seemingly unrelated issues to facebook. Well done.

  25. 5 out of 5

    E.

    This would have been a more interesting read in 2009 when it was written. Though there are some good lines and thoughts in it, most of it is not new anymore and is filled with pretty obvious and common sense proposals (I did find the writing style engaging). I was hoping for deeper, more thoughtful, theological reflection, which I have found in various blogs, articles, and other books (Phyllis Tickle for one).

  26. 5 out of 5

    Calvin Sun

    It's a bit of a long book with elongated metaphors and prolonged examples. But it does address a bit of the issues for online communities as viewed from 2009. Social media has come a long way and FB is facing issues which has evolved from then. However this is a good starting point in addressing the key issues with online environments: Intentionality, humility, and authenticity. If I were to recommend this book I would say read the last 2 chapters. It's a bit of a long book with elongated metaphors and prolonged examples. But it does address a bit of the issues for online communities as viewed from 2009. Social media has come a long way and FB is facing issues which has evolved from then. However this is a good starting point in addressing the key issues with online environments: Intentionality, humility, and authenticity. If I were to recommend this book I would say read the last 2 chapters.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rob Ross

    This is not a how to but rather how it works book. The author focuses his writing on elements of interest that are important to all readers. It is a book that delves into a short history and then works its' way to applying it to one's life. The author provides numerous examples of both the positive and negative aspects of Facebook. It is an interesting read. I would recommend it to both the novice and the more experienced Facebook user. This is not a how to but rather how it works book. The author focuses his writing on elements of interest that are important to all readers. It is a book that delves into a short history and then works its' way to applying it to one's life. The author provides numerous examples of both the positive and negative aspects of Facebook. It is an interesting read. I would recommend it to both the novice and the more experienced Facebook user.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    Very good book! I enjoyed reading it, and it never seemed to get too boring. I think that it someone has some time on their hands it would be a great book to read and discuss. He poses some very interesting points about what it means to be connected and have communion with other believers. Discussion book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melissa W

    A really interesting look at how Facebook has impacted our lives from a number of contexts and I really started to think about how I use the website and why I am on. Despite the Christian applications that are made throughout the book, it does hold a lot of advice and truths that Facebook users should think about. Recommended.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Bushnell

    Jesse Rice examines the phenomenon of Facebook and what it reveals about our need for connectedness. An interesting look into the dynamic of Facebook and how it has and is affecting us all today. In our "hyperconnected" world, Rice makes some positive suggestions regardiong how to use social networking in a positive manner to foster real friendships and true connectedness. Jesse Rice examines the phenomenon of Facebook and what it reveals about our need for connectedness. An interesting look into the dynamic of Facebook and how it has and is affecting us all today. In our "hyperconnected" world, Rice makes some positive suggestions regardiong how to use social networking in a positive manner to foster real friendships and true connectedness.

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