Skip to comments.Hologram Preachers Slated to Appear in Churches
Posted on 03/06/2010 8:56:11 AM PST by ZGuy
Holographic preachers are stirring another technology-gone-too-far debate among Christians.
While the dust over beaming preachers on a video screen on multi-site campuses has somewhat settled, the new 3D tool is raising more questions and concerns among some believers.
"Since so many of us in the west are convinced that entertaining pew fodder is critical to advancing 'the gospel' and that only a very few have the necessary gifts to preachertain this will become the 'perfect' solution," Bill Kinnon, author of A Networked Conspiracy, Social Networks, The Church & the Power of Collective Intelligence, wrote in a recent blog post.
What has Kinnon and many other Christians talking is the holographic technology that music artist Madonna famously used at the Grammy Awards in 2006 and that one company wants to promote in churches.
Tony Morgan, pastor of ministries at West Ridge Church near Atlanta, introduced the technology as a possible church tool on his blog this week. He had visited with the company Clark (formerly Clark ProMedia) at their offices in Alpharetta, Ga., where they demonstrated the 3D tool. As he stood on the stage of the company's new theater, an image of another person was projected next to him. From the audience's perspective, it appears as if the other figure was actually present.
The technology itself isn't new to Morgan but it was the first time he saw it in person.
Houston Clark, whose company has been involved in "high-end video venue type production environments," is looking to get holograms in churches. He met with Ainsley Henn of Musion Systems based in the U.K. the company responsible for the Gorillaz hologram in the Madonna show.
In an interview with ChurchMediaDesign.tv, Clark said the technology creates an "as if you're there experience" and "begins to extend the realism of virtual teaching venues."
"This just gives you a completely limitless palette for creating environments that don't look as if you're viewing them but look as if you're part of them because it's in three dimensions," he added.
Currently, there are some 3,000 multi-sites in the country. Some churches that have adopted the one church in multiple locations approach have turned their other campuses into video venues. In other words, the pastor preaches at one location and is beamed to screens in other locations.
Video venues stirred debate among pastors, some of whom felt it was making a celebrity out of the preacher.
Bob Hyatt, lead pastor of Evergreen Community and a church planter, argued earlier that video venues focus "entirely too much on the preaching gifts of one person."
Now with holograms slated to replace 2D video images of preachers at multi-sites, the technology is reviving the debate.
"Wow!!! Who needs fellowship anymore? Soon I will be able to sit at home in my pjs and have my Pastor in my living room. Who needs a Pastor? We can have one hologram preacher for the whole world and then we wouldnt need to pay for one. What is the church coming to?" one commenter named Schuyler Hedrick wrote in response to Morgan's blog.
Missiologist Ed Stetzer, meanwhile, sees the use of holograms in the church as a "natural evolution" of the technology.
"[P]eople watched their pastor live on a big screen at a megachurch, then they watched their pastor on video from another place, now the video goes from 2D to 3D," he commented to The Christian Post. "It is not a shift of philosophy but of technology. If you are already OK watching via video, this is just a new tool, not a new approach."
Adding his own two cents to the debate he sparked on his own blog, Morgan said he supports churches using technology to reach today's culture.
"Technology is not a sin," he said in an e-mail to The Christian Post. "Technology can be used to sin. Technology can also be redeemed to engage today's culture and present the gospel. As missionaries in today's world, frankly, I think the church needs to embrace technology if we are going to speak the language of today's culture.
"We can run from it. We can yell at it. Or, we can leverage it where it's appropriate to present the gospel and help people take their next steps toward Christ."
Having friends and neighbors who still don't know Christ and his unconditional love, Morgan said he's willing to face criticism for his espousal of new technology.
"If I'm criticized for my passion to present the gospel and help as many people as possible experience a life-changing journey in Christ, I'm willing to face that criticism to live out my conviction," he said.
According to Morgan, pricing on the holographic technology is "coming down quickly to the point that I wont be surprised if we see this technology implemented in churches within the next 12 months."
"Not unlike other forms of video distribution, advancements in technology are making it easier for ministries to consider this form of communication as an option," he noted.
1. If the world's greatest teachers (Hawking, etc.) offered to teach thousands at a time via holograms of their lectures, would you say "No, it's wrong. They must be limited to live lectures only and everyone else must be happy to settle for second-best."?
2. Measure by their fruit. If this leads to more people accepting Christ, would you be comfortable standing before God and saying "I chose to limit our outreach methods and allow thousands of people to go to hell who could have been saved because I didn't feel comfortable with using methods that weren't around when I grew up"?
3. The epistles (prior to being included in the canon--and even those that weren't included in the canon) were circulated and read among the churches immediately after they were written, thus they were the equivalent of using holograms today--they were the state-of-the-art method for spreading the lessons of the greatest and most respected "teachers" to audiences that couldn't see them in person.
4. The "lack of fellowship" argument is a strawman. In churches that use remote venues, Christians gather by the hundreds or more and have "live" services with worship, giving, announcements, communion, prayer, and all of the features of a regular service with the only exception being that they hear biblical teaching for 30 minutes or so via a video feed. It is not hundreds of people gathering in a theater to "watch a movie" of a service for an hour and a half in their own little isolated world, sitting quietly with their hands in their laps not singing, talking, or praying with anyone.
5. It doesn't appeal to me at all! But I will support evangelistic methods outside of my comfort zone if people are being saved by them who otherwise would not have been reached.
“What you save them with is what you save them to.”
Holographic politicians are not far behind.
How about a holographic Obama delivering the State of the Union address?
Take me to the Holo-deck with Catherine Zeta Jones
“...And you have meddled with the primal forces of theology and YOU WILL ATONE!
“...Am I getting through to you, Bishop Spong?”
Think of it as setting up a brick-and-mortar for couch potatoes.
Attendance numbers and "more people accepting Christ" are not synonymous.
What next, rap music and laser shows?
Back to basics. Attending Church should feel Holy, not like attending a concert. But these are my opinions. I learned long ago I am in the minority.
All to say; we can just prepare for Obama hologram presence. This 'empty suit' will be enhanced and will creep out the 'reason capable' and seduce his 'kool-aid' drinking disciples. No doubt. . .
“Attendance numbers and “more people accepting Christ” are not synonymous.”
Neither are the exclusive.
What gives you a better chance of saving someone? getting them to a church or ignoring them while they sit on the sofa nursing a hangover.
I didn't say they were.
There really is no earthly way to measure the effectiveness of attendance numbers on saving souls. To claim a net increase by pop culture Church methods ignores those turned away by the same methods.
We need both kinds of Churches to give both kinds of people (traditional and pop culture) to give all kinds of people a place to go. This is not what is happening. All Churches are trending toward pop culture. That is bad.
“To claim a net increase by pop culture Church methods ignores those turned away by the same methods.”
And thats why different churches can use different methods.
“All Churches are trending toward pop culture. That is bad.”
I think thats an overly broad statement, regardless getting people into church is a good start.
I don't, I have left several Churches looking for others after the first started dumping traditional services.
You say different churches "can" use different methods. This is true, but when you are on the third and forth church that is changing to attract different audiences than what they already have, it seems as if different churches are trending toward using the same methods.
I really don't want to debate too much, I've tired of the debate over the years. I just wanted to pipe up and say there is a different viewpoint on the issue that is brushed aside these days.
can holographic money be donated?
Rev 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
Kinda makes me wonder...
The Resurrection is a actual event..
Maybe this just sheds some light of GOD’s Physics
The problem is church attendance is declining in every denomination. We can continue with the same old traditional services and watch the empty pews. Or we can change and make it more attractive for the new Christian to attend.
I’ve seen churches do both which is probably the best option if possible. I don’t think its an attempt to brush anyone aside.
“I wonder why Jesus did not use holographs?”
IMO because he didn’t want to, when you can raise the dead, walk on water, and cure the sick a simple ole holograph is probably second rate.
He did not want to, and he did not have to use holographs. I was replying to the response that holographs could explain the physics of Jesus.
It’s not declining with Catholics, but then again, we have worship centred on Christ not on the pastor.