Christian VR apps That HAVE to be made

A while back, I got my hands on a free pair of Google cardboard VR glasses. While a bit clunky, they are still a fab way to transform your smartphone into a Virtual Reality headset.

A bit clunky, but quite a cheap way of bringing some sort of Virtual Reality experience into the home.

Trying it out, got me thinking. If there were a series of Christian VR apps, what would that look like?

Here’s the Christian Virtual Reality that Sofa would like to see…

The stable. Experience the birth of Jesus in full immersive VR. Hear Mary’s birthing pains, see the confusion on the cattles faces, and watch Joseph faint.
A Mega Church App. Don’t go to a Mega Church. Stay at home, and feel the atmosphere without smelling other peoples sweat.
The Church Volunteer. Get an insight into volunteering at church without any need for preemptive commitment.
The Longest Prayer. We know that Jonah was swallowed by a big fish. But what did he see in the big fish? What did he do? Hear Jonahs cry to the Lord, as you see the inside of the fish from Jonahs point of view.
Full on March. Now you can also march around the city of Jericho.
Full immersive adult baptism game. Hit the button as you go underwater… to ensure you come back up again.
Missed Lunch. Get an in depth view of Daniel and The Lions Den. From the lions prospective.
The Church Volunteer Coordinator. Feel the panic, and have first hand perspective of what happens when all the volunteers stay at home, and try to volunteer via VR glasses.
Crucifixion. The Viewers Experience. Put on your VR glasses and be transported to the original Good Friday! Enjoy!

Have you got any further ideas?

C of E Error Codes

Picture the situation. You’ve been given a piece of paper containing the address of a website thats been recommended to you, you sit down at the computer, you type it into your web browser, and theres something wrong with the address you’ve typed in. If something like this happened you may well see something like “Error 404, Page Not Found” come up on your screen.

Well, there are other Error Numbers but what if they applied to The C of E Church, and not web pages?

Kneewax has asked exactly this question, and compiled a list of “status codes” if they related to the C of E Church:

400 Bad Request
No. You cannot ask God to smite Mrs Miggins.
401 Unauthorized
Similar to 403 Forbidden, but specifically for use when authentication is required and has failed or has not yet been provided. The Archdeacon has not got back to you and you can’t be licensed.
402 Payment Required
Reserved for future use.
The collection has been a bit short recently. No one can leave the service until they’ve given some (gift-aided) donations
403 Forbidden
The Wardens have taken your Church keys away. Unlike a 401 Unauthorized response, authenticating will make no difference.
404 Not Found
The requested resource could not be found but may be available again in the future. The vicar is unavailable. It is not possible to leave a message on their voice-mail.
405 Method Not Allowed
That is not how we celebrate the Communion in this tradition.
406 Not Acceptable
This parish has passed resolution A&B (please provide proof of Y Chromosome before continuing).
407 Proxy Authentication Required
The parish is under the authority of the Bishop of Ebbsfleet.
408 Request Timeout
The server didn’t turn up to help with communion
409 Conflict
You shouldn’t have tried to remove the pews
410 Gone
You succeeded in removing the pews

Read more over at kneewax.wordpress.com.

10 Things Church Can Learn From Geeks

The Huffington Post presents a great selection of things that the Church can learn from Geeks:

1. Include. Don’t exclude.

Community matters and the more inclusive the community is the more resourceful and broader reaching it can be. Geeks get this intrinsically. The Church? Not so much. You are sometimes more likely to hear church folk quoting Jesus saying, “I am the way,” in order to exclude someone, than you are to hear them quote him saying, “Judge not,” in order to include them. We should take a cue from my geek brethren on this one.

2. Other paradigms make the world better not frightening.

Just try telling a “Vampire Diaries” geek that vampires can eat human food. “Um, no they can’t.” Put them in conversation with a “Twilight” fan and then they are all, “Yeah, I can totally get that.” Conversely, tell a Baptist that you can sprinkle water on the head for a baptism, and they’ll tell you “Um, no you can’t.” Put them into a conversation with a Presbyterian and then they are all, “You are so wrong.” Geeks get that their fandom matters more than the dogma — even though the dogma matters. Speaking of which…

3. Dogma is for guidance not final formation.

We church folk sometimes let the dogma get in the way of the destination. It’s so easy to get caught up in the rules and regulations to the point that they become the end all be all — even when they sometimes run counter to key teachings of Jesus. Geeks don’t. For them while the dogma is good and even life giving, when it is getting in the way of the bigger story or even the larger community, they have no problem getting a dogma transfusion. Time Lords never break the First Law of Time — except when they do.

4. Be obsessive — not obnoxious.

There’s nothing wrong with geeking out over something. It’s actually really, really good (and a lot of fun to boot), and in some ways church folk have been quite good at this. I mean, just ask a life-long church goer what it means to be “saved.” They will go on and on and on about Jesus and the crucifixion and sin and salvation and they won’t let up — even if you ask them to stop. You know, on second thought, don’t ask them about it. You see, there is a difference between obsessing over something and being obnoxious about it. No means no. Learn where the line is.

5. New is good.

It’s sort of strange. God is frequently found in Scripture doing a new thing and even says it out loud, “Look, I’m about to do a new thing!” OK, we get it already! Except we don’t. Frequently, Christians are found resisting change. That’s not true with geeks. A new season of our favorite show? Yes! A new take on the intricacies of the space-time continuum? Excellent! New interior of the TARDIS? Well, OK, there are exceptions to every rule. So, it’s mostly true with geeks. It is also part of why the culture is going to be around for some time to come. Some would argue it goes back as far as Celtic Druids. Appreciation and even excitement about all things new is part of what gives a movement the ability to adapt to change. (But seriously, Moffat, a new TARDIS interior? I guess it’ll grow on me).

Read the rest over at Huffington Post.

 

Internet blocking and why it will still not protect our children

Some of you may have seen mention of a campaign ran by Premier Christian Media and SaferMedia called “SafetyNet”, this is a campaign to call on the Government to force Internet Service Providers to make accessing pornography an adult only opt-in service.

Ryan at crimperman.org has taken a look at the technical / practical side of this:

Why this won’t work

The campaign calls for ISPs to “block pornography” at “network level”, the consultation expands this into two options. Firstly a universal switch which enables or disables blocking (or “filtering” if you prefer) for the internet connection and secondly an array of questions which apparently will allow the parent to decide which types of content are permitted or not permitted through the same connection. The wording is phrased as if this filtering can be decided on a per user basis rather than a per connection basis but the type of filtering they are describing cannot be managed in that way. In brief the type of filtering they are proposing (regardless of which option is used) is unworkable and dangerous. I’ll focus on pornography here because that is the main thrust of the campaign but the same points can be applied to other content types. Here is why…

How do you define “pornography”?

You can’t (as the campaign does) try to get away with a dictionary definition because we are dealing with parents here who may well have their own idea of what is appropriate for their child to view. Limiting it to just ‘the explicit representation of sexual activity’ may not be enough. As an example if that were all that was being blocked I still would need to check what my 8 year old was stumbling across on Google images at which point the “protection” is not coming from the blocking but from me (as it does now). Additionally who decides what content fits into what categiry and what level of “risk” there is? One parent may consider it perfectly aceptable for their child to see say a scantily clad woman in a provactive pose, another may not and yet both would expect such a filtering service to met their needs. It can’t.

If you’re interested in this, I’d suggest reading the whole article over at crimperman.org

The Church of File-Sharing

<sound of me being mostly speechless>

Sweden recognises new file-sharing religion Kopimism

Fingers nearly touchingFile-sharing is a religious ceremony according to the church leader

A “church” whose central tenet is the right to file-share has been formally recognised by the Swedish government.

The Church of Kopimism claims that “kopyacting” – sharing information through copying – is akin to a religious service.

The “spiritual leader” of the church said recognition was a “large step”.

But others were less enthusiastic and said the church would do little to halt the global crackdown on piracy.

The rest of the article can be found on the BBC Website – but the really interesting stuff is found on The Church of Kopimism‘s temporary website:

For the Church of Kopimism, information is holy and copying is a sacrament. Information holds a value, in itself and in what it contains, and the value multiplies through copying. Therefore, copying is central for the organisation and its members.

Being recognized by the state of Sweden is a large step for all of kopimi. Hopefully, this is one step towards the day when we can live out our faith without fear of persecution, says Isak Gerson, spiritual leader of the Church of Kopimism.

So at least they’re admitting they’re doing this in an attempt to avoid persecution for copying….

Weekly Round Up – The #retrogames Edition

Welcome to this weeks roundup:

Weekly RoundUp: The Looking At Lent Edition

Well… we are to start with…

  • We’ve mentioned the Beer and Bible initiative currently starting in Chelmsford before, if you missed it I suggest getting yourself over to Phils Treehouse and watching the promo video about it…
  • The 40Things guys are encouraging people to try 1 new thing per day during lent as part of the 40 Things Challenge.
  • Moving away from Lent… The Jesus Mission asks what could be learnt from Barack Obama…
  • Chelliah Laity has compiled a list of Christian Bloggers thats worth a look.
  • According to “BBC’s new face of religion”, people look at Eve as a troublesome wife and God has a wife…The Telegraph.
  • And finally… As I’m sure you can tell, The Church Sofa lads can sometimes channel a bit of an inner geek… Room515.co.uk is a result of that…

Hello. Our Church Is A Mac

With thanks to @PaulMTilley @gerrarrdus, here are ten signs of a church being a Mac:

  1. Lets face it you look nice.
  2. Your Church building is very easy to find your way around – once you get used to it.
  3. Everyone involved is so so passionate! You dont need help with evangelism at your church… you do it anyway!
  4. Everyone looks so good, there’s almost a dress code.
  5. Pastoral care is nice and easy… No one ever feels broken.
  6. On that note… No one admits to getting a virus either.
  7. Style over teaching?
  8. You employ a creative director, because you’re that creative
  9. Leaky roof? PA system blown up? Thats ok, people can find the money to help replace bits and pieces.
  10. You might do the same stuff but you know it looks more exciting than the PC down the road

Any more?