How to prepare for the Metaverse

Nov 2, 2021 by

by Ian Harber, Patrick Miller, The Gospel Coalition:

[…] What happens when we identify more with a virtual version of ourselves than with our real selves? People may begin to conflate their God-given identity with the self-made identity they crafted in the metaverse. The transhumanism debate is on our doorstep. The imago Dei is about to encounter the imago meta.

In a world where every aspect of our identity will be completely customizable, celebrating a received identity—given by God to be his human image-bearers, made with flesh and bone, male and female, for the cultivation of the world—will be radically countercultural. But it will also be lifegiving. The anxiety of self-creation is already crippling Gen Z and Millennials.

The church may be the last place that accepts you as you’re made, not as you’re projected…

[…]  Secularism disenchanted the world, and stripped it of transcendent, sacramental meaning. The metaverse offers a transcendence knockoff when it fulfills, as one podcaster put it, “the very long-term human aspiration to be able to enter a completely imaginary world.” As disciples of Jesus, we insist upon the goodness of our physical world and bodies. Adam’s first, most fundamental job was to cultivate a garden. Jesus calls his followers to care for the sick, visit the lonely, lift up the downtrodden, and steward the environment. We know a virtual world created by publicly traded companies will never be more real or important than the world God created and called “very good.”

Followers of Jesus must resist constant digital connection, forming communities where people intentionally disconnect from virtual reality to be present with others: look them in the eye, give them a hug, and simply be with them. This will be countercultural in the best way.

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