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What You Need to Know About the Coming Metaverse

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
November 19, 2021 7:00 pm

What You Need to Know About the Coming Metaverse

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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November 19, 2021 7:00 pm

GUEST: PATRICK MILLER, pastor and co-author, How to Prepare for the Metaverse

When Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, one of the most valuable and powerful companies in the world, makes a recent announcement that they are changing their name to “Meta”, one is led to ask “Now, what is that all about?”

What it’s about is a coming technology that will change life as we know it—the metaverse.

What exactly is the metaverse? It’s hard to explain because it contrasts so much with reality but basically the metaverse is an online world that you enter through virtual reality glasses or headsets and where the experiences are only limited by your imagination.

For example, you can customize your own home to have a view of the Pacific Ocean. Or, you choose whatever identity you’d like—male, female, human, animal, space alien. Want to go out to meet with friends in London in real time (without flying on a plane to get there)? You may sit at the table as an avatar (a cartoon-like version of yourself) while your friend is there as a life-like hologram.

This may all sound crazy, foolish, and unnecessary, but there’s something far deeper at work here—man’s futile attempt to cast off God and the reality He established and identify as one chooses (rather than how God has designed) and live a virtual world man controls (rather than God).

Patrick Miller, podcast host and pastor of digital ministries at The Crossing, a church in Missouri, recently co-authored a column for The Gospel Coalition titled How to Prepare for the Metaverse. He joins us on The Christian Worldview for a look into the not-too-distant future and what Christians need to know about the metaverse.

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You need to know about the coming med of this that is a topical discuss today right here on the Christian worldview radio program for the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. I'm David we host your website is the Christian worldview.org. Thank you for joining us today. The program and for supporting the ministry of the Christian worldview and also to our national sponsor Samaritan ministries to provide a biblical solution to healthcare. Speaking of healthcare real quick before we get to the preview for today's program. Just this past week OSHA which is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has suspended implementation and enforcement of the coal vid vaccine mandate. They say this will OSHA remains confident in his authority to protect workers in emergencies. OSHA has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation. Another was knocking to enforce Pres. Biden's vaccine mandate. National review reported last week, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit fully blocked Joe Biden's executive order requiring companies with over 100 workers to mandate vaccination for their employees. After temporarily staying in on November 12 and by the way, was not an executive order just a mandate. He made the court order that all should take no steps to implement or enforce the vaccine mandate until further court order. Of course, this is great news and this is why we should wait and pray and petition and repeat Pray. This is thrown out for good but just wanted to give you that update okay will schedule our topic for the day.

What you need to know about the coming meta-verse now or Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook. One of the most valuable and powerful companies in the world makes a recent announcement that they are changing their name to Meda, one is led to ask that what is this all about what it's all about is a coming technology that is going to change life as we know it called the meta-verse. What exactly is the meta-verse what sort of hard to explain because it contrasts so much with the reality we all know but basically the meta-versus an online world that you enter through virtual-reality glasses or headsets, and where the experiences are only limited by your imagination. So, for example, you can customize your own home to have a view of the Pacific Ocean, or you can choose whatever identity you'd like to be male-female, human, animal, space alien, you name it. Want to go out to meet friends in London. Let's say in real time without flying an airplane to get there. Well you can choose to sit at a table as an avatar like a cartoonlike version of yourself.

You see in your phone sometime while your friend is there is a lifelike hologram. This may all sound crazy, foolish and completely unnecessary, but there's something far deeper at work here.

This is man's futile attempt to cast off God and the reality she established and identify as we choose, rather than how God has designed us and live in a virtual world of her own making, rather than the one God is made. If that isn't comprehensively God rejecting enough to know what is Patrick Miller podcast host and pastor of digital ministries at a church called the Crossing in Missouri recently co-authored a column for the Gospel coalition titled how to prepare for the meta-verse, he joins us today in the Christian worldview for a look into the not too distant future and what Christians need to know about the meta-verse Patrick, thank you for coming on the program for the first time before we start talking about the meta-verse wanted you tell us briefly about your background and how you came to saving faith in Christ. I will thank you so much for having me on the show was a real pleasure to be here. I became a Christian when I was 19 years old. As a college student and the short version of that story is I didn't grow up in a Christian household and as a as a teenager who is in college I was battling with a lot of questions. The big questions about life and is also battling with depression and sadness try to make sense of why I was on this earth why God put me here and I realize that philosophy had no answers to those questions affect my philosophy teacher tried to convince us that there is no such thing as God, and the real is that there is no God, there is no purpose and just floating on a pale blue dog in the middle of the universe and my wife doesn't matter if everything will eventually die in the slow heat death of the son and in my life it my existence has no real meaning and end. Thankfully, God reached out to me through a number of friends who were part of a campus ministry that I was a part of and and they made me start asking the question have I contemplated whether there is an answer to this question that maybe Jesus had the answer to those questions and so that let me down a path that eventually Easter of that year II ended up coming to saving faith and in Jesus and my life has not been the same since. Now you are a pastor today at church called the Crossing down in Missouri were you oversee digital ministries. I'm sure that's a a growing aspect of church ministries is tell us briefly about that I started in college ministry and then I began to lead a large ministry to people in their 20s and I really began to realize during that time that people are being discipled by their phones by what they were seeing from Instagram, influencers, and when you read the statistics people spend 20 times more looking at screens and they do looking at spiritual content as I realize there is, is this deficit of concept that you're trying to do on this show out there that was reaching people on their phones on their devices digitally and helping to disciple them in the way of Jesus. And there was all kinds of other things out there that were discipling them in the ways of consumerism and the ways of the immunity does name every-ism that there is out there and so as a result our church really realize that we needed to embrace in some sense digital disciples not to the exclusion of the local church I'm connected to a local church. I'm a pastor at a local church, but as a supplement to it so that when people are online when they're learning they're actually getting Jesus in their everyday diet of digital content, and so that's what we do we we create a lot of podcasts a lot of blogs with email newsletters. But it's all about giving people resources adding new things into their digital diet that will help them follow Jesus more faithfully will have certainly prepared you for what you are going to be talking about today here on the program was called the meta-verse you and Ian Harber co-authored a column on the Gospel coalition entitled how to prepare for the meta-verse let's start out by playing a recent audio clip from a presentation that Mark Zuckerberg this CEO of Facebook made and they change their name at least their ownership of the company to this word meta-and I'm a let you to start by laying some groundwork to what were going to discuss today. Starting out with this name change and why that's important.

Here's Mark Zuckerberg it's time for us to adopt a new company brand to encompass everything that went to reflect who we are and what we hope to build. I am proud to announce that starting today. Our company is now meta-our mission remains the same.

Still, that bringing people together so Patrick for Mark Zuckerberg one of the wealthiest, most influential person in the world, the head of Facebook taxi change the name of their highly successful company to meta-this is obviously a huge seachange what what does the word even meta-mean and why would he change the name of the company yes and so those are two great questions and and their two separate questions why change the name.

I don't want to be a cynic and I usually don't know Mark Zuckerberg or why he's making the choices that he's making but it is a simple fact that over the last few months you've knew that would like the Wall Street Journal in 60 minutes reporting on leaks that are coming out of Facebook that have made it evident actually evident that they know that their products are harming in particular teenage girls but also fomenting culture of outrage culture of of tribalism and that they're doing this, you know, for for-profit and so I think this cynical take on this would be a look they've gotten a lot of bad press recently and the name change kind of changes the conversation always and we are talking about those things were talking about meta-in the meta-verse up on the other side. It's not totally insincere because Facebook has been working towards this idea of the meta-verse for quite a while and since a deck on the question of why meta-what is the meta-verse. Some people when they hear meta-that they think is just a way of saying hey we own all these brands you know we on Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram harassing me on all these things and that's not it at all. Meta-is really a nod to a future technology technology which is not exist, the technology, which will likely not fully exist until my kids who are currently in 03 and five until the kids are actually adult so we were still a long ways away from it.

But they're saying this is where were going Patrick Miller with us today here on the Christian worldview talking about what we need to know about the coming meta-verse and let me just read a paragraph from your recent column in the Gospel coalition.

We have it linked@ourwebsitethechristianworldview.org you write Matthew ball, a managing partner at a venture capital fund investing heavily in the meta-verse writes this quote the meta-verse is a massively scaled and inter operable not inoperable. Interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds which can be experienced synchronously and persistently by an effectively unlimited number of users and with continuity of data such as identity history entitlements objects communications and payments now this.

I think that definition is that helpful have no idea what we are about.

Okay let me read the Though the meta-verse is not a digital world it's a digital world of worlds through which people can travel seamlessly retaining their appearance in digital possessions wherever they go. These worlds do not merely exist in virtual reality or VR but also layer onto physical reality through AR augmented reality now again still listeners may not get what this is all a Mexican a play another audio clip from that presentation that Mark Zuckerberg made in toward the beginning of it.

He kinda gives us description like an example of what the meta-verse is going to be like were he goes over to this virtual meeting. There's people there and there they created this reality were there in space and meeting around a table and some people at the meeting or appearing as robots and some is a different avatar.

I mean really just out there stuff but let me just play that audio clip to give listeners a better idea of what this meta-verse sounds like welcome to connect today were to talk about the meta-verse starting with the most port and experience of all connecting with imagine you put on your glasses or headset in your instantly in your home.

Space as part of your physical home recruited virtually it has things that are only possible virtually and it has an incredibly inspiring view of whatever you find most beautiful floating in space. This place is awesome. This place is amazing is that you course as you know, I had the robot I was supposed to be the robot will patiently do you okay Patrick so you heard a lot a while as this is amazing during this virtual world people are floating around.

They're all wearing these glasses and this isn't something that people are just doing for five minutes. This is an experience assist like almost a new world, a new life being created really. When I read your column and then watch this presentation by Mark Zuckerberg by what we have it linked on the Christian worldview.org you can I really encourage you to watch it just to get an idea of what it's about. This sounds like the biggest change to humankind in history. What is about to take place about how people identify themselves and what they can experience and so forth. How is this going to work and how will this be so attractive to people that people want to be involved in this meta-verse does a great questions and again because the technology is still in our future. We don't know entirely how it's going to work Facebook or I should say meta-now that they're giving us a sales pitch on one level, they're trying to sell us that there's going to be this amazing future reality. And yet I don't think it's hard for us to imagine Neo during the pandemic is more more people began to work from home were more used to having a work calls over Zoom were more used to maybe having people that we work with who live remotely and so we don't ever see them face-to-face. We interact with them digitally. Add to that that many of us have our relationships, friendships, or people leave connected with online that might be through social media may be made a friend on Twitter you communicate with regularly, or if you're an immunogen zeal or a younger millennial. Maybe your gamer and you play video games with not just people that you know in real life the people that you met online and you're on chats with them when you're talking with them about their life is in the early stages of examples of these things about that are already happening today.

None of them are diverse but there is I got there there there the first little baby steps toward becoming what that thing is the Christian worldview returns in just a moment. Guest Cal bison or defines economics as moral philosophy applied to marketplace relationships, so it makes sense that as our nation's judgment of what is right and wrong has moved away from biblical morality are economic policies have gone the same wrong direction.

So what is the Christian worldview on economics Cal bison or has written an insightful 56 page softcover booklet titled biblical foundations for economics that shows how economic principles and policies need to be based on the Bible to achieve the greatest human flourishing for limited time we are offering biblical foundations for economics for donation of any amount to the Christian worldview to order go to the Christian worldview.org or call 1888 646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, MN 55331 again the website is the Christian worldview.org.

Be sure to take advantage of two free resources that will keep you informed and sharpen your worldview. The first is the Christian worldview, weekly email which comes to your inbox each Friday. It contains the upcoming radio along with need to read articles teacher resources special events in the previous program. Second is the Christian worldview, annual letter, which is delivered to your mailbox in November. It contains an UN letter from host, David. We had a listing of our store items including DVDs, books, children's materials and you can sign up for the weekly email and annual letter by visiting the Christian worldview.calling 18 646-2230 through your email and mailing address will never be sure you can unsubscribe at any time: one AAA 646-2230 or visit the Christian world.welcome back to the Christian worldview sure to visit our website Christian.org we can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print newsletter resources for adults and children and support the ministry. Now back to today's program with host David Wheaton as you are talking about that I realize you think about resume call so you're you're there virtually at a meeting appear on the screen and then you look at the gaming industry.

They were these goggles and only really high performance graphics and so forth.

Really realistic you think of things that you can put even in a Zoom call. You can put a alternate scene behind you or make yourself look like an avatar in a Zoom call is not your real limit.

So it's combining all these things and things that we can even imagine is going to be so much more beyond that, were you can will get into it a bit, but you can basically travel the world through your your goggles go anywhere without actually leaving where you are and will be super realistic like you're actually there Patrick Miller with us today here on the Christian worldview talking about what you need to know about the coming meta-verse Patrick is a pastor at Crossing in Missouri. He also is a podcast or of the program. Truth over tribe one only another short paragraph from your column that's linked in our website here at you right we will begin to live more of our lives disembodied, either as avatars in virtual reality spaces or holograms using AR technology which is augmented reality, the separation we feel between our physical bodies and our surroundings in our virtual expanded consciousness will grow it will be easy to begin to see the infinite possibilities of our virtual world and bodies is better and more real than the physical world. That's just hard to even comprehend, but talk about what VR is what AR is what mixed reality is, and whether this is going to be something Patrick like everyone nowadays you even do it to do most jobs you have to have like Internet connection need to have a cell phone and be able to text and if there's things that just as society develops, you have to have them to be able to just interacting and do business and so forth mean it is. Is that going to be the case with the meta-verse that you have a choice you have to be involved in this. I think it's like any technology that the degree to which people embrace it is is yet to be known but but we been headed that direction for a long time and again were he seeing these things in and in very small ways like a great example of this is Fox. I have a new TV show called alter ego and on this TV show like American Idol except it isn't having the artist come out and sing for a panel of judges selected a digital avatar in their avatar comes out and there. Avatar sings for the judges and the logic behind it for the singers is either because of their social anxiety or maybe because their physical appearance.

Don't feel like they've been able to make it, but as an avatar, they can be them and be their true self that they can be authentic to themselves and they can give a performance that would all a set of judges a and so that's hitting on this idea that even now you're seeing people who are beginning to identify with a digitalized version of themselves and by the way, on the show. These avatars don't look superhuman right to look like Elza got strange colored hair, strange colored skin. All of that but there identifying with a digital self and saying this is the real me.

This is me being myself, as opposed to identifying with their body and and again as I said in the article.

We arty have a lot technology that makes some the stuff possible. Most people don't realize this.

If you have an iPhone. It has facial recognition technology and what it does is it uses infrared scanners abounds in Frederick light off of your face and it records 30,000 unique points on your face and this allows you to create what are called animal using the Moji's is some your listeners will be familiar with these but they're basically little digital overlays and might make your face look like a panda your face like a dragon. You can pick what you want to be, but it will replicate your facial expressions and that's how it does it in such as that your your phone actually is is built with a very very sophisticated form of radar which is tracking the room that you're in, so that so that it can identify you have desks or or walls in this allows it to do things. There's there's an app called Pokmon go where players they they do use their camera and it will show Pokmon in the real world under Cameron so you may have a Pokmon that sitting on your desk or Pokmon that standing on the floor and that phone knows where the floors and where the desk is already using these of radar technologies to identify the space around you and said the key here at the meta-versus bringing all of these things together seamlessly so that people can use it easily in multiple settings known avatar according to dictionary is an icon or figure representing a particular person you see this used in videogames or Internet forms is almost like animated version of yourself.

Yeah, I guess that's a basic definition of it but go back to the first part of the court question about what is the difference between VR virtual-reality AR augmented reality and MR mixed reality. What are those things so virtual-reality and even talking the putting on a VR headset that we repent on a headset and you have a computer or the headset device itself, rendering a digital reality right in front of your eyes so just like when you're looking at a screen.

Your computer is rendering its creating whatever you're seeing on that screen zone virtual-reality the screen that encompasses your entire field of view.

So with immersive it feels like you're in a space as is a virtual-reality since he can imagine a computer creating a house that you can live and you can walk around in virtual reality.

Or you can imagine computer creating an office space that you could walk around it in virtual reality. As long as you had as virtual-reality glasses on augmented reality, it really overlaps with mixed reality that there there pretty much a similar or very same things always at this point and it will be the idea that again. Imagine he put on a set of glasses at that that lets you see the real world so so you're not looking into a virtual-reality, but those glasses project digital things into your physical reality. Your your listeners might be familiarize when I was little kid. We had these little books that that they would give you cross-sections of like ships or maybe buildings and then they were on little transparencies and seed flip over one transparency in which another where and that he had another layer on top of that, that's kind of what AR is its layering digital things into your physical reality. So maybe your coworker is in with you but if you have these glasses on, they could be projected as though there with you inside of your room. They can walk around your room you can see them in your room. It will be like their present there that that's what augmented reality makes realities against, the same thing if the idea that we can have both the virtual and real reality mixed into one place thinker and get to that. One of the upcoming soundbites were Zuckerberg's talking about a business meeting where you're there in person but the person next to you is like there is a hologram and maybe another person is there is an avatar or something, and this is this is the world where your your your meeting together in the future.

It's again hard even imagine how this will work. Patrick Miller joins us today on the Christian worldview talking about the meta-verse and what Christians need to know her and get in the some of the ethical and how the church is going to function in the midst of this coming world. I guess maybe that's a quick question before you even get to the next soundbite here is this could happen for sure is just a pie-in-the-sky technology that may or may not happen or is this absolutely coming our way. Yeah, after we read article II had a number of people, make fun of me in a in a in a jovial a kindhearted way and said hate you. You were back in early 2000 or something called Second Life and it in.

It will allowed you to create a digital avatar and you could go inside of the digital world and move around and talk to people and engage with people in back when Second Life came out all these people saying this is the future. Everybody's going to be in Second Life are all going to have avatars about most listeners probably never heard of Second Life. So needless to say it never happened and that's what some people are saying with the meta-verse look this is just kind of a pie-in-the-sky dream. The main difference was that back 20 years ago we simply lacked the computing power we lacked the networking capacities were talking at the speed of the Internet and the rate and the rate at which you can download and upload information we lacked the hardware necessary.

We lacked all of the parts to make it an immersive experience.

But now all of a sudden we are quickly approaching the point where these things are possible. And again, what we have to realize is that they're already happening you can just give example after example, there's a rapper named Travis Scott who did a live performance inside of the videogame fortnight. It's a first-person shooter game where all these players come together inside of a of a battle arena and he came inside of the arena and he did a performance for people and I talk to people who went to this performance digitally, and they told me in almost everything. One of them told me it was a better experience for them than going to a show this at look I got the music exactly how I liked it.

I could be there with my friends as it was a really cool experience.

So they were trading in going to a live concert for going to a digital concert and again 20 years, yet it seems ridiculous, but now all of a sudden these things are becoming more common. So yes I do think that this is not just a pie-in-the-sky thing. I do think it still a ways out, but were already seeing aspects of it come to life in the present and by the way that the Truscott concert had 30 million viewers. That's more than the Super Bowl. So is not a small thing. While Patrick Miller with us today on the Christian worldview. Talking with the meta-verse pastor down to Missouri at the crossing.

He also does a podcast called truth over tribe we have them link@ourwebsitethechristian.org.

Let's get to the next soundbite from Mark Zuckerberg in this presentation he did. It's uploaded on YouTube is had millions of use the meta-verse and how we will build it together.

Of course it's going to be some we build together. I called connect, 20, 21, you can watch it for yourself. Let's get to the next soundbite where he talks about how this is going to change the meta-verse is going to change disorder the way you live in your own home during the great things from the physical world into the meta-verse almost any type of media that can be represented digitally. Photos, videos, art, music, movies, books, games, you name it.

Lots of things that are physical today like screens will just be able to be holograms in the future will need a physical TV at all and still one dollar hologram from some high school kid halfway across the world and will build to take your items and project them into the physical world is holograms augmented reality to one part of this is Horizon home which is our early vision for a home space in the members Horizon home is the first thing we'll see when you put on your quest. We just called home until now because it's been missing something very important people soon be introducing a social version of home where you can invite your friends to join you as avatars bill to hang out and watch videos together and jump adopt standard then there is Horizon worlds, which is where you can build worlds and jump into that with people. Okay, so again Mark Zuckerberg here.

I just you just trying to keep up with that the imagination going on here.

You look at this so Patrick and you think you can invite people over to your home as avatars, but those people aren't there in person. In reality like you can touch them. All those can seem like they're there and they're in a completely different appearance, it seems to me this is going to make people become much more isolated and actually odd as they take off their glasses and they can reemerge in the real world they look around the room and no one's actually there and they realize that their regular real life is not nearly as interesting as they are augmented or their virtual life.

What is this going to do to home. The aspect of home and relationships and just people. Social skills we've already seen the consequences of what people call Web 2.0 or the social web, which is what were living in right now and how social media has changed people's ability to interact with each other and face what's been on the trajectory for a long time. You know when it launched in the mid-2000, the only way you could join Facebook was a you were it in a college you are part of a local college community and then that expanded to include people that were in a civic community.

So if you are part of a certain number of cities, then he could join Facebook and then eventually they got rid of the entire network aspect of it all together.

Anybody could join in. Anybody could be a friend with anybody out there in the universe since they been heading this direction of distancing us from our RR close local relationships and friendships, networks, and again were seeing the consequences of this in engines disease. You know the studies about Jen's each show. Something that I think is really sad is our first while they are incredibly isolated. They are incredibly lonely and they are statistically speaking. One of the most introverted generations in history, and yet they are also one of the most extroverted generations in history which sound like a contradiction, but it's not because they are introverted insofar as they are with real people, but they are extroverted insofar as they are online and in relationships online. They want to be connected to others, but the only way they know how to do it is digitally. We see this online dating.

We see this with just how people communicate, you know that you might have two friends who never see each other but most of the communication is happening via a video chat on Instagram or nap like Marco Polo and so this is already changing how we relate to each other. It's hard to imagine how it's not going to continue the trend towards isolation. Continue the trend toward depression and continue the trend towards increased inability to interact people in the real Christian worldview returns in just a moment when it comes to your healthcare provider. What are some words you would use to describe your experience with comfort and peace. Confidence will have Samaritan ministries and those are just some of the words are members use frequently like Samaritan member, former long-term board member and no staff member Jamie Hiles uses to describe his 24 year relationship with Samaritan ministries were to the comfort of the relief you have. As you come to terms that Samaritan ministries is real is flyable is just thank God that he's allowed to have that kind of peace to be in a situation where I can focus on things that are far more important to be part of a growing caring community of Christians who faithfully share each other's medical needs. Each month, all without the use of insurance. Find out more@samaritanministries.org/ECW that's Samaritan ministries.org/TC to David Wheaton here volunteer host of the Christian worldview radio program. Listeners are often surprised to learn that we as a ministry pay for air time on the radio station website or app on which you hear the program. The primary way this expense is recouped is through listeners like you donating to the ministry or becoming a monthly partner. Our aim is to have each broadcast outlet fully supported by the listeners to that outlet. If you are regular listener. We would be grateful if you made a donation or became a monthly partner of any amount to do so. Go to the Christian worldview.org and click on donate. You can also call 1888 646-2233. That's 1888 646-2233 or the Christian worldview.org and be sure to specify which station website or app you listen is that helps us decide whether to continue on a given outlet. Thank you for your support. Thanks for joining us on the Christian worldview. Just a reminder that today's program and pass programs are archived at our website. Christian worldview.org things are also available and be sure to share with others.

Now back to today's program with host David Wheaton Patrick Miller again with us today in the Christian world is we talk about the matter versus is something he did know about because probably within about five or 10 years and everything is being developed right now you can see little little precursors of it. Now the way Zoom calls operated gaming goggles and all those different things happen. Virtual-reality glasses how this is can be put together to create this new metaphor is not a universe that we live in now with this whole virtual-reality. Let's get to one more soundbite from that presentation that Mark Zuckerberg gave introducing a meta-verse.

The change of name from Facebook to meta-and here's what he said about the lifestyle of what is going to be like in the meta-verse let's talk about some of the new advances here tackling to kanban for example attire will be able to make natural eye contact and reflexive facial expressions in real time as laypeople here in a ranting lady will have a real sense of how you're actually feeling me building more sensors into a form factor that's comfortable to wear for a while will be taking this to the next level with solution Calle Valley pastor with initially combining advanced sensors with reconstruction out with them to represent your physical world where they stand and dance and perspective with the ultimate goal here is true augmented reality glasses. We can work on that to it. Today I will show you an experience that we've been working on the project. Desiree, which is the codename for our first full augmented reality glasses. Here you'll see her chatting with friends on WhatsApp and planning again, you can select a game and then this will clear kitchen. You can easily just put your team onto the table and you're off. That's the kind of experience that augmented reality will unlock. There's a lot of technical work to get this form factor and experience right. We have to fit hologram displays, projectors, batteries, radios, custom silicone ships, cameras, speakers, sensors to map the world around you anymore into glasses that are about 5 mm thick. We still have a ways to go with Desiree.

We are making good progress. Okay, that was Mark Zuckerberg talking about what life's gonna be like on game night. You know it's it's like a sound.

So what is can really enhance your game that we need to play cards or some family game, but this is going so far beyond this.

Patrick were you basically create your own identity the way you want to lock in you enter different realms through these these virtual-reality glasses and so forth. It reminds me of that. That sign on on the bar that says, Wednesday nights half-price beer in acts throwing contest. What could go wrong. So how do you see this matter versus being used extremely sinfully or nefarious lead by young governmental controls are those who want to capture authority over the world and over people. How do you see it being used in some negative ways demand. I'm sure there's as many but name a few.

I think there are a number of ways that we could talk about it and again were were doing guesswork. The reality is that Facebook despite its aspirations will likely not be able to own the meta-verse.

It will most likely be a decentralized organization so that it is a little bit of hope in the sense that you probably won't have a bunch of power players sitting at the top, at least in the direction it's headed right now but on the flipside of that, I think that this is going to limit his weight. There is a really interesting tweet by guy who is very positive about the meta-versus name is Shane.

He's an investor is a number things but he said that said, the meta-versus the moment in time where our digital life is worth more to us than our physical life is really dangerous place to get and unfortunately a lot of Christians, we are prepared for this will unfortunately our our theology has been shaped more by the thinking of people like Plato, who had the idea that our physical bodies are bad and all of our mental are ideas that those are good and so we have already bought into many Christians the idea that what makes me is what happens between my ears. But that's not at all how the Bible talks about us the hope of the Bible is resurrection. Of course, that means my physical body being resurrected, just like Jesus, as well as my my future resurrection they will not resurrect my followers on Instagram it's not going to resurrect my avatar inside of the meta-verse, the person that will get resurrected is me and so I think one of the darkest things that happens it's going to continue to press us in this direction of thinking that what's again between our ears. What matters most in its dangers were already there were already in a world where your gender can be whatever you want your gender to be wordy in a world where whatever you imagine to be true about yourself. You can declare it is my truth and all of a sudden it is true what happens when you can create a real simulacrum of yourself online that other people see will eventually you'll start to identify with that me over the real me. Problem again is that God made the real me. I have a givenness right my identity as a given to me by God, I can't just throw it off. I can't become a digital person. It's I think we start becoming these digital people.

It's going to lead us in a kind of like the Tower of Babel to place were we think that we can construct our own reality, we can construct our own identity and and that's not a good place for humans to be God puts limits on us for a reason, not because he wants what's wrong for us because he wants what's best for us living within the limits. I got a set for us is actually what sets us free to be ourselves, and the most true sense that's very well said Patrick. And that segues so well into the next question here in this is when a call from your your column that we have linked in our website. If you think society is struggling with questions of identity now get ready individuals will be able to express themselves however they want through fully customizable avatars in the meta-verse.

For example, in Mark Zuckerberg's presentation. A friend appeared as a robot we heard that earlier in the year of interview today. What happens when we identify more just as you just mentioned with the virtual version of ourselves and with our real selves. People begin to conflate their God-given identity with the self-made identity they crafted for themselves in the meta-verse then you get into the D's mention this, the trans-humanism debate is on our doorstep committee can explain that it's a second the Amado day is about to encounter the Amado meta-in a world where every aspect of identity will be completely customizable, celebrating a received identity given by God to be his human image bears that's were given. God gives us. As you mentioned may with flesh and bone male and female for the cultivation of the world will be radically countercultural distal identify has God made you rather than what you create yourself to be so how is a Christian going to be able to interact in this new world of customizable identity, which is just inherently God rejecting to start with where you create your own identity, not the one God gave you. I think it's a great question and and I suppose future us will have to give us some advice on that. You know what I want to prepare my children for is exactly pretty straightforward.

I want them to embrace. First of all who they are as embodied people and if they're going to have an experience in the meta-verse which they most likely will and I most likely will we all probably most likely will I want them to think about. From an ethical perspective. Is it right look really nothing wrong with creating an avatar that doesn't look like you just for fun just just just to you know I enjoy and have a good time. There's this that's creative I don't I don't know there's a problem with that.

The problem becomes whenever I create an image of myself which I associate myself more with by the way, we were already facing this question on social media and the amount of people who post pictures on social media makes their life look perfect. You know, here's my family and I in everything we do is smiles and there's always leaves flying in the air and it's perfect and are are we wonderful. Are we amazing when the reality is that no one had a perfect family. No one has a perfect life you're projecting an image of yourself online, which is not true which is not authentic. I think Christians will have to face that which is saying you know if I want to follow Jesus, I'm good have to choose to be authentic and part of that looks like being true to the person that he's made me that if I do have to have a meta-verse version of me to interact with others. I'm going to make sure that it's not a lie. If I can present even further. I think were going to have to help a lot of people. This is going to escalate anxiety to whole whole whole new levels. There a lot of studies that show that the more options you have, the less happy you are in is if you give someone three options of candy and they pick wondering to be happier than if you gave them 20 options of candy me let them pick one. What happens when you're online and you have the infinite endless number of options of who you can be. Will the answer is I'm going to be less happy. The answers I'm going to be anxious because all of a sudden, instead of allowing God to create meaning God to define me. I have this godlike responsibility to define myself to create myself to project myself, and if people reject that people don't like that it will cut to the core of who we are. The church very well may end up being the last place that accepts you as you are not just as your projected another great segue to my next question on the church Patrick Miller with us today here on the Christian review, a pastor and co-author of the column were talking about how to prepare for the meta-verse is a pastor down to Missouri at the crossing.

We have him linked@ourwebsitethechristianreview.org is also a podcast or the name of the podcast is truth over tribe was talk about the church. Patrick you right in the column Henry Ford didn't set out to create mega churches thinking with the what's the connection there. But before the advent of the personal vehicle. Most Christian seeking a church faced a simple denominational decision duo you attend a Baptist method is present during Luther Catholic Church around the corner and basically down the street from your house now with a vehicle.

Christians can suddenly attend whichever church had the best children's ministry programming, youth activities and rock 'n' roll Sunday morning worship as long as it was within 10 to 30 minutes of driving. This wasn't the first time will be the last time technology change the church talk with the meta-verse year. But even as the pace of technological changes felt dizzying and exhausting for churches in recent years. You've only seen the tip of the digital iceberg. The real change which will truly transform our mental, spiritual and ecclesial landscapes is coming soon. The meta-verse now I I can just hear it now look to be hearing from evangelical church that redeeming the meta-verse is a gospel issue. I can just hear it already that you know we we need to redeem the culture. Now we need to redeem that the meta-verse can the church.

Patrick still be the church when the meta-verse arise because after all, the Bible defines church as the preaching of the word and accountability to the elders in that church in person fellowship in person communion prayer those things can't be done in virtual or augmented reality. What is this going to do to the church.

The question that is a pastor.

A lot of people face in the middle. The pandemic had it. What you do when when there is no month or two month or in some cases even longer months long walk down. How do you do communion. How do you know that so churches have already begun to face some of these questions and that's where I want to say again I want to be sober minded about what the future is and I also don't want to you notes say that the sky is falling, the reality is that in my opinion, that the church is what you described. It's always going to be a a local embodied group. It's always going to be the person you can sit next to you in the pew and senior day in day out life and pray with you when you're hurting and you can pray with them when they're hurting but that said, a lot of people are going to live their lives in the meta-verse and so I would frame less about can we have churches in the meta-verse begin to be meta-churches.

I would frame it more around the question of how do churches think in a mission or mindset in the meta-verse.

In other words, how do you reach people who the only way you will ever meet them you will ever talk to them as if you're willing to go inside of their meta-reality. That's a huge challenge. Our church is going to react when someone will probably refuse to ever visit their church to ever walk through those doors unless they can come and visit and some sort of meta-reality easily. Some of the questions that we have to face the rich can we create spaces to welcome in the.

The citizens of the meta-verse into our churches. They can meet Jesus and hear the gospel, but can we always make sure that it's taking them on a trajectory which brings them out of a digital only connection and brings them into a local physical connection with a local physical church. I don't know how will do that but again I just want to say were already facing this and me know what I'll be honest, I don't getting one comes to our church until they watch their church on the lifestream of a scene of a video service of a thing as a way most people are picking churches. Now that they're looking online before they ever come in person and so were always asking how can we help people to feel welcome have a big front door and then help them to take the next steps in take the next steps to actually become a part of our community. Patrick Miller with us today on the Christian worldview. Talking with the meta-verse just have one more question for you Patrick and read the last few paragraphs or last couple paragraphs of your column here is a link to our website.

The real you.org as disciples of Jesus you right we insist upon the goodness of our physical world and bodies Adams first most fundamental job was to cultivate a garden, Jesus called his calls his followers to care for the sick to visit the lonely, to lift up the downtrodden and steward the environment.

We know our virtual world created by publicly traded companies will never be more real or more important than the world God created and called very good The meta-verse will present us with the opportunity to experience glimpses of power that only God has the readiness of information will give us a glimpse of being omniscient because again things are going on a missed introduction you be able to travel all around the world in your in your glasses and in obese, so realistic you're gonna feel like you're in Jerusalem you're inferior in London and Paris wherever you want to go. You're gonna be able to go there virtually moving on the ability to create worlds and identities will give us a glimpse of being omnipotent. The conquering of geographic boundaries will allow us to be wherever we want to be at any given time approximating omnipresence as those mentioned to travel so omniscience and omnipotence, omnipresence, these are attributes of God the breaking down your right of the space time barriers as were able to travel back in time as well through virtual reality experiences will give us a glimpse of eternity are futuristic Tower of Babel is luring us in with promises of limitlessness final paragraph before the questions coming here what we can't predict all the ways the meta-verse will change us and I think you're right about that. We us have no idea how this is going to tell this is rollout. We know that Christian witness is always countercultural.

The meta-verse may promise godlike power and knowledge, but like all idols it will take more than it gives, despite its allure.

The meta-verse will ultimately point beyond itself to the transcendent king with a K whose words made non-virtual reality, a reality summit closer conversation to Patrick by just asking you the Francis Schaeffer question here. How, then, how now shall we live in this coming world and what what is your final word here for Christians listening or those who have not put their faith in Christ. What is your message to them as they hear about this meta-verse world coming in thinking what is this all about were living in a moment with secularism all around us that has disenchanted our world. We think that the only thing that exists in the world is this flat material world. Just the stuff that I can touch and there is no spiritual reality around us and with the meta-versus promising us is to re-enchant reality to give us a place where all of a sudden all the us spiritual longings that we have can be satisfied. They can be fulfilled.

We can become almost like God and of course it's not going to satisfy that word. It will always leave you hungry and of course that hunger that you have deep down if you have that hunger. It's for something you are hungry for a transcendent reality. You are hungry for one who is limitless. You are hungry to see the enchantment of the world that there's a spiritual reality all around us. You're hungry for purpose you're hungry for meaning in the meta-verse can't satisfy that only Jesus can satisfy that and so I think as we look at the meta-versus we look at these future possibilities.

We just have to remember were hungry for something. This isn't it. Only Jesus is that is so well said thank you for concluding our conversation on both a very interesting topic, but in a very, almost troubling is what this is going to do to to mankind and in individual souls as people get wrapped up in as you said earlier spend more of their life in a virtual world and they do in the real world as they enter this this world of the meta-verse Patrick Miller, thank you so much for coming on the Christian worldview radio program. Thank you for taking the time to really look into what this meta-verse is an in and really telling us about it so we can be prepared for it. As believers in the church as well.

All of God's best, and grace to you. Thanks so much for having me out to pray God's blessings be with you and your listeners while if you think social media has been harmful to people.

The meta-verse will be exponentially worse.

It's really man creating his own identity and reality. It's new technology with the same old motivation to get out from under the authority of God, but the meta-verse will not dethrone God and is only Satan's twisted scheme to turn people away from God. It will never satisfy because God created us to know and worship him. The greatest satisfaction and joy comes from being reconciled to God. In living for him in his reality.

According to the identity that he has given us so if you haven't been reconciled to God.

Repent of your sin. Put your faith and trust in the person of Jesus Christ and his work for you on the cross when he died for your sins and rose victoriously over sin and death and lived by Bible verses, not the metaphors technology may be changing. Remember that Jesus Christ and his word are the same yesterday and today and forever until next time think biblically live accordingly and stand firm.

The mission of the Christian worldview is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians claim the gospel of Jesus Christ. We hope today's broadcast encouraged. Toward that end here. Replaying today's program or to sign up for free weekly email to find out what must I do to be saved to your website Christian.org or call us toll-free at 1-888-646-2233 Christian worldview as a listener supported ministry and furnished by the overcoming foundation, a nonprofit organization can find out more water resources make a donation become a monthly partner and contact us by visiting the Christian worldview.org bowling toll-free 1-888-646-2233 writing to Box 401, Excelsior, MN 55331 Box 41, Excelsior, MN 55331. Thanks for listening to the Christian worldview. Until next time think biblically and live accordingly


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