Working title for a writing project I am chipping away at these days:

Presence in a Virtual Age: a sacramental theology you didn’t know you needed

I have to imagine that those who work towards developing or are in any way excited about the Metaverse have only ever watched the first five minutes of a Black Mirror episode.

All work email is officially blocked on all devices for the next eight days. One of the few true breaks from work in the year. Looking forward to it … especially _after_ the withdrawal dissipates.

> But a deeper question lurks beneath this debate: are these services making you a better or worse version of yourself?

On social media and character, by [Cal Newport.](

The Pagans said ‘Look’

> They said ‘_Vide_, look! How the love one another.’ They did not say, ‘_Aude_, listen to the Christians’ message’; they did not say ‘_Lege_, read what they write. Hearing and reading were important … But we must not miss the reality: the pagans said _look_!

Alan Kreider, _The Patient Ferment of the Early Church_

The Roman Empire was “(almost) infinitely tolerant” of a variety of religions. Christianity, on the other hand, is rooted in a historical and exclusive truth claim about Jesus of Nazareth. Faced with these two realities, Kreider asks “Why in such a world did Christianity attract converts?”

His answer is that, in part, it was the **embodied patience** of the Christians that made the faith attractive. Christian behavior—how they buried their dead, care for one another, the poor, and orphans—was “deeply unsettling” and yet eventually attractive to their pagan neighbors.