“Utopian Virtual Reality in Ready Player One: Responding with Real Hope and the Christian Teleos,” in Film, Philosophy and Religion ed. William Anderson (Wilmington, Delaware: Vernon Press, August 2021), 69-88; [$91].
This chapter provides a synopsis of virtual reality and attempts to understand the virtual world in Ready Player One (RPO) called OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation). It explores utopian ideals and hope based on the quest of the film and why these must fail in human terms. The chapter also provides theological reflections and offers real Eschatological Hope through Digital Theology and the Teleos of the Kingdom of God based on the Living Creator and Savior God.
KEYWORDS: Avatar, Deism, Digital Theology, Eschatological Hope, God is Dead, Kingdom of God, Nietzsche, Ready Player One, Teleos, Virtual Reality, Virtual World
A Southern Baptist Story in the Philippines: The Life and Ministry of Henry P. Silbor, 1938-2010, TALA Kasaysayan: An Online Journal of History 4:1 (June 2021), 46-77
This paper offers a biographical work of Henry P. Silbor (1938-2010), a fine portrait of a Filipino Southern Baptist pastor. Silbor was one of the driving forces towards the “Filipinization” of the Southern Baptist denomination—both convention and seminary level—in the Philippines during the late twentieth century. Moreover, the paper explores the historical narratives of two Baptist groups that arrived in the Philippines—the American Baptist in 1900, and the Southern Baptist in 1948, which are both significant in the study.
This exploration sets the backdrop for Silbor’s ministry. Towards Filipinization, Silbor advocated for Filipino leadership in the Luzon Convention of Southern Baptist Churches (LCSBC). Unfortunately, the missionaries turned over the leadership of the convention, later including the seminaries, to the Filipinos then departed the Philippines. This transfer of leadership was not the ideal Filipinization for Silbor; preferably, he thought of working alongside the missionaries and not being left behind. To this challenge, Silbor called for serious pastoral equipping, church discipleship, sending missionaries, and theological training even during his last years.
KEYWORDS: Philippine Baptist History; Filipino Southern Baptist; Baptist Filipinization; Southern Baptist in the Philippines
“Is Virtual Baptism a ‘Real’ Baptism?” in Technology and Theology ed. William Anderson (Wilmington, DE: Vernon Press, August 2020), 149-167; [$64].
Virtual baptism is a new mode of baptism that is both immersive and interactive. This chapter will present the essence and relevance of technology, virtual reality, and digital culture in Christianity and its ordinance of baptism. In the first part, I will trace the historical roots of the meaning of believer’s baptism, its mode, and the development of its theological meaning. The second part will describe the church in the virtual world, techno-culture society, and virtual reality. The third part will discuss the integration of virtual reality as immersion applied to believer’s baptism. I will argue that virtual baptism is a viable, valid mode of baptism both theologically sound and culturally relevant.
KEYWORDS: Baptism, E-Baptism, Immersion, Tecno-Culture, Virtual Reality, Virtual World