Before reading this book I had no real awareness of the virtual church world that exists online. My assumption was that the virtual church was made up of various church websites and presence on social media sites. Estes provides this helpful statement and definition of what is and what is not a virtual church.
"A virtual church is not a website (building or place), a podcast (ritualized institution), or a blog (fellowship or activity). A virtual church is a place where people professing to have faith in Jesus Christ gather regularly to be in meaningful community appointed to build up the kingdom -- or more specifically, a virtual church is the confessing people gathering in a synthetic world."
The key words in Estes' definition are "meaningful community". Can Christians gather in an online, virtual world and truly find meaningful community in such a way that it not only mirrors the real-world church, but that it actually possess all of the necessary marks of a healthy church.
Estes says about his book that in writing it he expects that it will raise more questions than it will answer. In reading this book I found myself pondering some of those questions, trying to arrive at what I would consider to be a helpful answer. Fortunately for me I had an opportunity as a part of this blog tour to ask the author a question about his work.