Camden Theological Library

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Friending : Real Relationships in a Virtual World

Posted on 17 December 2012 Gavin Glenn

What is a friend?

Lynne Baab asked that question as she left the comfort of her home in Seattle, with the scores of relationships she'd built there, and moved to the other side of the world. Would her existing friendships survive her relocation to New Zealand? What shape would her new relationships take?

The notion of friendship is under broad review. A highly mobile and increasingly busy society - rootless, some might argue - means that most of our relationships can't depend solely on face-to-face contact to flourish. In the virtual landscape the language of friendship has been co-opted to describe relationships ranging from intimate to practically meaningless. We have to become fluent in ever-expanding relational technologies just to keep up. It's never been easy to be a friend, but it seems to be getting tougher by the nanosecond.

In Friending, Lynne collects the insights, hopes and regrets of people from across the spectrum of age and life circumstances, and syncs them up with the wisdom of the Bible, which itself tells the story of a God who calls us his friends

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