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Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival
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Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  101 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The gospel is nothing without relationship. And no one gets it like the Google Generation.

God came to earth to invite us, personally, into a relationship. And while Christians at times downplay relationships, the social-media generation is completely sold on the idea. In Viral, Leonard Sweet says Christians need to learn about connecting with others from the experts—those
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by WaterBrook Press
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Brenten Gilbert
It might just be me, but sometimes, when I’m reading a book, I feel like reaching through the pages and throttling the author. Or, perhaps something less violent, like shouting my arguments and wrestling in a debate akin to one of the many sports talk shows I frequently watch. Such is how I feel when I read books like Viral.

It may be simply that Sweet comes across as arrogant by insisting to use words that cost significantly more than necessary. Or perhaps it’s less personal. Perhaps my angst is
Viral by Leonard Sweet is jam packed with quotes, thoughts, examples, and references as the author muses for page after page about where we've been and where we're going. The book overall is optimistic about the prospects of making authentic connections and relationship through online social media. It also argues that social media is part of the force changing the way people relate to knowledge, information, ideas, and the Gospel. The view here is one of transition, necessary transition. There i ...more
Gail Welborn
‘Viral,’ by Leonard Sweet, Waterbrook Press, 2012, 240 Pages, ISBN-13: 978-0307459152,

Leonard Sweet’s new book, “Viral” is all about the digital age of technology and how the virtual world of connectivity and relationships of social media relate to the gospel. Although written by a George Fox University professor, the content is entertaining, with well-developed ideas, and is easy to read and understand.

Sweet begins by describing two tribes of people, “Googlers,” who feel “…most at home in
Steven Gagne
Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival was my first introduction to Dr. Leonard Sweet, and man was a I blown away!

In this book, Sweet works on breaking down two main topics and explains their impact on culture, relationships and communication; and then relates that information to how it has affected the spread of the Gospel. The first topic is that of the two generations we see in USAmerica—”Gutenberger” and “Googler”— and weaves the comparison of these generations through each
Marcus Lynn
I hope Leonard Sweet lives a long, long time. But when his time is up and they erect a stone on the spot of his burial site, it needs to read, “He put Christ first. And he made everyone think!” His observations are always insightful even if I don’t always agree with his conclusions.

In his latest book, Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival, Sweet does a service to everyone in church leadership who struggles with where new technology is taking us. I’m an early adopter, but never
A couple of years ago a co-worker of mine came back from a conference and quoted Len Sweet as saying, "The question is not whether or not Jesus would tweet, the question is how he would tweet." I was curious but remained unconvinced. Technology comes with a whole set of issues and where I have connected most with Christ has been when I have unplugged (rather than from some 140-characters-long-message). Then a year ago, a friend and professor of mine, John G. Stackhouse, Jr. came back from an `Ad ...more
A discussion of current Internet trends and their possible impact on Christianity, the church, and evangelism in the future.

The author seeks to understand the impact of current Internet trends through the prism of the contrast between those whom he calls "Gutenbergers," those who feel at home in the culture sustained by books, modernism, and all that is able to be quantified and analyzed, and the "Googlers," those who feel at home in the culture sustained by social media, postmodernism, and all
Jul 15, 2012 Jan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: pnacl

Leonard Sweet, PhD, is one of the leading cultural observer, and has written many wise and provocative books challenging the thinking of Christians across the world. If you have tried to figure out what makes our youngest iPhone generation be so tied to their facebook and texting, you have to read this book. It won't supply the answers to how they think but it will help explain how you might be able to get the Christian message to them.

Are you a Googler or Gutenberger? I find I am half and half
Change is an absolute as is the human need for connection. One happens externally, the other is hard-wired inside of us. In his book Viral, Leonard Sweet examines both dynamics as they operate in the world around us.

At first glance I thought this book’s goal would be to guide churches in utilizing technology for revival. As I began to read I then thought the goal would be to assist “Gutenbergs” and “Googlers” to understand each other and coexist. What I found was a work that transcended my initi
There are two disclaimers that I have to put at the beginning of this review.

The first is an official one. I received this book free for review from Blogging for Books by WaterBrook Multnomah. This does not mean that the review has to be favorable, so the review is my honest opinion, but I do have to notify that it was a review copy. Consider yourself notified.

The second is unofficial. I am a huge fan of Leonard Sweet's books. I have read almost every single one of his books, so the fact that th
Cameron Rebarchek
Leonard Sweet has a way with words; he seems to have the appropriate quote and the perfect illustration for a point. His imagery causes you to read and reread the sentence again until it sticks with you. In his book “Viral,” Sweet analyzes two different cultures–Gutenbergers and Googlers–and how they react and work with words and technology. His main address, actually, is to shift the Church into the Googler culture, to embrace technology and social media rather than shun it and run away. Throug ...more
Tim Hingston
I very much enjoyed this frank discussion about some of the differences between Gutenbergers and Googlers. I do find some of the definitions, by necessity, a little too absolute. Like most things, when we think that we or others are at the extremes of the pendulum swing, we forget that the pendulum spends more time in transition between the extremes than at either end.

This is a challenge to get to the root of our faith and its practice. If we can reflect on what is truly necessary, and understan
An incredible work by one of the most futuristic Christian authors of our time. When I started the book, I was under the assumption that this work would be readable only once because of the specific technologies that Sweet centers his ideas around: Twitter, Google, iPhone and Facebook.

Fortunately, Sweets uses one well-constructed analogy (and "narraphor," as he calls them) after another to transcend simplistic, unoriginal ideas like how-to's on technology and what-would-Jesus-do methodologies.
Sam Grottenberg
Well written discussion of how the current trends in web culture and social media are having a dramatic impact on our understanding of church and following Jesus. I appreciate Sweet's willingness to "go there" about this topic, in a time when many Christian leaders are throwing technology under the bus.

Sweet asserts that the Gospel is going "viral" as a way of life, because of social media. I couldn't agree more, and I'm excited and privileged to be able to explore what the implications are for
Chris Giovagnoni
A star-struck love letter from a digital immigrant to the digital natives he believes are the hope of the Body of Christ. A treatise on all that is right with Millennials and all that is wrong with Gen Xers and Boomers. An infatuated apologetic on social media filled with inventive metaphors and analogies, deliciously quotable and tweetable but at times over reaching. Assertively written. Entertaining. Thought provoking. Wandering. Ultimately a book proclaiming what is obvious to some, feared by ...more
This is now the second Leonard Sweet book I have read. I hope he is a better speaker than he is an author. He manages to say a lot without saying much. There were lots of things that did not connect, and implications that maybe he saw as obvious and expected readers to find. Maybe it's me, but I'm not the only one who thinks his books are overrated.
Rachel Blom
I guess I'm just not a Leonard Sweet fan. People keep raving about this book, but I thought it was okay, definitely not great. The premise piqued my interest, but there was too much generalization and too little 'fact' to keep me hooked. For a extended review, see here:
Wonderful compare and contrast of Gutenbergers (those who persist in modernism) and Googlers (those who are native or stretch into the wired culture). A look at what each brings to the conversation of faith, and why we need more of the latter, not less. Bonus: a whole chapter on the importance of poetry!
Challenging, somewhat wordy, and full of great verbal illustrations. Not the easiest read, but extremely important for those who want to understand how social networking impacts the church.
Good stuff. If you are at all wondering how some of the generations mesh with the technology shifts and what that means for the church. This is a good one to digest.

a helpful and practical book on the use and importance of social media today.
Ron Blake
I loved this book!
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Leonard I. Sweet is an author, preacher, scholar, and ordained United Methodist clergyman currently serving as the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew Theological School, in Madison, New Jersey; and a Visiting Distinguished Professor at George Fox University in Portland, Oregon.
More about Leonard Sweet...
Jesus Manifesto The Gospel According to Starbucks: Living with a Grande Passion Jesus: A Theography Soultsunami: Sink or Swim in New Millennium Culture I Am a Follower: The Way, Truth, and Life of Following Jesus

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“Can you imagine doing ministry the last five hundred years and getting away with ‘Sorry, I don’t do books’? Can you imagine doing ministry in the next five years and getting away with ‘Sorry, I don’t do Facebook’?” 6 likes
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