I have been chewing my way through this Leonard Sweet book. It has been a chore. And I wish I knew why.
The book hits on the subject of generational shift. The previous generation that Sweet calls "Gutenbergers" and the contemporary generation, "Googlers". As you can guess from the naming, it is the difference of the age of reason and the age of technology.
Sweet wants to point out the strength of both as well as potential character flaws that have relevance for the Church. But the book hits the Gutenbergers hardest. Sweet has adopted the Googler generation for his own and wants to drag the rest of his native generation forward.
Perhaps that is my greatest complaint and why I struggled with this book so much. I am someone is native in both worlds (see the title of my blog: Postmodern Renaissance Pastor). I am just as comfortable in the logical, objective culture of the past as I am with the technology driven, passion-fueled generation that is developing. I don't see a reason to draw the distinctions or to force the differences into the light.
But I am just as guilty of it on a weekly basis.
Viral refers to the natural networking relational style of the Googlers. And that is a boon for the Church. We can get back to "infecting" people with the Gospel. We can bring those we come into contact with into contact with the Living Word. It isn't forced. It is organic and natural.
And while I may have struggled through the book (twice), it is not because it is a bad book. Sweet is calling us to change our culture in order to effectively share the Good News in a new and developing world.