Following the interest sparked by my recent blog post on the way some modern technology flattens communication and encourages us to consume the news as entertainment in a passive way, I’m delighted to recommend The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion. The Next Story is the latest book from Tim Challies and is published by Zondervan in April. As Tim is best known as a blogger, he is clearly pro-technology and the book reflects this. But he’s also alert to its dangers. Here’s the endorsement I wrote for the book:
”We all marvel at the rapid technological advances that have taken place in our lifetime. But few of us stop to reflect on the profound way these changes are shaping what it means to be human. The Next Story is a great place to start. It moves beyond warnings simply to be careful what we see (important though these are) to explore how the medium of new technology affects how we know God, relate to other people and even how we think. Instead of simplistic rules or proof texts, it offers a penetrating analysis of the modern world in the light of the biblical story together with practical principles that will enable you to ensure technology is your tool and not your master.”
By the way, some people who read my recent post seemed to assume that because I highlighted a danger with Twitter I was thereby dismissing it as a medium and therefore leapt to its (or their own?) defence! This, though, assumes that a technology (or any other cultural artifact for that matter) is something you’re either all for or all against. We need a more sophisticated approach. Human beings are made in God’s image, but that image is now corrupted by sin. This means that our cultural, scientific, artistic and technological endeavours are all shot through with both good and bad. They both reflect our image-bearing in certain ways and at the same time reflect our selfishness and self-glorying in other ways. They both reflect God’s revelation in creation and twist that revelation into idolatrous forms. So we cannot put technologies in an ‘all good’ box, nor in an ‘all bad’ box.