Technology: The Next Story

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.”

The Next Story is available here from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.

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.

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3 thoughts on “Technology: The Next Story

  1. Hi Tim

    Not sure if you get the time to read these comments but just thought I’d have a go at some constructive feedback on “You Can Change”.

    First up, I love this book. I’m reading it for the second time with my staff team at Southern Cross Presbyterian Church, Lismore Australia (first time was with my wife) and so I’m onto my second change project – becoming more thankful.

    But now that I’m reading it with others, I’m noticing that some (and none of them unintelligent people) seem to be struggling with the length of some of the chapters. In short (pardon the pun), I wonder whether others might too and whether the next edition might be restructured to accommodate those who are perhaps less used to ploughing through large slabs. I realise I have no idea how much work this would require and may be completely unrealistic, but just thought I’d pose the question as someone who really appreciates your ministry and wants to see it be as fruitful as possible.

    Thanks for your efforts

    Pete

  2. Tim, I wholeheartedly agree with your plea for a “more sophisticated approach.” Our Lord regenerates the whole person when they are saved. As His children (even with the on-going influence of sin at work), we should have the confidence – and humility – to demonstrate some mental and emotional dexterity when we consider issues such as the impact of technology in the age in which we live.

    I was also interested to read your response previously, where you said you didn’t want to live in an entirely sobre world. I do agree. However, my insticnt is that it would be good to live in a slightly more sobre, and less trivial environment. Perhaps that is the heart of the issue when we consider our use of technology and so on. That is, how do we discren that which is good and that which is potentially harmful (however trivial or light-hearted it may seem).

  3. Thanks for the feedback on You Can Change. Dividing the chapters would wreck the ten question structure. I’m not sure I could come up with a twenty question structure – it took me long enough to formulate the ten questions! I’m not sure you can simply stop at a section break half way through a chapter. Regards, Tim

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