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A Theological Reflection On Technology and The Digital Age

February 26, 2016

We live in a time of increasing technological advancement in every area of life and culture. So often the spirit of any discussion on digital expansion is “Can we? or How can we?” and almost never “Should we? or what are the unintended consequences of this new technology? In his book, iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives by Craig Detweiler (2013, Brazos) this Pepperdine University professor of communication and Fuller Seminary graduate presents the most readable and reflective discussion about the intersection of Theology and “screens” in our lives that I have read. The book begins by defining technology and integrating that definition in to history,culture and the Biblical narrative. Then apart from brief but helpful explorations into the history of the internet and social media the remainder of the book explores how modern developers/marketers of products/tools to amplify and meet the most basis of human needs that in past generations would have been the province of God. Apple is the tool for the human drive to create beauty and utility, Amazon creates the ability to facilitate human commerce and secure the acquisition of basic human goods to meet basic human needs and wants. Google provides the ability to search, learn, organize and interact with information and ideas. Facebook facilitates the ability for the expansion and pursuit of human relationship and interconnection. Youtube, Twitter and Instigram as social media allow for the ability to “broadcast yourself” and participate and share experiences and feelings with the broader culture and even world. These juggernauts of the digital landscape serve as a spring board for exploring the research on the impact of these technologies on individules and societies as well as Theological implications and ramifications of these practices and trends. The process of thoughtful discernment about technology and spirituality is the responsibility of every Christ-follower. I am thankful to have this faithful well written guide book to help us in that ongoing endeavor. This book will enter the CCU curriculum as required reading very soon.

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