Monday, October 10, 2011

The Next Story - #1

The Next Story, Tim Challies
Chapter 1: Discerning Technology

Technology is a creative ability given to us by God. There is good in it. However, like anything good, it can also be used for evil.

“It is not the technology itself that is good or evil, it is the human application of that technology” (Ch 1) eg. the same technology that can operate on babies in utero, can also be used to abort them.

Challies suggests 3 key ideas:
  1. Technology is a good God-given gift
  2. Like everything, technology is subject to the curse. Often our technologies become idols and compound our sinful rebellion.
  3. It is the human application of technology that helps us to determine if is used to honour God or further human sin. We must assess its intended use, our use of it and thinking about these purposes in light of Scripture.

He goes on to talk about how technology often becomes an idol, or an enabler of our idolatry. We can idolise the technology itself – always wanting the latest and greatest thing. Or, more often, the technology enables our idolatry. If we idolise pleasure and the human body – technology provides readily available pornography to help us. If we long for more possessions, the ease of online shopping and auctions feed that desire.

Can technology itself be an idol for you, or does it enable other idolatry in your life?

He introduces the idea of ‘mythic’ technology. Once technology becomes ‘mythic’, it is presumed always to have existed and to be essential. These days, for most people, the mobile phone has become mythic technology. Many young people cannot conceive of life without a mobile phone, and as far as they are concerned, everyone has always had one.

His warning is: once a technology become mythic, we no longer ask critical questions of it. We assume we have to adapt and change to include this technology into our lives,rather than asking – do we need it, is it necessary, what does it help and what does it make worse?

Which technology is mythic for you? Mobile phone? Facebook? Permanent internet connection?

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