We Need a Theology of Technology

The Gospel Coalition | 11/19/2018 | Staff
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Earlier this month, Judah Smith announced the launch of Churchome Global. The newest location of his multisite megachurch is the phone in your pocket. Unlike traditional church apps offering messages and information, Churchome Global features tabs for forming online community groups, giving to global causes, and meeting others pre-service in a virtual lobby. With the prayer tab you can place two fingers on the screen to signal you’re praying for a specific request in real time. Smith’s original tweet received more than 250 comments, many critical of this “new way to church.”

These debates over how and why to appropriate new technology aren’t new. The printing press, electricity, and the web have helped the gospel to spread internationally. Yet many fear the internet in particular poses a threat to incarnational ministry. One critic asked which button dispenses holy communion.

Technology - Soul - Conscience - Possibilities - Ground

Technology can either excite the soul or frighten the conscience with its seemingly endless possibilities. We need to find the middle ground between embracing and disregarding. First, we must understand what technology is and isn’t. Second, we must ask how the Word compels us to respond.

Technology is not the root of all evil. Just as we can use money for both selfless and selfish ends, new ways to communicate and interact have no moral value in and of themselves. Technology contains the potential energy for both hope and horror, but we provide the kinetic.

Advances - Types - Convenience

Technological advances often seek to provide three types of convenience:

1. Technology makes commerce convenient.

Vehicles - Money - Hands - Venmo - Vanguard

Whether it’s robots assembling vehicles, money changing hands via Venmo or Vanguard, or blockchain currencies taking the market by storm, technology makes markets more efficient. This can reduce barriers to entry, increase competition, and help consumers enjoy a better quality of life. It also can displace workers and result in fraud.

2. Technology makes commuting convenient.

Automotive - Air

Automotive and air...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Gospel Coalition
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