I’ve had a nagging sense of a problem for the last couple of years. As I try to detect when it started, I think it began as my relationship with Rachel, my wife, started to get serious. It had nothing to do with her, but more to do with the way that I thought about life. As a single man, usually the furthest I would ever think into the future would be about a potential girl to marry. But as we got serious, my mind started wandering into the future – sometimes decades into the future. How would I love and take care of a family? If I had kids, how will they survive in the world we create for them? How will future technology impact their lives? This got me thinking about how much technology has already changed our lives, and how many of us have let technology consume a large portion of it.
“If it’s like this now,” I would think, “what will be like in, say twenty years?” This topic has caused me a lot of anxiety. I started to look for answers but found them elusive. I started to wonder how technology impacts my faith, but it didn’t seem like I could find many people who had a strong grasp on the subject. So, I started reading anything I could find on the topic of faith and technology.
There are some who see the challenges created by technology and want to avoid the latest innovations. Most of us, however, are on the other side of the spectrum. We experience the excitement of the latest devices and blindly embrace them without giving them much thought. I’m convinced there has to be a better way. There has to be a way to accept these obvious technological blessings, while not falling into traps created by them.
In The Next Story, Tim Challies asks, “Is there a way to live virtuously, immersed in this strange new digital reality?” I remember reading that and chuckling, because the notion that we could live virtuously with our technology seemed ridiculous to me. I had never heard of the idea and, honestly, I’m not sure I had any idea what that would look like.
As I continued reading, Challies asked more questions, “Am I giving up control of my life? Is it possible that these technologies are changing me? Am I becoming a tool of the very tools that are supposed to serve me? Why does it so often feel like we are slaves to our technology?”
No matter how much any of us love the latest technologies, we all have times where we wonder what it’s doing to us. However, I think most of us have no idea what to do about it, so we try not to think about it.
The church, as a whole, doesn’t seem to give technology much thought. We rarely talk about how to live faithfully in our current technology-saturated world. But technology is everywhere, and it affects nearly everything we do in life. Not only that, but its prevalence will undoubtedly increase.
In a series of eight weekly posts, I will examine various aspects of the relationship between technology, life, and faith: How does technology impact our lives? How does it change us? Why are we drawn to technology? And, of course, what can we do about it?
In this study, I will be referencing the books listed below. If you are interested in doing some reading on your own, I’d recommend starting at the top of this list and working your way down.