I believe technology to be a very powerful and important tool for the Church, but as Christians we must also be careful of how and what we embrace in regards to technology. That in the process we don’t become slaves to its means, but rather that we use technology as a transformative and redemptive agent for God’s Kingdom.
Recently I have been having more and more conversations with my friend Wess Daniels, whom I know from Fuller, and who I would on occasion meet up with to grab coffee as we pushed our daughters through Pasadena in their strollers.
Wess is an important and much needed voice in the way of technology and the Church. We are working on developing some online conversations in this area, but in the meantime, please read his article:
If both the church and technology can be understood as potentially opposing powerful-practices how ought the church interact with technology? The first option is to treat technology as a commodity. We embrace as consumers whatever the latest and greatest gadget is in the name of utility and relevance; utility because it can help bring people in, relevance because irrelevance is the single greatest fear for the church-as-a-people-of commodity. Second, the church can seek to manage technology and keep it under control. The problem with both these options is that they do not recognize the implications of technology as a power and will themselves be reconfigured for the ends necessary of what we could half-jokingly call the imago tech rather than the imago Dei.
The third possibility is avoidance and/or ignorance. In either case this view operates under fallacy that we can remain untouched by “culture” and that maintaining group identity through isolation is the way forward. This is a reversal of the first view. The strength of this position is that it recognizes the power of technology but does not discern technology as an institution. If technology is an institution, a powerful-practice, it is in the air we breathe, we cannot escape its broad-sweep. The final option is to parry technology through participating in it but reorder it under the reign of God. This group acknowledges the universality of technology within the world, but resists its tendencies to reconfigure and dominate life under its particular ends. In one way, you might say this group remains indifferent in their attitude towards technology. They resist through engaging with technology but in a manner that rejects its own end goal and instead joins up with God’s redemptive work within the system.