A Theology of Technology | (Part 1) Editor|-Pastor R.E. Martinez
The Pastor may use an iPad for his notes during the preaching. The Music Director may use side screens on the auditorium wall during the Sunday morning song leading. The Youth Pastor undoubtedly uses a vast array of digital technology when ministering to young people, as he sees that teenagers thrive and live in the arena of digital technology.
There are countless ways in which we utilize digital technology. It has nearly become a linchpin to life. Without it people become at a loss and they almost feel useless or unable to function. Life is technology. Because of this, now more than ever, it is important that we as Christians learn to balance our lives specifically in this area of digital technology.
Some may say that God never addresses this area of life, i.e. technology. I could not disagree more.
In fact, God's word covers all areas of life, including technology. God's word is a broad brush, leading and guiding often in principles, commands, words of wisdom and most importantly through the Holy Spirit's leading, conviction, and "guiding into all truth." (John 16:13)
We find in (2 Peter 1:3), "According as his diving power hath given unto us ALL THINGS THAT PERTAIN UNTO LIFE and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue."
We have all heard people say something like this: "Show me in the bible where God says we should not..." (Fill in the blank). And of course this is a faulty defense as it dismisses the reality of biblical principles and sound wisdom found in God's word that is there to help us discern and determine what is right or wrong for us. God has given us EVERYTHING WE NEED that pertains to this life! This by nature must include the area of technology.
We also find in (1 Corinthians 10:31), "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or WHATSOEVER YE DO, do ALL to the glory of God." Again, God broad brushes life with the mandate of doing all to the glory of God! Whatsoever we do is exactly that: whatsoever we do! Yes, God does cover this area of digital technology.
I want to point out the first of 3 things concerning this idea of A Theology of Technology:
1. The Profit of Digital Technology -- There are definite blessings that come with DT (digital technology). We can and should profit from DT in certain areas. It is amazing to know that we can glorify God in the area of DT. Digital technology! As in any other area of our lives, we can and should line up with the constant desire to please, honor and glorify the God who is the ultimate inventor of technology. What are some of the profits or blessings of technology?
A. The Digital delivery of the Gospel of Christ.
Now more than ever the glorious gospel of Christ is being digitally published to an entire world without Christ! Live Streaming, Podcasts, Social Media are all mediums in which the gospel is being rapidly digitally delivered. This is indeed eternally profitable as countless lives are coming to Christ daily because of the reality of DT. This does not however relieve us of our duty and call to deliver the gospel to those around us through "personal soul winning."
B. We are more connected to those around us.
Despite geographical boundaries or differences in time zones, we are now, more than ever, connected to those who are dear to our hearts and lives. Social media has absolutely revolutionized the way that we stay up-to-date with family and friends. Where we once had to take time off of work, save up some money, and plan some time to take a trip across the country to see loved ones, we can now at anytime we feel and at the swipe of a finger keep in touch through the reality of FaceTime, Skype and other forms of video digital technologies. Life as we know it is hyperlinked.
C. We have the best human inventions in our pockets!
Ok so when was the last time you picked up a map from the local visitor center, or printed off an online map from MapQuest.com? Point made. We have most of life's greatest inventions in one single device: The smartphone. We have our maps, camera, calendar, calculator, encyclopedia, TV, photo album, music player, weather, news, video games, and yes our telephone right in our hands. This is indeed a benefit of DT as it keeps us from going mad by actually carrying all these things physically! We no longer have to juggle around looking for these things as we head out the door. We just simply look for our smartphone and begin the day, it is all there, ready for our use.
Indeed there are many blessings that come from DT. For those of us who use it, we have to admit this. We commend those who have developed these devices and other forms of technology that have brought many blessings to the table of life. We can definitely profit from them in many ways. We can use these things to the glory of God! It is possible! When we utilize technology for God's glory I firmly believe that we are doing what God created us to do: glorify him in whatsoever we do!
However, it is also possible to use digital technology in wrong ways, and against God's glory. We can use them for our own glory and selfish purposes.
In Part 2, I will cover "The Pitfalls of Digital Technology."
-Pastor Martinez | For The Work