Thursday, August 4, 2011
Our Technology Has Gotten Ahead of Us
The changing choices of reproductive technology, of prolonging life through mechanical devices, of social networking and communication, and a host of other things have left the Church playing catch up. We are behind the curve in understanding and utilizing this technology in work and life of the Church. We are behind the curve in understanding and addressing the consequences of technology upon the Church and the Christian. We are behind the curve in understanding and evaluating the impact of technological change upon worship and Christian education. In general we tend to follow fairly blindly until confronted with the jarring consequences of these changes.
I do not think we can afford to wait too long to understand and address the impact of such technological change upon the Christian and the Church. We have more time to jump on the bandwagon and incorporate these technological changes into our life and work as the Church (neither the chancel nor the Sunday school room must be imprisoned to every new device or obligated to use video or PowerPoint or keep up with every Facebook fad). We are late in speaking to the impact of such technological change upon conception, the prevention of conception, and the destruction of the life already conceived. We are lagging way behind trying to catch up to what this technology has done to our values and the values of our children.
I am no Luddite but neither am I convinced that new is always good or better. It seems to me that much of the technological change has resulted in growing isolation of people. At the very moment we long to be most connected, we find ourselves with ear buds plugged into our I-Pods listening to music alone, checking our email, updating our Facebook page, alone in our rooms, offices, cars, and walking down the street. Technology has only enhanced our sense of self and further weakened our sense of community. This is surely not good news for a Gospel which promises and provides the ultimate community in terms of our relationship to God in Christ and to one another through Him.