Published on March 28, 2009
How Bible Technology Shapes Our Faith
Before you skewer me :)
Director of Web Development at Dallas Seminary
• Technology and Society • Mediums and Messages • Bible and Technology
Good Bad Neutral “It’s just how you use it”
Phone = neutral Call your friend = Good Call in bomb threat = Bad
How many phone numbers do you know by memory?
Phone = morally neutral Phone ≠ effectively neutral
• Know fewer numbers – Effect on the mind • Constantly accessible – Effects on relationships
Cars = neutral Drive to church = Good Drive over a person = Bad
Car ≠ neutral • Blacksmiths • Requires roads & laws • Connects/separates
It’s just how you use it Actually, it’s that we use it Technology is not neutral
Every medium has the capacity to communicate regardless of its content.
I am awesum at PowerPoint
Humble yourself before the Lord and don’t bring attention to yourself.
• Genre – Poetry, Narrative, Apocalypse, etc. • Medium – Talking Donkey – Burning Bush – God in the Flesh
• What does __ extend? • What does __ make obsolete? • What does __ retrieve? • What does __ reverse into?
2000 B.C. to A.D. 2000 in 25 minutes
Oral Written Printed Digitized Adam-1500BC 1500BC-AD1500 AD1500-AD1980 AD1980-present
Oral The community is the device
Written • More consistent • Costly – Communal
Written man 男 woman 女
Written • From 1500B.C. to A.D.1500 – Preaching – Hearing – Memorizing • Images and Icons
Print • Exactness • Mass Distribution • Reference/Footnotes • Chapter and Verse Numbers
Print • Extends: communication, storage • Obsoletes: communal/written knowledge, church authority • Retrieves: access to truth • Reverses Into: individualism
Print • Authority shifted from the Church to the individual • Personal Bible study, individual faith • Faith is logical, not emotional • Think in verses, not books
Print Digital • Photograph • Computer/Internet
Print Digital The boys are hungry
• Fast • Passive • Trivial/Entertaining • Story vs. logic
Digital • Information/Scanning • Multi-tasking • Decontextual Language
Digital I worry that the level of interrupt, the sort of overwhelming rapidity of information — and especially of stressful information — is in fact affecting cognition. It is in fact affecting deeper thinking. I still believe that sitting down and reading a book is the best way to really learn something. And I worry that we’re losing that. Google CEO Eric Schmidt
Digital • Increased Access • Cheap/Free • Links to other information
Digital • Bible as information • Bible as search – John 3:16 – Romans 5:8 • Tools can reverse into crutches, stifle learning
• Reject “The mediums change, but the message is the same.” • Read scripture aloud, in community, without PowerPoint • Reduce information, read and memorize large chunks
• Reduce multi-tasking • Create alternate experiences of the Bible • Offer recommendations, not data dumps • Minimize helps
Email: email@example.com Code: johndyer.name Theo/Tech: donteatthefruit.com
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