Technology: Help or Hindrance to Christian Living?

2 comments Written on March 16th, 2012 by
Categories: Alumni, Faculty, General

Last Thursday in chapel, a moderated Staff and Faculty Panel discussed the issue of technology and how it effects our lives. For a modern student body that uses text messaging, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube as naturally as they would use their own limbs, the ideas presented were challenging thought-provoking.

Things to Ponder

Here are a few of the ideas and questions presented by members of the panel.

  • For good or evil, technology is the means by which we change the world. We reflect the image of God when we shape our culture.
  • A positive aspect of using technology is that it makes a way for relationship that would not have been possible without the use of social media. A negative aspect of using technology is that if we didn't have it, I would think that my wife is the most beautiful woman in the world.
  • Facebook encourages intimacy, and I don't believe we are called to intimacy with every one in our social circle.
  • Is this something I should dwell on (Philippians 4:8) ? Is this enforcing my passivity or enhancing my actions?
  • Does it master me?
  • What is its primary use? (Exercise, Entertainment, Study, Communication, etc.) Are these uses contribuing to my ability to live out my relationships with others and, more importantly, how does it affect my relationship with God?
  • Every gift comes at a cost. What am I giving up for the gift of Technology? Time/Money/Energy?
  • Technology is sold to us as 'Utopian'. It makes your life better. But every Utopian offer compromises the ultimate Utopian Gift, and I don't want to trade down.

Your Thoughts?

Chances are you've thought about the issue of technology and its effect on the Church and individuals. Maybe one of the thoughts or questions presented here have you thinking. Either way, we're interested to hear what you think! What are your thoughts on the matter?

Listen to the Panel Discussion

The audio recording is available online, so check it out for yourself!

Members of the Panel

The discussion panel was comprised of Professor Stan Campbell, Counselor Lisa Wold, Dr. Debbie Miller, Dr. Ray Lubeck, Dr. Rob Hildebrand, with Professor Karen Fancher acting as discussion facilitator.

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Senior Alumni Relations Coordinator

2 comments “Technology: Help or Hindrance to Christian Living?”

As one who works in an IT department, I would remind people that technology is just a tool, a tool that will pass away. Heaven and earth will pass away, but not Jesus’ words. This shows us what is really important for Christian living.

I appreciate your earnest considerations of the many and varied technologies that we as Christians utilize on a daily basis by discussing this topic “Technology: Help or Hindrance to Christian Living?”.

I have been involved in technology in one way or another while living here in Silicon Valley. This topic is of utmost interest to me. While at Multnomah I did a study and wrote a paper on the Christian’s Biblical view of the Media. (The internet was just then in it’s infancy.)

The N.T. Koine Greek word “tekhnēs”, a cognate to ‘technology’ is found in Acts 17: 29 which reads ” Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.” ESV The Greek word “tekhnēs” is translated by the english word art -ESV, NASB, NKJV, KJV, and skill-NET Bible’.

Webster’s Dictionary: Technnology: ORIGIN early 17th cent.: from Greek tekhnologia ‘systematic treatment,’ from tekhnē ‘art, craft’ + -logia ;

I came to the conclusion that “media and technology” are/is the human means of man to communicate with man. The Bible, however, with the illumination of the Holy Spirit is God’s primary means of communication with the man who has ears to hear, a.k.a Special Revelation. Creation, however, with it’s embedded scientific principles on which technology of every kind is based, is a secondary means of communication, a.k.a. General revelation. The difference being that God’s Word is inspired, inerrant, and infallible and hence is absolutely reliable whereas creation, even God’s creation, is infected with a fatal virus known as sin which produces fallible and errant results e.g. who’s computer has never crashed or never
been infected?

I read a 2010 book : “The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing to our Brains” by Nicholas Carr. It is insightful as he traces all types of media, including the Gutenberg printing press as the “internet technology” of it’s day which led to publishing ‘the book’ as the other new media of it’s day.

For a brief read of the book “The Shallows” read:

As Christians who read God’s book, the Bible, we are “being transformed by the renewing our minds” (Rom. 12:2) by abiding in Jesus Christ’s word (John 8:30-31) because it is the inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of the living God.
The more time that is invested in reading the Word will yield eternal benefits. I remember one who said, “Don’t You Folks Ever Read Your Bibles?”.

Thank you for this opportunity to express an informed view of the purpose and use of current day technologies. I learned from the panel discussion audio posted online! I hope to hear more from Multnomah on this topic and others like it. How about a Master’s Monograph on “A Christian’s View of Technology as Presented in the Bible” ?

God bless your work for our Lord Jesus in the pursuit of this important and relevant topic in relation to Christian living in the 21st century.