F.M. Sciutto III

By His Free Grace Alone, To Be Treasured Alone, & For His Glory Alone

From the Garden to the City, Part II

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I just finished reading John Dyer’s From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology on my Kindle. At the time of my browsing Amazon, it was free. So, I decided to download it and read it whenever I had a few minutes here or there.

Instead of reviewing it in the traditional format, I am going to post some highlights from the book that I found interesting and helpful about discerning the use technology in the Christian life. I will let the author speak for himself on whether or not you think the book deserves to be read.

The Church and Technology

“While God’s words are eternal and unchanging, the tools we use to access those words do change, and those changes in technology also bring subtle changes to the practice of worship. When we fail to recognize the impact of such technological change, we run the risk of allowing our tools to dictate our methods. Technology should not dictate our values or our methods. Rather, we must use technology out of our convictions and values.” (Loc. 359-62)

“In our sin we attempt to live independent of our need for God and others, but God originally designed humans to function in a deeply interdependent way that reflects the tri-personhood of God.” (Loc. 719-20)

“Churches urge their members to go through the program in hope that they will all come through the process as uniformly mature Christians. Of course, it’s wonderful when everyone in our church gets the chance to be theologically and biblically educated, but we can easily err into treating the spiritual growth of a human soul as if it were a simple, mechanical process. Then when we purchase “proven tools for spiritual growth” that don’t seem to “work,” we assume that we need to find and purchase a different tool, never considering that such a thing might not exist.” (Loc. 1045-49)

“A good portion of the Christian life requires the ability to concentrate and focus on ideas over long periods of time. Spiritual depth requires the ability to pray for more than a few minutes, to read and memorize Scripture (not search for it online), and to love God with our hearts and our minds. This means that we must be careful to cultivate and retain the skill of deeply reading and deeply contemplating the things of God, something the Internet and digital technologies do not value. We cannot read deeply when we spend all of our time scanning or when we allow distraction to rule our minds.” (Loc. 2874-78)

“Our problem is not that technologically mediated relationships are unreal, nor is the problem that all online communication is self-focused and narcissistic. Rather, the danger is that just like the abundance of food causes us to mistake sweet food for nourishing food, and just like the abundance of information can drown out deep thinking, the abundance of virtual connection can drown out the kind of life-giving, table-oriented life that Jesus cultivated among his disciples.” (Loc. 3002-5)

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