F.M. Sciutto III

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

From the Garden to the City, Part III

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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.

Idolatry and Technology

“We use our idols fundamentally as a way of meeting our needs apart from God, and this is our greatest temptation with technology—to use it as a substitute for God.” (Loc. 1311-12)

“We also use our idols, especially our technological ones, as a means of distraction. When we find something that offers us temporary relief from the curse of sin, instead of allowing its shortcomings to make us long for our Savior, we allow the technology to distract us from our obvious need of a savior.” (Loc. 1318-20)

“As our technology grows more and more powerful, the illusion of control becomes increasingly convincing. Today, our powers have grown to the point that in Western industrialized countries, we can go through our entire lives without the slightest physical need for God or other people.” (Loc. 1361-62)

“Although God is restricting the use of a particular medium—carved images—he does so for a very important reason. It’s not that God thinks images themselves are inherently evil. It’s because he recognizes that tools of technology never function as neutral, inert instruments. Instead the tools we use always bring with them values that shape the culture that uses them. If God had allowed the Israelites to make images of him, it might have appeared that he was like every other god, or a god among gods. Instead, by forbidding images of himself, God reinforced his identity as wholly other. He is not an idol among idols or an image among images—he is the one true God. Therefore, God decreed that the people of Israel were to approach him exclusively through the names, metaphors, and ideas found in the permanent, authoritative words of Scripture.” (Loc. 1948-54)

“In the online world, the great danger is that we are constructing an idol of ourselves and becoming distracted with our own beauty. Like Narcissus we may become trapped in a feedback loop of looking at ourselves, but never seeing beneath the surface to the deeper sickness that can only be healed in an embodied community of faith. We are continually tempted to construct a Tower of Babel unto ourselves rather than work together on being the people of God, conformed into the image of his Son.” (Loc. 2978-81)

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  1. […] (Part I) (Part II) (Part III) […]


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