Is technology beneficial to Christians? by bigplew
May 29, 2009, 8:54 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

by Mike Plewniak


I know, that’s a big question.  I’m sure there are thousands of answers, opinions, and convictions about how to use twitter, facebook, myspace, texting, and blogs.  Josh Harris recently posted about using twitter during church and his thoughts for his congregration, Covenant Life Church.  Albert Mohler writes about texting among teenagers and the all-consuming nature of technology.

Listen to this quote from the NY Times I found pretty humorous about teens texting:  “They do it late at night when their parents are asleep. They do it in restaurants and while crossing busy streets. They do it in the classroom with their hands behind their back. They do it so much their thumbs hurt.  Authorities now blame excessive texting for sleep deprivation, distraction in school, poor grades, and even repetitive stress injuries.  These teens are texting while they should be sleeping, and they are sleeping with the cell phone set to vibrate so that they can respond to texts from friends without waking parents.”

Where’s the line?  When is it too much?  When is it beneficial and when does it lose it’s benefit?


8 Comments so far
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Technology is only as beneficial as you use it. I have no doubt there are some people who think certain websites or forms of communication are inherently evil. Justin Taylor said on his blog that Twitter is the medium of Narcissus. I disagree. The availability of media gives us the chance to broadcast Christ in so many ways: to make His name known all throughout the Internet.

The main critique of media is that it can be a whirlwind of worldliness, which in the wider culture it is. We associate YouTube and Facebook and television and certain types of music with sin because the world takes advantage of it. We need to use them as well. We can tweet about resources or good quotes or simple sentences of praise 140 characters long. Our borderline is that when the medium itself stops glorifying God, if your heart is to magnify yourself, then you should turn off the computer, the iPod, the TV and open your Bible.

Comment by David Wells

1 cor 10:23–All things are lawful but not all things are helpful. A lot of technology is built around communicating with people. In that case that’s just another way to share the gospel, and redeem what the world will inevitably corrupt.

Technology can also de-people-ize “community”, to where, you’re “interacting” with people in a way we never would otherwise. That’s dumb. It can become more of a shield for your fear of man than a helpful tool. Get real friends and go outside! But first tweet how much you love your mom.

Comment by joshcan

No… So let’s go hide in a cave… I don’t think it matters too much. Its here. For a while the world kept outside the door. Now its inside the door on our computers, Tvs, and radios. I think overall the technological age will have a negative effect on church life. I think it will have a positive effect for some evangelism though.

Comment by Dave McCarthy

On telecommunication and evangelism – who would deny that more evangelism happened by foot in the first century than by radio wave in the twentieth?

I forget where I found the quote, but there was an interesting commentary coming from the middle ages church on wealth in the church…
One monk/traveler says to the other “Look at all the opulence and grandeur of your church buildings! No longer can you say, ‘Silver and gold we do not have.'”
The other replied “Neither can we say, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ, walk.'” (see Acts 3)

Technology promises much, but we can’t be dulled to the greater promises of the Lord Jesus Christ.

(no, I’m not charging everyone to burn their computers; unless you let me watch, or if it’s infected by Skynet)

Comment by JDM

I posit that society is no worse today than it ever has been because people’s hearts are no worse today than they ever have been. People are sinners and when aggregated one sees sin.

Technology is a rather broad term, but, considering that one has the Christian liberty to do anything (so long as it positively glorifies God) and that the Bible does not state that technology dishonors God, there is no reason why it cannot. Lets look at the internet of which he (or someone else like him) and would apply the argument towards.

Stated: The internet does not glorify God.

Refuted: Where else could I read the works of Augustine without spending hundreds of dollars? Where else could I read Calvin’s Institutes in French? Where else could I order 90% of the books that I own? Would I have to rely on Lifeway? Well, I guess that I would be pretty much sunk then wouldn’t I? There is much benefit in the internet.

Stated: Texting cannot glorify God.

Refuted: Why not? There is not a single biblical reason that one can give why texting cannot glorify God in a positive assertion. The volition of the operator of any tool (of which technology is) is the primary factor towards the end of which it is used. Therefore, it is impossible for a sinner not atoned to God to glorify God in any way, but, it is possible for a sinner atoned to God to glorify God using tools at his disposal, texting being one of many (even though I hate it).

Final argument (warning – metaphysical): Technology is another word for “tool.” Tool is defined as: anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose.

Are we, as Christians, not instruments for God to use at his disposal? Are we not means of doing things? Is our cheif end not to accomplish God’s glory forever? Are we not tools that God uses? What makes us different from technology other than the close-mindedness that one brings to the table?

Comment by Jonathan Kelfer

I accidentally put “he (or someone else like him)” in my post. I meant to merely state “one.” So, the sentence should be:

“Lets look at the internet of which one would apply a negative argument towards.”

Addendum: A blanket-statement for my intentions: I intend to state that technology can glorify God not that it always or in every case does.

Comment by Jonathan Kelfer

Sweet blog. I never know what I am going to come across next. I think you should do more posting as you have some pretty intelligent stuff to say.

I’ll be watching you . 🙂

Comment by logCoxendotte

Kelfer nailed it. Jesus said that it’s not what is outside of a man that makes him unclean, but what is inside (Mark 7). These external things are not evil in and of themselves. I can use lots of things for good or evil: a hammer, a ball bat, a word, twitter, or a blog. I can find websites to indulge my carnal desires or find ways to grow and be challenged by Plewniak’s pithy comments. Today we are blessed to be able to listen to world-class sermons with a mouse click. I, for one, am thankful for technology.

Comment by chrisgraves

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