Everyone knows by personal experience and observation how many and how massive are the problems resulting from the digital revolution. And the vast majority of Christians are concerned enough to want to do something about it. But what can we do?
The longer I’ve wrestled with this problem in my own family, the more convinced I’ve become that the ultimate answer is not “no technology” or “more technology” but “more theology.” If we want a deep, lasting, and spiritual solution, we need to learn and teach deep, lasting, and spiritual truths. Sound digital theology is the answer to digital technology; the oldest truths are the best rebuttal to the newest challenges. More Trinity is more effective than more technology.
God Is Three-In-One
Seriously, the Trinity is the solution to technology? Partly, yes. The three persons of the Godhead enjoy perfect relationship with one another and
seek to share that relationship with us, inviting us into that sacred community.
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’s relationships with one another are characterized by love, trust, openness, and communication. Isn’t that the model for our relationships with our children, especially when it comes to technology? Isn’t that what we want to cultivate and emulate? The healthier the relationships we have with our children, the healthier relationships they will have with technology. Deeper relationships are more effective than more detailed rules.
Additionally, this three-in-oneness is not just a relationship to copy, but a relationship to be enjoyed. We are invited to enter into that communion, to live in that holy family. The more we do that, the more the Trinity will replace technology, or, at least, the more our communion with the Trinity will regulate technology so that our relationship to it is more balanced and beneficial.
God Is Good
Sometimes we can view technology with such terror that we give the impression that it’s all “of the devil.” No, technology is a wonderful gift from God. We are blessed to live in such times and benefit so much from the role of technology in our daily lives. How many lives have been saved by cell phones? How many separated families have been kept together by Skype and FaceTime?
How many sermons and lectures have been spread around the world by Christian ministries such as Ligonier? The devil didn’t create and invent technology. God did, as the giver of every good and perfect gift. Sure, the devil abuses the gift. Sure, we pervert it into sinful uses. But none of that changes the fact that God created the materials, the forces, and the brains that have produced so much beneficial technology. The more we recognize that technology is a gift from God, the more we will abhor taking His gift and using it against Him, the more we will take this gift and use it as He intends.
(to be continued)
Dr. David Murray is professor of Old Testament and practical theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, pastor of Grand Rapids Free Reformed Church, and author of Christians get Depressed too. First published in Tabletalk Magazine 01 October 2016, an outreach of Ligonier.
https://www.ligonier.org. © Tabletalk magazine. Used with permission.