Technology is a broad term and it is an influence on my faith development. It is also impacting my work as a leader in a community of faith. 

First the negative.

Technology is an influence on my faith

Technology is a broad term and it is an influence on my faith development. It is also impacting my work as a leader in a community of faith. 

First the negative.

There is a lot of lousy information and really poor theology being put on the Internet that looks reasonable at first glance.  Some of the theology may strike a cord with some folk’s predisposed ideas about how God works in the world. The problem as I see it is that there is so much available that biases are easily reinforced and growth in thought is stymied. Because there are so many expressions of Christianity represented on the internet it is difficult for those who are not grounded in faith to sift the wheat from the chaf.  I understand that this sounds very “snooty” of me, and I am aware that some readers may think that I am aloof or overly intellectual.  Don’t go there. I treasure the diversity in Christian thinking, I have gained a lot from my study of sacramental theology expressed by Catholic theologians and ex-Catholic theologians. I have been greatly blessed by the thinking of the emergent Evangelical movement concerning mission and have been humbled by liberal Evangelicals concerning social justice and reconciliation.  Mainline thinkers have helped me to understand grace in a way that has helped me better understand my traditions struggle with grace and its expression through service. This is the stew of my theology that is enhanced and flavored by a lot of thinkers, and while it may not be seamless in process, I am working on it. For those who do not have the tools or do not understand process theology or systematic theology the internet contributes to a mish-mash of conflicting thoughts that contradict and do not work together. This causes faith crises for a lot of folks and encourages the phenomenon in postmodern ethics of “anything goes.”

The positive side of technology is that I am able to share and read ideas very easily now.

I can carry in an e-reader several versions of the Bible, haul around with me easily several volumes of thinking about Christ, the church, mission, grace, Mormonism, and works of fiction that inform my faith as well. Technology is a wonderful blessing, and SpokaneFAVS is a wonderful influence in my growth. At times I may go toe to toe with authors I think are missing the point, but heck, they think I am missing the point as well. So I guess that makes us even, and in fact I suspect we are both right about the other.  Technology is a useful tool in my faith development. Before it was what it is now, I read real books, real magazines, and real newspapers, now some of that is online or delivered to my e-reader.

I do not use online devotional material for my development, in that department I am still stuck with old school.

About John VanDerWalker

John VanDerWalker II serves as a Mission Research, Assessment and Support Specialist with the Western USA Mission Field of the Community of Christ.

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