Shaping a Digital World : Faith, Culture and Computer Technology
Overview - Digital technology has become a ubiquitous feature of modern life. Our increasingly fast-paced world seems more and more remote from the world narrated in Scripture. But despite its pervasiveness, there remains a dearth of theological reflection about computer technology and what it means to live as a faithful Christian in a digitally-saturated society. Read more...
More About Shaping a Digital World by Derek C. Schuurman
Digital technology has become a ubiquitous feature of modern life. Our increasingly fast-paced world seems more and more remote from the world narrated in Scripture. But despite its pervasiveness, there remains a dearth of theological reflection about computer technology and what it means to live as a faithful Christian in a digitally-saturated society. In this thoughtful and timely book, Derek Schuurman provides a brief theology of technology, rooted in the Reformed tradition and oriented around the grand themes of creation, fall, redemption and new creation. He combines a concise, accessible style with penetrating cultural and theological analysis. Building on the work of Jacques Ellul, Marshall McLuhan and Neil Postman, and drawing from a wide range of Reformed thinkers, Schuurman situates computer technology within the big picture of the biblical story. Technology is not neutral, but neither is there an exclusively "Christian" form of technological production and use. Instead, Schuurman guides us to see the digital world as part of God's good creation, fallen yet redeemable according to the law of God. Responsibly used, technology can become an integral part of God's shalom for the earth.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
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Beginning with the question, “What does my faith have to do with my work as an electrical engineer?” Schuurman addresses how Christian faith informs computer technology in this thoughtful and timely work. Addressing practitioners, students, and anyone interested in computer technology and its philosophical, moral, ethical, and theological dimensions, Schuurman does his best to flesh out how bytes relate to beliefs, and how Christians can best use technology with love and care. An engineer, Schuurman stands on the shoulders of theological and philosophical progenitors of the discussion of the interplay between technology and theology such as Jacques Ellul and Neil Postman. Admitting that technology is a human cultural activity that is “value laden,” Schuurman does not juxtapose technology and theology oppositionally, but instead offers an optimistic vision of how belief imbues technology with greater purpose; he also takes time to critique humanity’s negative use of technology and discusses some of technology’s potential pitfalls. While at times Schuurman gets technical and overly complex, the book is succinct enough to keep even the non-technical reader engaged. (June)