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Taking Scripture Serious in High Tech Times

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By Tom Sine —

WAKE UP TO THE TECH REVOLUTION!

The tech revolution didn’t begin with the I-phone in 2008. It began 500 years ago with the creation of the printing press. That innovative technology transported people all over the planet into this new modern world.

WAKE UP TO A 33 YEAR OLD RADICAL UNLEASHING THIS NEW TECH!

This year we are celebrating the radical action of a 33 year old named Martin Luther. Martin not only broke away from the Catholic Church he used this remarkable new technology to make the bible available to all people not just the clergy.

As a consequence young Martin Luther became one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. This movement spread the gospel all over the world teaching believers how to study the Bible for themselves to follow in the way of Jesus.

In order to faithfully pass on their faith to the next generation many of these new protestant denominations created sets of doctrinal propositions. Too often these doctrinal statements were placed on the same level of authority as the scripture itself.

Today church planters report that young people, who were raised in churches that insisted that they “pledge allegiance” to a set of doctrinal statements, are looking for something more. They are looking for a more personally engaging approach to scripture to learn more about how to authentically follow the life and teaching of Jesus in their entire lives.

WAKE UP TO ACCERATING GROWTH OF NEW TECH IN CENTURY 21

All our lives have been forever changed by the creation of new technology from the internet, the IPhone and coming soon Virtual Reality. Young Christian innovators today, like Martin Luther, are seeking to use this new tech to share the story of Jesus. Even the American Bible Society is using the internet to share biblical resources more broadly so people can read and study the Bible for themselves.

However, in spite of this growing access to scripture globally we are seeing Christians in America “spending less time with the Bible and ascribing less authority to it than they used to.” According to Barna Research. They added “Led by millennials, 19% of Americans see the Bible as ‘just another book.’”

Roxeanne Stone, Barna’s Editor in Chief states, “It can be hard to have a sense of the Bible being an authority when you have a universe of knowledge at your finger tips.” With accelerating influence of the new tech we do indeed have access to not only to a new “universe of knowledge” but also a broad range of competing world views.

This new reality will increasingly challenge not only the leadership of new church planters, but also Christian educators and increasingly Christian families who want to raise their young in the way of Jesus.

WAKE UP TO THE 24 HOUR CONNECT TO TINY SCREENS

I can remember in the 70s and 80s when parents attempted to control their children viewing one screen in the living room with varying degrees of success. In the 90s we started to see multiple screens in families for the first time…including teens with their own TVs in their rooms. Parents began to lose screen control.

In 1995 I remember parents in the Temescal Community in Berkley California who found a successful way to regain control of media in their family. Bill and Cherrie had two pre-teens. They decided to have only one screen in their home which they used primarily as a video play back unit. They took their two kids to the library once a week to select the videos they wanted to watch in the coming week. Other families in their community supported this initiative supported this form screen stewardship.

However, today young parents tell me the only sense of influence they seem to have is how early to let them have their own screens. Many parents tell me that once their young master their tiny screens they feel an increasing sense of a loss of control.

I honestly wonder, with a growing number of church leaders, how much influence can 45 minutes of bible stories on Sunday have when Pew Research tell us kids are on their screens 8 to 9 hours a day. Do any readers know of parents that are finding ways to not only control screen time but to also take family time to share about the way of Jesus every week?

I am told by leaders in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship have college students put their I-phones away in their back packs at the beginning of their prayer meetings.

I heard of one church plant group which has a bucket in which everyone deposits their I-phones before they study scripture together…focusing singularly on their Bibles and their conversation. How does your community steward the use of the tiny screens you carry with you?

PLEASE RESPOND TO 2 QUESTIONS SO WE CAN SHARE THEM ON THE V3 SITE:

  • WHAT ARE THE CREATIVE WAYS YOU ARE ENABLING MEMBERS IN YOUR CHURCH TO ENGAGE SCRIPTURE TO BECOME AUTHENTIC FOLLOWERS OF JESUS?
  • WHAT ARE THE IMAGINATIVE WAYS AS PARENTS YOU NOT ONLY ENABLE YOUR KIDS TO RESPONSIBLY RESPONIBLY STEWARD THEIR SCREENS BUT ALSO LEARN TO FOLLOW IN THE WAY OF THE SERVANT JESUS?

SEND YOUR EXAMPLES TODAY TO: twsine@gmail.com