God Always Uses the Latest Technology

8 comments | Posted: 11 November 05 in General, by Andy Knight

Some communicate through a microphone and a platform, and then there are those like me who communicate through a keyboard, a modem, and pixels.

Whether we like it or not, spirituality is shaped by technology. Always has been. Always will be.

In the very beginning, God created people with the capacity to create, understand and communicate with language and writing. That was the highest form of technology in that day. For many, many years, God used that technology to pass along stories and songs about Himself from generation to generation to generation.

Fast forward through history a bit, and you’ll noticed that when the church was still a startup venture, the Apostle Paul connected his ministry to the most advanced forms of technology he had available to him. He used the Roman road system, the information superhighway of his day, and he used the circular letter. Today we would call the circular letter “viral marketing.” Look at the way he ended many of his letters:

…and on it goes. It’s almost like putting a message on an email saying, “Please forward this message to a friend.”

In the Middle Ages when the mainstream church began to drift away from the heart of the Gospel, God used technology once again to bring her back. Since then Protestantism has shaped the church and its theology around the technology of the book. The reformers quickly saw how the technology of the book and the printing press could be used to broadly spread the message of faith. The book revolutionized the way people evangelized, taught, preached, and discipled. Think back over the discipleship experiences you’ve had. How many of those involved reading a book or the Bible? Probably 90%. That’s God using technology as a tool. For five hundred years, the book has been the highest form of technology available.

That has changed. The Internet has been mainstream now for about ten years, and it’s still in its infancy. For the first time, at least in theory, we are able to reach every person on the globe with the Gospel. God is once again using technology for His purpose.

A verse that is quickly becoming a rallying call in my life is Acts 13:36 which says “For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, he died”.

I would like that epitaph written about me.

At the end of my life, I want it said about me that I served God’s purpose in my own generation, that I did the eternal in a contemporary way, that I did God’s will in a way that impacted my present culture, and that I shared a timeless Message in a timely way. We can’t jump out of the generation we are in and be transported back into the “good ol’ days,” even if there were such a a time as the “good ‘ol days.”

We are stuck in the generation we are in. And you know what, I’m happy to be stuck here. This is an exciting time to be alive and be a Christian.

Discuss This Topic

  1. 1 Yannick

    Very interesting Andy. I’ve never really thought about it that way. Nice article.

     
  2. 2 Nathan Smith

    I like this notion too. Sure, we think of hand-written letters as antiquated, but using postal mail and the Roman road were pretty advanced back then. In fact, only the “elite” of society had ready access to these methods of communication – ie the Roman citizens, which Paul happened to be. He used his clout and influence to spread the good news.

     
  3. 3 Dan

    Echoing Yannick. I really hadn’t thought of it that way either. Though it makes total sense.

    I really liked your passage on David. What great satisfaction to know on your deathbed you had completed what was given to you? Amazing.

     
  4. 4 Wesley Walser

    I do agree that God, and his people, have continued to use the latest in an effort to spread his word. However on the web, and even marketing side of things, it’s not hard to see the fact that by and large, we don’t ‘get it’.

    Not to draw too much of a line, and I certainly don’t think this of anyone here, but this also applies to the latest in about anything. Home town Church’s have a nasty way of getting into their own set of traditions and refusing to see the fact that they are distracting from Christ. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read “The King James Bible, God’s last authority”.

     
  5. 5 Caleb

    While I was sceptical about your article I do see that you have one really good argument. The invention of the printing press truly did help to further the gospel and get it into the hands of people.

    While I do believe technology can be used to reach people I think we should be careful not to take it to far and use it as a crutch not to share the gospel. We also must take caution as to not draw our attention away from God and making the technology the means of worship.

     
  6. 6 Yannick

    Caleb: That is true. I think Andy was getting at the fact that it can be used to help spread the gospel and not that people should worship it. But I do understand what you mean as sometimes people can take it too far.

     
  7. 7 Andy

    Wesley, you said…

    QUOTE: Home town Church’s have a nasty way of getting into their own set of traditions and refusing to see the fact that they are distracting from Christ.

    I see your point, and I too have seen and heard of some churches that have misplaced the role of tradition. However, tradition is not a bad thing. It can be very good, but you have to keep it in perspective. I’m not saying at all that you disagree with me, but the point of the article was to show how it is the tradition of the Church to utilize technology. We, the Church, may not always be the earliest adopters of technology, but sometimes the reason for that (especially in the case of church websites) is a lack of resources and knowledge. Most churches don’t have the resources to hire a professional designer or the knowledge (or members with the knowledge) to do it in-house. Even though hosting and hardware may be cheap, taking the time to learn how to do it right is very time consuming expensive. So churches do what they can.

    This is where we need to put a plug in for Nathan’s article in Tree House Magazine encouraging designers to do work volunteer/low cost work for non-profits and churches. I admit though, it’s sometimes not easy to volunteer our time either.

    Great discussion! Thanks for the comments.

     
  8. 8 Paul E. Dawn Jr.

    Indeed the Lord uses the latest technology!

    I can image David, Paul and many others setting at the keyboard, exhorting the Body of Christ.

    They would be the ultimate bloggers!

    The Lord has give us a tool, that is yet to be used to the fullest, to bring others to a knowledge of who He is. I have been on computers since the late 80’s and in the last three years, it has amazed how the Lord is linking people together.

    I was born for a time such as this … as a writer, exhorter, encourager, it thrills me that the Lord allows me to encourage others. To set here at the keyboard and share what He writes on my heart.

    I came to your site via Godly Create People and I am glad that I did. I will visit often.

    Blessings … keep on surfing for the Lord :-)

    Writing for the King,

    Paul

     

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