I suppose usually when you think of a Christian book about technology, you expect a shunning of everything gadgety and advanced. This book, however, presented some really interesting examples and ways to think about technology in a well-balanced Christian's life.

One point he makes is that anything that fulfills us more than God, anything that we would be totally lost without, is essentially an idol. And that can be communication, information, or productivity.  That last one really got me, since I've always felt "down" when I'm unproductive, and happier when I'm getting results. Have I made productivity into an idol? Perhaps. Certainly something to think about.

Another interesting example started by asking what the term 'immature' meant. Well... the absence of maturity. But then he asked, what does 'immediate' mean? I had never thought about it, but it's the exact same thing. Immediate means the absence of a mediator...in other words being direct instead of going through some other means, usually meaning face-to-face or being present with others.

Another chapter brought up interesting points about how things like Wikipedia are redefining truth as 'consensus' (whatever we all agree on), and search engines like Google are redefining truth as 'relevance'... as they see it.  And while Google and Wikipedia can certainly be very valuable tools, they should be used by keeping in mind the underlying concepts they actually represent. I.e. don't go to Wikipedia for information about Christian theology, but feel free to use it to find the list of all episodes of your favorite TV show.

A chapter on information talked about how we now have such an abundance of Data and information, but very little knowledge and wisdom. I was just thinking this recently when using my GPS. I knew the route easily, but it was so nice to have the GPS to tell me how many minutes away I was, and to remind me where to turn. At what point do I not know anything myself? I already hardly know how to spell, thanks to auto-correct, and any piece of information is just a quick phone search away.

The takeaway point was actually at the end of part 1: we need to talk to our technology. Ask what are the benefits AND risks? What will we be giving up or losing by using the technology? What are its theological implications? What technology is it replacing or what will become obsolete due to the technology?

Gadgets are great (my site is 'Digi'muzik, after all), but we need to remember to own them... not let them own us.

As an update (a year later), I'm going through all my book reviews and noticing quite a few misspelled words. Yet another example of technology (spell-check) over knowledge. Then again, I often write these on my phone, so I deserve a bit of a break. Right?