I saw a fellow surfing his cell phone throughout the entire worship service yesterday, so for every good example you have rightly mentioned there are plenty of others who rudely give in to temptation. Perhaps we need to welcome people to use their technology while regularly reminding them about the dangers that come with it. What if we said something like this at the start of each service?
“Please silence your pagers and cell phones as we prepare to worship the living God. We welcome you to use your phones, readers, or other digital devices to follow along in God’s Word, but we warn you that this is the worst possible time to send texts, check email, or bomb angry birds. God demands and deserves our full attention, and he destroyed Nadab and Abihu for offering “strange fire” during worship. So use your kindle fire at your own risk.”
I have been reading books on technology, and I took the advice of a commenter and this weekend read John Dyer, From the Garden to the City. Dyer is a fun writer and his book is a helpful and provocative read. I highly recommend it alongside Tim Challies, The Next Story, for the best Christian perspectives on technology.
Here is a highlight from Dyer’s book that seems relevant to our recent discussions on technology. He quoted the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which divides technology into three classes.
1. “Everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal.”
2. “Anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it.”
3. “Anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.”
Maybe my problem with iBibles is that I’m forty-five? Dyer does mention that he inadvertently taught his youth group not to bring their Bibles to church when he began posting the texts on his PowerPoint screen. So I may be old, but at least I’m not crazy.