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Toward a Theology of Technology

How Technology Influences Our Understanding of God

Description
Christianity is fundamentally a communication event. Our religion is rooted in God’s desire to
reveal himself to us and our reaction to his revelation. God has communicated to humanity
through a plethora of mediums: burning bushes, pillars of fire, stone tablets, donkeys, angels, still
whispers and other human beings. Any serious study of God involves a study of the way he
communicates and the way we communicate God to others. It is commonly assumed that as
long as we protect the unchanging message of the gospel, the method of communicating doesn’t
much matter.

But what if the way we communicate deeply impacts the message? What if the medium is the
message? What if the various media through which we acquire and transmit information are not
neutral, but have the power to shape us, regardless of content? This workshop will explore
how different mediums have affected the gospel throughout history, from the first written word
to the internet, and how current mediums are potentially affecting the way we hear and spread
the gospel. There will be a particular focus on the web, television and video, Facebook and
Twitter.

Learning Objectives
Rather than simply dismissing technology altogether, this workshop will encourage participants
to think theologically about the mediums they choose to evangelize and disciple those around
them. Participants will leave the workshop with a theological framework with which they can
engage technology and communication. Additional tools will be presented for further
reflection.

Audience
This workshop is intended for all those who seek to share the gospel in the North American
context. Whether they are adamantly against the use of technology or blind acceptors of all
that is new, this workshop will provoke questions and provide new thoughts to all who are
engaged in sharing the gospel in our context.

Workshop Style
This workshop will begin with a multimedia presentation highlighting relevant case studies
focusing on the theory of communication and technology and will then conclude with a time for
discussion and Q&A. A projector and sound system will be required.
About the Presenter

The Reverend Ben Rey was born and raised near Chicago
attending Wheaton College (BA Biblical Studies) and
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (MDiv Urban
Ministry and Anglican Studies). He has been with Church of
the Cross, an Anglican church in Boston, since it began in
2008. Ben has led workshops at Wheaton College, Taylor
University and throughout the city of Boston. He is married
to Monica, a student of the Hebrew Bible, and enjoys riding
his bicycle on late nights through the streets of Boston.
Email: brey@cotcboston.org
Blog: www.blog.betweenthetrees.org

Selected Bibliography

Shane Hipps, The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture: How Media Shapes Faith, the Gospel and
Church. Zondervan: 2006.

Marshall McLuhan, Eric McLuhan and Frank Singrone, Essential McLuhan. Basic Books: 1995.

Neil Postman, Technopoly:The Surrender of Culture to Technology. Vintage Books: 1993.