Creatures are not Machines

Wendell Berry, in an essay within his book Life is a Miracle (53ff), writes about the persistent problem of some analogizing humans with machines. You don’t have to look far for examples or remarks about the human mind being like a computer chip, or people being talked about as complex machines. Just watch a recent Droid commercial and you get the point. Berry points out that this is a serious problem, not because analogies are somehow bad to make, but that analogies have certain limits which need to be respected. In this case, the analogy seems to get carries away to the point of actually becoming an identification with, rather than an explanatory metaphor. Continue reading Creatures are not Machines

Barclay Press: Gospel Order and Convergence Culture (Part 2)

I’ve posted the second part to my Barclay Press article on technology and the church, called “Gospel Order and Convergence Culture,” have a look. Here’s a short quote from the post:

While technology is a dominating force in our world today God’s reign is not excluded from it, God’s reign can emerge from within as much as outside of this context. We often find unexpected places within the world where God’s Kingdom is reflected. For the last 50 years or so missiologists have argued that the Missio Dei (God’s Mission) is at work in cultures around the world whether the church is present there or not. One example might be to look at a few positive areas where God could be at work within ‘convergence culture.’

Barclay Press: Technology as a Powerful-Practice (Part 1)

Wikipedia I’ve put together a two-part essay on Technology as Power (or what I’m calling, using James McClendon, a powerful-practice) and the second part which I will publish in two weeks on the Quaker notion of “Gospel order” as a counterpoint to what Henry Jenkins calls participatory culture (think democratization of the web, re: youtube, wikis, twitter, discussion forums, blogs, web 2.0, etc). These two articles are an attempt to argue for a particular naming of technology from the church, and a watchful and transformative role in participating within this emerging culture. How the church reflects on such powers will determine and shape how the church’s mission looks in the 21st century. When I publish the second part I will also publish the whole article in .pdf form and make it available both here and at Barclay Press. The church’s interaction with and theological reflections on technology are areas I’ve been  interested in since I began studying with Ryan Bolger, he has guided me in much of this discussion and those of you who know his views will see them sneaking out all over the place.  I am pretty excited to finally get something more substantial out on the subject and I do hope you’ll read and be challenged by them.

Here’s the link to the article: Technology as a Powerful-Practice (Part 1)

And for those of you interested in previous articles looking at technology from a theological point of view you can view these links.

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Some Problems with Online Christian Communities | And Why You Should Stay Away

Screenshot Online communities continue to grow Myspace, Virb, Facebook, delicious, flickr, twitter, digg, 30boxes,, etc, etc, all offer a way for people to share and stay in touch. I personally like the attention web 2.0 companies have paid to making the web more interactive in this way. I use many of the services above, and have found that they add to my life in various ways simply helping me to easily connect with other people. Continue reading Some Problems with Online Christian Communities | And Why You Should Stay Away

Orthodoxy As An Event and Questions About a Quaker Orthodoxy

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Tony Jones, recently discussed a paper he read at Wheaton. In the paper he talks about the prospect of being an “anti-theologian,” (a designation I too find attractive) and orthodoxy as something that exists within particular events but not as an objective reality out there somewhere. I found some troubling questions for Friends given the reality of Jones’ arguement. About his paper he says, Continue reading Orthodoxy As An Event and Questions About a Quaker Orthodoxy

Training Violent Behaviors: Media and the Message of Desensitization

 I had the opportunity to read a fascinating and very thought provoking book this past week called, “Transforming the Powers: Peace, Justice and the Domination System.” The basic idea of the book is taken from Walter Wink’s idea of the “powers and principalities” which consist of the “spiritual dynamics at work in the institutions and social systems that shape our lives.” Wink’s well known line goes, “The Powers are good; the Powers are fallen the Powers must be redeemed.”

Continue reading Training Violent Behaviors: Media and the Message of Desensitization