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The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion

By Tim Challies
May 2013 | Review by David Magowan

Synopsis

Acknowledging that technology is everywhere, an inescapable aspect of our lives, author and blogger Tim Challies provides guidance and direction for readers who struggle with the changes brought about by the digital revolution. He helps readers understand why digital technology exists and how a Christian can use new technologies with biblical discernment.

  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • ISBN: 978-0310329039
  • Pages: 208
  • Price: 12.99
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Book Review

The next story:
life and faith after the digital explosion
Tim Challies
Zondervan, 204 pages
£12.99
ISBN: 978-0-310-32903-9
Star rating : 3

‘Dad, your phone is rubbish’, said my daughter recently. Despite it having been her phone a year ago, it was now passé. Such is the accelerating pace of change of technology!
    

We hardly have time to critically assess new developments before the next wave rolls in. The digital age is upon us, with its many benefits and opportunities — but also with its risks and adverse consequences.
    

In this timely book Tim Challies, a Canadian blogger and author, identifies some real and present dangers for Christians arising from the digital explosion that has radically reshaped the landscape of our lives.
    

He tackles issues such as idolatry, addictions, shallow relationships, distraction and partial attention, lack of accountability, poor communication, voyeurism, exhibitionism and hypocrisy.
    

The book has two parts: In part 1, we are encouraged to exercise biblical discernment as we encounter technology and be aware of the culture changing impact of the internet and digital devices.
    

Part 2 explores areas of application specific to the Christian life, such as increasing shallowness in our thinking and relating to others, information displacing wisdom, and the measuring of truth by relevance and consensus.
    

In an epilogue, Tim Challies details changes in his own digital habits as a personal response to what he has written. Particularly challenging are his warnings about skimming rather than studying, and the outsourcing of our memories (we no longer need to memorise Scripture or be so familiar with the Bible, as we become more reliant on the search engine).
    

The danger is that shallow thinking leads to shallow living, and empty minds will beget empty hearts and empty lives.
    

This is a stimulating read that encourages a thoughtful and biblical approach to ensure that technology is our servant rather than our master.

David Magowan
Reading

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