Subscribe now

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
Buy this book »

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

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Why Should I Trust the Bible?

We should trust the Bible, says Timothy Paul Jones, because it is ‘grounded in the words of a man who died and rose again’ (p.111). Jones’s basic presupposition is this: ‘If we live in a world where it is possible…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Who Am I? Human Identity and the Gospel in a Confusing World
Thomas Fretwell

In today’s secular society, religion is often regarded as without rational or scientific basis, and therefore irrelevant to life in the modern world and all areas of public engagement. If that is our social context, then it is no wonder…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
The Pastor’s Life: Practical Wisdom from the Puritans
Matthew D Haste & Shane W Parker

This book highlights ‘some of the many lessons that today’s pastors can learn from the Puritans’ (p.151). As such it is aimed at pastors, but the lessons are really for anyone who is a Christian leader. The opening chapter provides…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
5 Minutes in Church History: An Introduction to the Stories of God’s Faithfulness in the History of the Church
Stephen J Nichols

What a breath of fresh air this book is! Stephen Nichols has given us 40 vignettes from church history that are brief enough to be digested over a bowl of cereal. The book doesn’t aim to be a beginner’s guide…