Author: Tim Challies
Hardcover: 208 pages
I’m going to be honest here. I’m one of those people that has one of the latest toys. Android smartphone: Check! iPad: Check! MacBook (running the most up to date OS and looking forward to Lion): Check! Kindle: Not yet, but plan to get one soon! My iPad and Droid are loaded with apps for Twitter, Facebook, CNN, Huffington Post, Slate, the NY Times, NPR. I use Flipboard religiously. Both the YouVersion Bible app and Glo Bible are a part of my daily life. And, the majority of my notes are in the cloud, thanks to apps like Catch Notes and Evernote. So, it goes without saying that this book was written for someone like me.
The Next Story is divided into two sections. Part I is the methodology part of the book, in which Challies looks at theology, theory and experience and how they relate to technology. Part II of the book get into the practical application and how our lives have been affected by certain aspects of technology and the implications this has for the Christian life.
As a Lutheran, I am completely comfortable talking about Law and Gospel and the three uses of the Law. The short explanation of the three uses of the Law is that the Law is: 1) a curb, 2) a mirror, and 3) a guide. I bring this up, because I think Challies does an excellent job of utilizing the second use of the Law in this book. As I read this book, I was constantly thinking, “Yep, that’s me.” or “I can see myself there.” What I appreciated from Challies was the loving way in which he used this book as the mirror to show myself and anyone else who reads it how our use of technology can be sinful. No where did I see or feel that Challies was beating me over the head with scripture pointing out how much of a sinner I was because of my use of technology. Instead, I saw the truth being proclaimed in love.
Recently, I spent a few days at Holden Village in rural Washington. And by rural, I mean rural. After a three hour drive, I still had an hour long ferry ride plus another hour bus ride just to get there. No computer, no cell phone service…nothing. Just me, a few good books and a lot of quiet time. I’ll be honest, the quiet took some getting used to. My phone wasn’t beeping all the time letting me know I have a new email; TweetDeck wasn’t making its chirping noise every two seconds alerting me of some new tweet. There were absolutely no distractions. And yet, within 10 minutes of getting in my car, I had checked three days worth of email, browsed through Twitter and checked Facebook.
This book is a must read, especially for those of us who utilize technology on a regular basis.
I received this book free from Zondervan as a part of the The Next Story Blog Tour. Providing me a free copy in no way guarantees a favorable review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”