I just attended the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion in the States. Roaming the book stalls is always a highlight of the SBL/AAR meetings. While roaming about this year, some publishers graciously gave me some new books on media and technology that will eventually feature here at BIGBible. Remember, along with promoting biblical literacy in a digital age, we are also hoping to resource the church with solid materials that help us think through our vocation as God’s people in today’s media culture.
Here is a sampling of the books placed into my hand, with excerpts from their back covers….
iPod, YouTube, WiiPlay: Theological Engagements with Entertainment, by D. Brent Laytham (Cascade Books):
Should Christians w00t or wail about the scope and power of modern entertainment? Maybe both. But first, Christians should think theologically about our human passion to be entertained as it relates to the popular culture that entertains us.Avoiding the one-size-fits-all celebrations and condemnations that characterize the current fad of pop-culture analyses, iPod, YouTube, WiiPlay engages entertainments case by case, uncovering the imaginative patterns and shaping power of our amusements….
Shaping a Digital World: Faith, Culture and Computer Technology, by Derek C. Schuurman (IVP):
…While technology is not neutral, neither is there an exclusively “Christian” form of technological production and use. So the author centers his view of the digital world on the grand themes of creation, fall, redemption and new creation. Responsibly used, technology can become an integral part of God’s shalom for the earth. With penetrating cultural and theological analysis, Schuurman places computer technology within the big picture of the biblical story.
And then there are two books on technology by Brad J. Kallenberg—God and Gadgets: Following Jesus in a Technological Age and By Design: Ethics, Theology, and the Practice of Engineering, both by Cascade Books.
[By Design] undertakes two tasks. First, it employs design reasoning to illustrate how technological artifacts can be assessed for their inherent moral properties. Second, it uses the design paradigm as a means for bringing engineering ethics into conversation with Christian theology in order to show how each can be for the other a catalyst for the revolutionary task of living by design.
From the back cover of God and Gadgets:
…We tend not to consider the inherently social and moral character of technology. As a result, we are prone to overlook the effects of technology on our spiritual lives. This book investigates the role technology plays in helping and hampering our Christian practice and witness.