Scripture in Time and Space | Thesis Chapter 5

I'm posting chapters of my masters thesis as I finish packing them to PDF. See more here.

The research hasn‘t caught up yet, but a simple Google search on "teens text each other in the same room" pulls up thousands of conversations by parents who don‘t understand their digital native kids.

One dad of a sixteen year old girl writes, "During dinner, I noticed that the girls had their mobile phones out and were text messaging. However, what I did not realize at first is that they were text messaging each other…while sitting at the same table!"  Another parent responds, "I hate that! I have no idea why kids text when they are sitting next to each other."

Digital immigrants are mystified. Why do kids act as if they are not close to each other? Their confusion is justified—they do not live with a reconfigured perception of distance. For the digital native, physical proximity has become irrelevant for relationship. The technologies of instant messaging (IM) via personal computer, or SMS messages via handheld cell/smart phones allow the same experience of textual dialog whether one is down the street or across the country—or ten feet apart.


This chapter may be one of the more difficult to follow: I blaze through two questions that had bothered me:  When is scripture? and Where is scripture?  Though not framed quite that way, these have been important questions in the history of Christian thought on the doctrine of scripture. I show that in the environment of the digital native, both questions are collapsed upon themselves:  scripture is both past and present and it is everywhere.