Sin and Technology | John Dyer

From the Garden to the City by John DyerI'm chillin' on a blog tour promoting From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology by John Dyer. A post from me every week, plus more at host site: ChurchM.ag. Check it out..

Chapter 5: Rebellion

How do Christians talk about sin and technology? Many are pretty simplistic.  "All technology is evil (or at least really bad for you)" is a common pastoral mantra (though it rarely includes older technologies, usually just smart phones and internet porn).  "All technology is good" (and can help us grow, connect and love better) is less common, but equally simplistic.

But an important theological place to start is Scripture, and where technology appears in the Story.  This is what From the Garden does in its fifth chapter, wading carefully through Adam & Eve, Cain and Abel (Gen 3 and Gen 4).

Dyer makes some clever observations.  For instance, after Adam and Eve sin, they race to make clothes from leaves: technology!  So it IS bad.  But then God comes along and in his compassion makes them BETTER clothes from animal skins.

"he gives out the world's first free technology upgrade"

Ha! The point is that God participates with us in "making"—or better, we participate with God.

Cities:  good or bad? Then Dyer begins wrestling with how we build things that make us possibly less dependent on God:  the City, for instance.  After murder, Cain wanders off and builds a city.

"The city is humankind's first idol"

writes Dyer. Our banding together something that makes us separate and less-dependent on our Creator.

Yet this feels like only half of the story.  Dyer gives a Babel-like vision here (inspired by Jacques Ellul), but says little about a Revelation or Zionistic vision of the City and Feast that flow in the narrative as strong images of God's peace and final rule.

It's a tough question, huh?

There's another huge point I want to hit from this chapter, but there's too much here, so it'll be another post.  For now, there's more chapter summary at ChurchM.ag today.