Two posts ago I tried to show how the advances in theoretical physics and Cubist art at the turn of the century reflect the fractured and complex condition of society. In this post I want to explore what that actually means.
Postmodernism can effect not only how you view the world but also how you spend your time.
Technology has made multitasking the norm. Multitasking isn’t merely a feature that operates innocuously in the software of your iPhone. It has become a way of life in which WE operate. It seems that we hardly do only one thing at a time anymore. We spread out our capacity in attempt to consolidate our time.
Our mental operating system definitely supports tabbed browsing.
In Praise of Lo-Fi
I read an article a while back entitled, In Praise of Lo-fi. The author talks about a quickly disappearing luxury in our postmodern world- disconnectedness. With ubiquitous wi-fi and ever smarter phones that are supposed to increase productivity, the time we spend off the grid is increasingly decreasing. Airplanes used to be one of the last bastions of reflective thought. In that pressurized cabin where sound is dampened and life is paused, we could gaze out the window and gain new perspectives. Now, instead of letting our imagination wonder and speculate about the nature of clouds or the immensity of the universe, we default our queries to wikipedia and google for quick answers and cheap facts.
The opportunities for deep contemplation and big-picture thinking get put at risk.
Reflective thought is just one marginalized aspect of postmodern life. In the context of your personal time with the Lord this takes on more significance. If we can’t turn off the computer (technological blasphemy?) or leave our phone in the other room, how can we spend quality time with our Lord and Lover?
At His second coming, the Lord will come back as a bridegroom to marry the church as His bride. The entire Bible concludes with a marriage. And certainly our Christian life must bear some relational significance to this great ending. With this in view, loving the Lord and spending time with Him to know Him should be of primary importance to us.
But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.
-1 Corinthians 8:3
Matthew 25 is a parable that depicts ten virgins watching and getting ready for the coming of the bridegroom, Christ. Verse 10-11 indicate that not all Christians will participate in the wedding feast at the Lord’s return but will be shut out. Why? The Lord’s answer is telling, “I do not know you.”
Loving God causes us to be known by Him. If we love someone, we will spend time with them.
What most English readers don’t pick up is that in this parable Matthew uses two different Greek words in close proximity, verse 1 and 6, which are both translated “meet.”
At that time the kingdom of the heavens will be likened to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
The first instance is transliterated as hupantaó and refers to a face to face meeting in private. The Greek prefix hypo literally means under. This refers to our personal time with the Lord and indicates that our life should be one of constantly going forth to meet Him in secret. Our life is hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3) and we need to learn how to spend time with Him in secret without the distractions of our phone or laptop. These times are crucial because this is where we pay the price to buy the oil to sustain our lamp until His coming. Which means that our love is burning brightly for Him our entire life.
But at midnight there was a cry, Behold the bridegroom! Go forth to meet him!
The second instance is transliterated as apantaó and refers to a public ceremonial meeting. The Greek prefix apo literally means from or away. This refers to our meeting Christ at His second coming in the rapture as mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, which uses the second Greek word not the first. Vine’s says “It is used in the papyri of a newly arriving magistrate. It seems that the special idea of the word was the official welcome of a newly arrived dignitary.”
These two meetings are different. One should be a description of our entire Christian life- meeting the Lord in love and being filled with His life. The other will be an event in the future- our being raptured to meet the Lord in the air.
The outcome of our public meeting with Christ in rapture (i.e. are we able to enter the wedding feast?) will depend on how much time we spent in secret, meeting the Lord to love Him and be filled in spirit.
We need lessons in disconnectedness so that we can spend quality time with Jesus.
- 5 questions Christians should ask themselves before logging on (stickyjesus.com)
- Discovering the Lost Art of Musing on the Word of God (holdingtotruth.com)
- In Praise of Lo-fi (blog.jackcheng.com)
- The Sad State of our Society: an Observation (quincyzikmund.com)
- The Far-reaching Ripples of Postmodernism (lifeandbuilding.com)
- How to Know God: Be Still (holdingtotruth.com)
Thanks bro I enjoyed this. I too need more divine disconnection.
Me too Eben. We’re learning together. His love is better than the wine of technology!
Thanks, Kyle. This is definitely a big reminder. I love the Lord Jesus but being disconnected from the virtual world is often challenging. You know what’s helpful is to find some companions to be accountable to our need to spend quality time with our Beloved. It’s definitely an exercise to change our habits. May the Lord grace us and have mercy on us.
So true Katherine! Companions are a big help. They can really help break the inertia in our Christian life, ie we know we’re supposed to do something but we still don’t do it. That’s when being built up with another believer is crucial.
Bro, that’s solid! I never knew two different words were used for meet there. Really enjoyed this.
There are so many secret treasures like this in the Greek. I don’t know them all but a little digging usually turns up a lot. If you like this kind of stuff you could always look into Kenneth Wuest’s “Untranslatable Riches from the Greek New Testament.” His work has a lot of light.
Pingback: Steve Jobs, the Gospel of Technology, and the Hope of Humanity (2) « life and building
I’d say it’s best to log time with the Lord Jesus, before you log in to anything. Giving Him the first part of our day is one step toward giving Him the first place in all things (Col 1:18).
Very true. We must prioritize His preeminence. We shouldn’t look at a screen more than we look at His face. This is a new challenge to believers living in the midst of the digital revolution.