Steve Jobs, the Gospel of Technology, and the Hope of Humanity (2)

Technology is like bamboo- it’s an invasive species.

I wish there had been a way to set up a worldwide time-elapsed camera taking shots for the last 10 years. I think if we could watch this film we would notice a progressive yet definite change in head posture (maybe you can see it on Google maps street view). Everyone is looking down at their phones.

Smart phones are beginning to rival God in some ways- they’re increasingly “omnipresent”, “omnipotent”, and “omniscient”. Maybe they don’t attain to omni status, but at least they’re ubiquitous, they function intelligently as diverse powerful tools, and they are fully integrated with the internet’s 8.04 billion websites and Wikipedia’s 3,785,993 articles.

Does this amount to a gospel? Everything you ever needed is now available at your finger tips. Just swipe your finger with the slightest touch and it all comes alive. As powerful as the iPhone 4S is with the new dual-core A5 chip, it is powerless against man’s fallen nature. It has no saving power.

Our grandchildren may discover that technological progress, for all its gifts, is the exception rather than the rule. It works wonders within its own walled garden, but it falters when confronted with the worst of the world and the worst in ourselves.

-Andy Crouch

Many people have more of a relationship with their phone than with their Maker. Not only is this a reversal of the logical order (iPhone -> Steve Jobs -> God), this is turning a cold-shoulder to your Husband.

For your Maker is your Husband…

-Isaiah 54:5

As such, a smart phone can begin to replace God in our experience. The time we used to give to the Lord first thing in the morning now may go to our phone. I know I’ve reached for my phone in the morning before reaching for God more than once.

Don’t get me wrong. Technology can be used by the Lord for His purpose. Of course. And I think we need to find more ways to do this. StickyJesus.com is a helpful site on how to live out Christ online through social media.

But the other concern is equally valid.

This isn’t about redeeming an aspect of modern culture. It’s about faith, love, and hope (1 Cor. 13:13). What do we trust in? What do we love? What do we hope for?

The YouVersion Bible app has been downloaded 30 million times since it came out 4 years ago. Angry Birds has it beat by a factor of 16. The game has been downloaded 500 million times and it has been out for only half the time.

YouVersion Bible readers have posted 11,625,190,000 minutes to date.

Angry Bird players have posted 219,000,000,000 minutes to date.

That’s 200,000 years of playing Angry Birds! Again in half the time too.

How much we love the Lord can be measured in part by how much time we give Him. That’s why we need to redeem the time. Not because the days are morally evil, but because all we have is time that is constantly slipping away.

In this evil age (Gal. 1:4) every day is an evil day full of pernicious things that cause our time to be used ineffectively, to be reduced, and to be taken away. Therefore, we must walk wisely that we may redeem the time, seizing every available opportunity. To understand the will of the Lord is the best way to redeem our time (v. 16). Most of our time is wasted because we do not know the will of the Lord.

-footnotes on Ephesians 5:16-17, Recovery Version Bible

5 thoughts on “Steve Jobs, the Gospel of Technology, and the Hope of Humanity (2)

  1. Great post Kyle. You caught my attention using the keyword “tech” and helped remind me of what should really be getting my attention, the Lord. I’m actually guilty of just what you described. I got up and reached for my phone. I’m actually writing this on my phone. Oh Lord thank you that you are my real husband and not this little mechanical device.

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    • Thanks Scott,
      The Lord wants to have the first place in all things (Colossians 1:18). That doesn’t mean we get rid of the things but that the Lord remains preeminent in all these things. Technology is a great area to let the Lord become practically first.

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  2. I’ve been really exposed by that too lately…many mornings it’s a real struggle not to grab my phone first thing and check facebook and email and instead turn to the Lord. But I’ve also been impressed that the Lord uses our flesh to turn us to our spirit, and those temptations in the morning are just another way that the Lord makes me desperate to turn to Him each day. Lord draw me!

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  3. Brother, you’re so right… every morning there’s a battle. And throughout the day, unless you consecrate your smartphone, iPad, tablet, PC, laptop, or any other gadget – these tend to take more and more of our time!

    I love using the iPhone and the iPad for the morning revival, reading the Bible, and following the hymns in the meetings. And using these devices for this really gives me a taste – I can enjoy the Lord while using these gadgets! Still, everytime I use the iPad, I need to pray and touch the Lord! Lord Jesus, become more precious to me and more shiny / attractive to me than anything of this world, no matter how cool and innovative looks on the outside!

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