The long-term effects of the Internet…

The jury is still out on the long-term effects of the Internet on a whole host of public perceptions. While we have quicker access to a vast array of information, the Internet provides no framework or grid for filtering information, ranking its importance or trustworthiness, or evaluating the credibility of the sources it enables us to find. It builds networks of data-sharers and generates some virtual relationships, but the kinds of relationships developed with time across age groups and ethnicities within the context of a thriving and well-ordered local church are simply out of reach. Perhaps Nicholas Carr is a tad too skeptical when he asks, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” but it is easy to understand his concerns. While the digital world loves images, the Bible’s message is heavily word-centered; while many people hide behind computer screens, the gospel emphasizes relationships between God and people and among people; while many are certain that it is wrong to be certain about very much, Jesus promises certain salvation and pledges a certain hope; while leaders resort to endless self-promotion and marketing strategies, Christians follow a condemned criminal whose most significant hours were spent in agony on a Roman cross.

D. A. Carson, from The God Who is There – Leaders Guide, p. 15

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