Friday, July 08, 2011

Book Review: The Next Story by Tim Challies (Nesdoly)

If you’ve detected some changes in yourself, your kids or grandkids since the coming of the Internet, video games and smart phones, you’ll want to read The Next Story by Ontario author Tim Challies. When this pastor and writer began to notice how his beeping and ringing gizmos and gadgets had him on an ever shorter leash, he decided to do some investigating. The result is a holistic book that not only gives information about technology but also provides a well-researched, well-reasoned and biblically based context for its use.

In Part One Challies lays the groundwork for a discerning utilization of technology by first relating it to God and theology. Next he explains what theorists have discovered about ways it changes society and individuals. Finally he takes us on a tour of digital technology through history, showing us how we got here.

Part Two delves into modern digital technology’s impacts on communication, mediation (use of media instead of face-to-face contact), distractibility, family life, information (e.g. the sheer volume and questionable quality of it), truth/authority (e.g. Wikipedia versus an encyclopedia written by experts), and visibility and privacy.

Throughout Part Two, Challies relates technology’s challenges to the foundational discoveries about spirit, soul and body he arrived at in Part One. Each of these chapters has a “Questions for Reflection” and “Practical Application” section, good for personal or group use.

As someone who has interacted with digital technology for years, I saw my behaviours described often in this book and found myself thinking, “So that’s what’s going on!” Whether you’re a technology newbie, a seasoned digital immigrant, or a digital native, there’s something for you in its pages. Digital technology is here to stay. This book will help you see how you can remain its master instead of allowing it to master you.

Title: The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion
Author: Tim Challies
Publisher: Zondervan, 2011. Hardcover, 208 pages. $21.99
ISBN-10: 0310329035
ISBN-13: 978-0310329039

Review first published in Faith Today - July / August 2011 issue.



1 comment:

Peter Black said...

Violet, thank you for posting your review. The book sounds like a very interesting and enlightening read. You're very conversant with digital technology. (Hmm, but my envying you for that won't help me get better at it myself -- pity!;))

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