Academic journal article Ethics & Medicine

God and Gadgets: Following Jesus in a Technological Age

Academic journal article Ethics & Medicine

God and Gadgets: Following Jesus in a Technological Age

Article excerpt

Brad J. Kallenburg. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2011.

Ethicist Brad Kallenberg provides a book that considers the question of technology and theology from the angle of evangelism and discipleship. He ably shows that technology has three elements that must be considered: technology as a tool, technology as a human doing, and technology as a way of being. All three of these raise questions of the Christian way of being in the world.

Kallenberg depends on a Wittgensteinian view of language to argue that "gospelizing" requires human communication, but human communication is not simply about words. It requires time, location, and bodies. When technology makes us think we can replace some of these requirements and still communicate, it is dangerous. For Kallenberg, the gospel requires not only the words that technology might help us communicate but also an embodied community's way of life that technology can actually distort.

Kallenberg also draws out the logic of instrumentalization that pervades modern reality. He lays blame for this not only at the feet of technology but also at the feet of the reduction in the understanding of causation. Because of this reduction, Christianity is tempted to operate in the logic of instrumentalization rather than the logic of gift. Kallenberg wants to reconceive technology in this logic of gift, which enables technology to be redeemed in a sense when it is brought into service of the higher ends of Christianity and doing good. …

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