How have you gone about growing in faith and application using the digital tools and services offered to you? Clearly, the amount of bibles, reading plans, prayer assistants, music, and video items available are beneficial to growth. But, they also present a challenge to some in respect to being a layer in-between what should be a direct relationship we have with God.
Think Christian took a look at the (controversial) Confessions app which was recently certified for use for Roman Catholic adherents (with conditions). Here’s a snippet of that piece, and probably the most important point posed by it:
…It’s hard to object to the idea behind the Confession app. It combines elements of religious education and personal journaling, neither of which is especially controversial. So why did an innocuous iPhone app generate such a nervous reaction?
I don’t believe anybody really thinks that an app on your mobile device can take the place of God. I think it makes us nervous because it reminds us how much of what we consider the “Christian life” could, in theory, be carried out through technology, with almost no face-to-face fellowship at all.
There’s a very delicate line between using technology in the service of your Christian life and letting it become a buffer between you and the people you’re engaging…
A brother that i fellowship with recently opened up to the fact that he has isolated himself from the world around him to remain holy, but it has had the unintended effect of shutting himself off from interacting more with those around him. I’d argue that mobile and web technology have allowed for this a bit more than other technologies have because of the perceived connectivity to “something” that we do expend some energy towards.
The book Alone Together also considers this happening, and asks if we’ve really thought through the implications of certain concepts and activities online and offline. Can the Confessions app point to an acceptance of this kind of reality, but also point to ropes out of it? Or, is it yet another sign that the idol of technology is more powerful than the maturity of love and fellowship that we prescribe to it?