A few days ago, I was poked towards an excellent long read in an article titled Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit. Of note, besides being recommended because of it being an excellent piece of writing, there was also a tug at the heart wondering what, if any, are the prospects of digital ministry endeavors when the core of much of why we are digital has such a fleeting impact? If you will, can digital ministry reinvent models of theology and culture of thevery model of tech is nothing more than a trade of simulations?
Here’s a snippet:
…Where, in short, are the flying cars? Where are the force fields, tractor beams, teleportation pods, antigravity sleds, tricorders, immortality drugs, colonies on Mars, and all the other technological wonders any child growing up in the mid-to-late twentieth century assumed would exist by now? Even those inventions that seemed ready to emerge—like cloning or cryogenics—ended up betraying their lofty promises. What happened to them?
We are well informed of the wonders of computers, as if this is some sort of unanticipated compensation, but, in fact, we haven’t moved even computing to the point of progress that people in the fifties expected we’d have reached by now. We don’t have computers we can have an interesting conversation with, or robots that can walk our dogs or take our clothes to the Laundromat….
Read the rest of Of Flying Cars and the Decline Rate of Profit at The Baffler; then be sure to contribute to their Kickstarter campaign
When pulled through a theological lens, we can ask things like “where is my icon that allows me a conversation with Peter or Paul?” Or, that interaction that gets Stephen (the martyr) and Martin Luther in the same room with Polycarp mediating the debate? There’s a lot about this faith that this tech should have been more than able to provoke past imaginations, past the norm of the institution. But, it has been somehow curtailed from its place, much in the same way the author of The Baffler’s piece says that many of us have been intellectually, spiritually, and culturally.
What future do you plan for if you do this digital ministry? Does it matter to you if you create the future, or if you are driven by another’s mishandling of it?