John Dyer has long been a favorite to read and listen to in respect to faith and technology. He’s one of the few who seems to have as solid a handle on IT issues as he does Scripture. We’ve seen one aspect of his work as with the Bib.ly feature which turns Scripture references into a service-neutral, verse pop-up screen on this blog (this only works on the site, those viewing via mobile or RSS won’t see the effect).
John’s on the verge of publishing something new, and a good bit further reaching. His upcoming book, From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology seeks to catalyze what’s been heard/seen on his blog (Don’t Eat the Fruit) as well as when you get to chat with him in person or virtually. That is, there are both positive and negative implications to technology that influence and are influenced by our association with faith. His exploration of this topic is something I’m itching to be ready to read once it comes out (August). Here’s the text from the back cover:
Technology—from the first stone tool to the latest smartphone—has changed our daily routine, the way we communicate, and even how we encounter God. We often laud the benefits of technology (increased quality of life, faster ways to spread the gospel) or bemoan the detriments of technology (decreased attention spans, reduced interpersonal contact), but fail to properly address its transformative power. Where does technology fit into the larger Biblical story?
From the Garden to the City deconstructs the concept of technology and examines it through the lens of Scripture. Studying Bible passages and insights from the best thinkers on technology, theology, and culture, John Dyer shows how technology left unexamined can enslave us rather than honor God and fulfill his plan for us. With helpful observations and practical application, Dyer issues an urgent challenge to live faithfully in this technology-saturated world.
Before From the Garden to the City is released, there are a few things John is doing to keep the interest. One of them is that he’s got a survey-of-sorts on the book’s website where based on what services are used to promote his upcoming book, a specific chapter of the book would be unlocked for all to read freely. He’s using the social networking technologies as a viral-like means to promote the book, and the strength of networks and promotion will be what unlocks the book. Nifty.
To track the eventual book release, check out From the Garden to the City’s website. To check out some of the kinds of thinking that John has going into this book, I’d recommend following his blog Don’t Eat the Fruit – lots of nuggets just happen to fall off that tree.
And if you can’t wait until August, check out this listing of reads that John’s posted about. Time to knock off some items from my Amazon Wishlist