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Developing a Theology of Technology


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This presentation looks at how to best approach developing a Theology of Technology.

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Developing a Theology of Technology

  1. 1. Andrew Sears President, City Vision University Director, Master’s in Technology and Ministry How Can Theology of Technology Better Prepare Christians for Ministry?
  2. 2. Key Questions in Developing a Theology of Technology 1. What are the needs we are trying to address with a Theology of Technology? 2. Who are the audiences for a Theology of Technology? 3. What are our goals with different audiences? 4. What are the disciplines and traditions that a Theology of Technology can learn from? 5. Given these answers, what is the best approach in developing a Theology of Technology?
  3. 3. Rural Urba n Online/ Digital Agricultural Industrial Information The Need: Macro-Historical Trends Create a Need for New Focus Areas of Applied Theology
  4. 4. Technology Influenced Megatrends: Opportunities and Threats Opportunities Threats Growth in diversity Growth in deviance Many options/connections Shallow focus & relationships More information More temptation Less global poverty More domestic inequality Decreased autocracy Decreased accountability Increased specialization Holistic church decrease Megachurch network growth Wal-Mart effect on Churches Increased Gospel access Increased access to evil Increased Capacity for Good Increased Capacity for Evil
  5. 5. System Making
  6. 6. Christians Globally (in a tech world) Tech Christians Globally Tech Christians in U.S. Tech Christians in Christian Orgs Professional Tech Ministers • 77,500 full-time IT staff • $12.5 Billion IT Budget • 6.3 million Christians in STEM jobs (71% in computing) • 50-100 million Christians in STEM jobs Audiences for Theology of Technology
  7. 7. Christianity (Following Jesus) Theology, Culture, Paradigms, Deep Wounds, (Spiritual Strongholds) Nurture (Family) Thoughts/Emotions, Habits, Nature: Biochemical Social Behaviors
  8. 8. MTM Program: Using Theology of Technology as a Foundation to Prepare Future Tech Ministers Theology of Technology (Christian worldview for a tech-driven world) Audience, Pedagogy & Goals Emerging Media Ministry Tech & Addiction Theology of Work Business & Nonprofit Skills Tech & the Poor SubjectsApplication
  9. 9. Theology of Tech Theolog y (general) Science & Religion Theology of Work Media Ecology Principles 1. Theology of Technology currently borrows primarily from 4 disciplines 2. Theology of Technology needs to lay foundation of a coherent worldview using sub-disciplines emerging in the information age
  10. 10. Q1 Personal: Nurture (internal-individual: I/mind) Q2: Physical: Nature (external-individual: it/body) Q3: Cultural (interior collective, we) Q4: Societal (exterior collective, they) • Theology of Technology (current) • Media Ministry • Media Ecology • Theology (majority world) • Political Ethics of Science & Tech • Creative Arts • Theology of Work • Technology & the Poor • Social Entrepreneurship/Nonprofit Management • Business/ BAM/Marketplace Ministry • Sociology & Social Psychology • Technology Policy • Social Sciences • Technology & Addiction • Counseling & Recovery • Theology (traditional Western) • Morality of Technology • Personal Psychology of Technology • Humanities • Media Nutrition • Systems Thinking • Science & Religion • Strategic Foresight/Future Studies • Biochemistry of Tech Use • Science • Applied Sciences Emerging Sub-Disciplines (causes & paradigms)IndividualCollective Internal External
  11. 11. Technology Advances Make Things Easier to Do • Pornography, Drugs, Sex • All Addictions • Opportunities for the Gospel
  12. 12. Christianity (Following Jesus) Q1: Tech Addiction Recovery Q2: Media Nutrition Q3: Christian Media Ecology Q4: Tech Tools, Rules & Policies Q1: Nurture (Family) Q2: Nature (Biochemical) Q3: Cultural Q4: Social Systems The Greatest Threat to the Body of Christ…is the pervasive, destructive pornography available through the Internet. - Josh McDowell Choosing Paradigms & Metaphors
  13. 13. Sugary Media (Empty Entertainment) Neutral Media Media for Growth In-person Relationships (Bible, Christian content/music, education, work) (some music, games, news, social media) (Love God + Love Others + Sabbath) Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Cheap Empty Calories (bread, rice, potatoes) Dessert Exercise Toxic or Addictive Media Stop! Media Nutrition Pyramid
  14. 14. Television Fast Food = Computer Supermarket Tablet/Smartphone Convenience Store/Daily Trips = = Media Type & Devices Influence Availability of Healthy Media
  15. 15. Media Nutrition Log
  16. 16. Conclusions: Theology of Technology should… 1. Provide a helpful theological framework for Christians in a technology-driven world 2. Be able to address needs of different audiences 3. Build on wisdom of key related disciplines 4. Provide a foundation for new sub- disciplines emerging to prepare Christians in a technology-driven world
  17. 17. For More Information  This presentation on Slideshare:  Master’s in Technology and Ministry Videos ◦ ◦ Theology of Technology ◦ Technology Cross-Cultural Ministry & the Poor ◦ Theology of Work in the STEM Professions ◦ Emerging Media Ministry ◦ Technology & Social Entrepreneurship ◦ Technology and Addiction  Dissertation: “Disruptive Innovation in Christian Higher Education” ◦ Full Dissertation: ◦ Slideshare: ◦ YouTube Playlist: (will soon include this talk) ◦ Bibliography:  Contact ◦ LinkedIn: ◦ 617-282-9798 x101
  18. 18. Q & A  Are these the right questions? What other questions should we be asking?  Are these helpful answers and conclusions?  What else would people add?
  19. 19. Appendix
  20. 20. Christianity (Following Jesus) Theology, Culture, Paradigms, Deep Wounds, (Spiritual Strongholds) Thoughts, Emotions, Habits, Family, Social, Biochemical Behaviors
  21. 21. Jesus Christian Social Sector AGRM, CCDA, Salvation Army, Teen Challenge, UYWI, World Vision Job Boards Simply Hired Christian Higher Ed for Justice Bakke U, UCC, Eastern, Fuller Azusa, Acton, NET Institute, Christian ABE Open Education, MOOCs, EdX Coursera, Udacity Nonprofit Recruiting AllforGood, Idealist VolunteerMatch, Guidestar, FB Causes Tech & Missions ICCM, Lightsys, MAF, GEM, EMI, WIN, OB VisionSynergy, AIBI Wycliffe IT, CheckItOut Tech & Ministry Internet Evangelism Day, Mobile Ministry Forum, YouVersion, ABS, Cru MSTSM Program Tech-Justice Sector (secular) Jesus Tech Sector (Word) Jesus Justice Sector (Deed) City Vision College ChristianVolunteering City Vision Internships Tech Christian Colleges AccessED, ACU, Calvin, Taylor, Baylor Biola, Olivet, Fuller, Wheaton, Liberty Christian Technologists Christians Engineering Society, Intervarsity Faculty, Cru Faculty ISCAST, Code for the Kingdom Christians in Tech (FB & LinkedIn) Christian Recruiting MeetTheNeed, ChristianJobs ShortTermMissions, Missions Christian Media Christianity Today, Publishers, Radio & TV Tech Philanthropy Google Grants, LinkedIn Facebook, Salesforce, Microsoft Open Source Drupal, Moodle Church Tech & IT LifeChurch, Menlo Park Saddleback, Willow Creek Christian Recovery NACR, Celebrate Recovery Urban Internships Mission Year Churches of the Poor Christian Higher Ed In Developing Countries Low Cost Online Training, Skillshare, Pluralsight Parachurch IT Cru, Intervarsity Open Data/Content Wikipedia, Open Gov’t, Semantic Web Christian Funders Foundations, Individuals Secular Funders Foundations, Individuals, Government, Corporations
  22. 22. Figure 3. Global Growth of Urban Population
  23. 23. Figure 4. Global Growth of Internet Access
  24. 24. Figure 5. Increasing Time Spent in Media
  25. 25. Past Debates: Writing  Key Debate: Will writing hurt learning? “For this invention [writing] will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them.” – Socrates in Phaedrus 274c-275b)  Writing enabled knowledge discovery to be modularized from rest of learning process
  26. 26. Past Debates: Books  Big Debate: Should a professor only teach from books they wrote? ◦ “…If we use Sasso’s book, theywill say what our students have learned, they have learned from Sasso, not from us” –John Paul Nicolas, 1588, expressing concerns about not using grammer books that they had written themselves  Books became modularized from rest of learning process