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Believers and unbelievers alike are saturated with technology, yet most give it little if any thought. Consumers buy and upgrade as fast as they can, largely unaware of technology’s subtle yet powerful influence. In a world where technology changes almost daily, many are left to wonder: Should Christians embrace all that is happening? Are there some technologies that we need to ...
Believers and unbelievers alike are saturated with technology, yet most give it little if any thought. Consumers buy and upgrade as fast as they can, largely unaware of technology’s subtle yet powerful influence. In a world where technology changes almost daily, many are left to wonder: Should Christians embrace all that is happening? Are there some technologies that we need to avoid? Does the Bible give us any guidance on how to use digital tools and social media?
An experienced Web developer and writer on technology and culture, John Dyer answers these questions and more by walking through the story of the Bible and introducing key ideas about how technology and culture interact. Dyer first analyzes the biblical, theological, and philosophical foundations of technology and then studies several examples that show how technology can influence the spiritual life. For youth pastors, college-aged readers, and anyone interested in understanding how technology fits with faith, From the Garden to the City fills a gap for biblically-informed literature in a technological world.
“The burgeoning field of internet possibilities has very little written from a Christian perspective, much less from a gifted artist like John Dyer.”--J. Scott Horrell, Professor of Theological Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
“Of all the voices speaking and writing on the subject today, John Dyer’s is among the voices I most respect. [His] unique combination of technological and theological passion, insight, and credentials make him an author and thought leader that people of faith need to hear from.”--Scott McClellan, editor, Collide Magazine
Posted September 30, 2011
Lets face it we are all slaves to technology, from the cars we drive to the computers we use, we are so used to these things that we couldn't even begin to imagine life without them, and it seems that things are updated so quickly that they are obselete before you even get that tricky packaging off often making us feel the need to constantly update. Is it possible as Christians to live a faith based life and also embrace technology?
"From The Garden To The City" uses scriptures as well as personal stories to give us the answer that yes we can, that we can actually use technology to honor and fulfill Gods plan for us.The author gives us an interesting look at not only how technology has saturated our lives but also how it has shaped and changed our lives. His use of personal stories and Biblical reference makes this book not only interesting but informative, reminding us that we must work diligently to live a Christian life while living in a world saturated with technology. I personally found this book to be quite informative and caused me to think about how I actually deal with technology in my life, and whether I am using it in a way that is pleasing to God.
Posted September 29, 2011
Does the Bible have anything to say about modern technology? According to author John Dyer, in his new book From the Garden to the City, more than you can imagine! As Christians, we must evaluate every aspect of our lives in light of God's Word, the Bible. We often think about this with regard to pressing moral questions such as abortion, homosexuality, etc. But what about technology - things like cell phones, the internet, Facebook and Twitter? There is no question that our lives today are at least technologically-impacted, if not technologically-driven. Should we, then, not consider how technology impacts the way we live, and do so from a particularly Christian perspective? That evaluation is precisely what Dyer has given us. His work, however, is not just a biblical evaluation of technology itself, but also an evaluation of both what technology can do for us, and what it can do to us. What gives this book its draw and its impact is the author's solid grasp of both biblical theology (ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary) and technological expertise (web-developer who has built tools for Apple, Microsoft, Harley Davidson, and the Department of Defense). Dyer then takes it to an even higher level as he assimilates his knowledge of both theology and technology into a book that is as readable and practical as it is biblical. To say that Dyer's approach is "biblical" is really an understatement. That term is often used to describe a book where an author, in somewhat willy-nilly fashion, includes a few Bible verses that seem to support his conclusion. In this book, Dyer takes a decidedly biblical and gospel-centered approach, considering technology within the broad framework of God's plan of redemption - from Creation to Fall to Redemption to Restoration. (Dyer uses the terms "Reflection," "Rebellion," "Redemption," and "Restoration.") Dyer's evaluation of the practical implications of technology is equally in-depth, considering ways technology affects the way we read the Scripture, communicate with others, experience community, and even view ourselves. Because of our technologically-saturated world, everyone would benefit from reading this book. This book is a particularly important tool for all Christians. It will help the Christian businessman or businesswoman understand the implications of choosing certain methods of communication with co-workers and clients. It will help Christian parents educate their children regarding the benefits and dangers of all forms of technology, and how to be biblically discerning when using them. It will also greatly benefit pastors and church leaders. Dyer never states nor insinuates that the best option is for Christians to avoid technology like the plague, and to encourage others to do the same. Rather, he ends the book by saying, "It is my hope that the biblical and philosophical tools presented in this book will help us become better stewards of the technological tools God has entrusted to us, as we seek to live lives that honor him and the work of his Son. And on our journey from the Garden to the City, I pray that we never confuse the city for the Savior." (179) Get this book. Read it. After you stop justifying the way you currently use/misuse technology, read it again. (I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 26, 2011
John Dyer in his new book "From the Garden to the City" published by Kregel Publications explores The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology.
John Dyer points out that technology and technology advances have been with us from The Garden Of Eden when Adam made a covering of fig leaves and then God made a covering made from an animal. There are three ways that technology changes things: 1) Humans shape the world using tools. Man has a shovel, man digs, the world now has holes from the digging. 2) The tools, in turn, shape humans. Using the shovel to dig develops muscles in the humans arms and back. 3) The tools shape our souls. Do we decide that the shovel can be used to benefit humankind or do we decide to benefit ourselves?
The book title "From the Garden to the City" shows how important technology is in the Bible! While the Bible begins in the Garden, it ends in a City - the Heavenly Jerusalem. The book is organized around the 4-fold movement of God in his relation to man: Creation-Fall-Redemption-Restoration.
"From the Garden to the City" helps us deal with the increasing advances in technology and how we should address ourselves to it. John Dyer helps to open our eyes to how technology is presented to us and the implications that presentation has on us. This is a book that should be read slowly as it has ideas that may be new to most of us and should be considered before moving on to the next topic. "From the Garden to the City" will keep you thinking. I recommend this book highly
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Posted September 21, 2011
Ever wonder if technology is becoming too powerful in our daily lives? Besides noticing how people rarely meet face to face these days in light of access to social media sites and the benefits of instant messaging and text messaging, even the average phone call is almost becoming obsolete. So is technology really helping us or hurting us?
In the recent book, From The Garden to the City by John Dyer, he discusses the benefits of the redeeming and corrupting power of technology in our lives. From early childhood most of us older adults remember how we spent our time before the invention of the mobile phone and the computers. We spent our time out with friends, usually playing all kinds of games from hide and seek or using our imagination and pretending we lived in other worlds or times.
Now this generation doesn't have to pretend with the internet. They can play role playing games on line with users from all over the world, or even just by themselves. Hooked up to headphones, wireless devices and high speed internet, they can get lost in virtual worlds we could only dream of so long ago. So is this benefiting us or harming us?
"Technology in the last century has had more advances than in the last thousand years. Abe Lincoln and Abraham from the Bible have more in common than anyone born in the 1900's. They were both separated by some 3800 years. Abraham's father raised cattle, and Mr. Lincoln planted pumpkins. We spend most of our time indoors working at desks with little knowledge of the natural world. Both men attended small religious gatherings with people they knew from the surrounding areas. We drive several miles to sit in huge auditoriums and watch screens with thousands of people, many of whom are strangers. Their water supply and bathrooms were outside; ours are inside. They lived in small, one-bedroom dwellings lit by candles; we live in comparatively enormous homes equipped with electricity, phone, cable and Internet lines. They wrote letters and spoke in person; we write electronically and speak through devices. They weathered the seasons; we control the weather with air-conditioning. "(pg 21-22).
It all depends on the perspective in how it's being used, some people are waiting for the advancement of medical technology so we can live even longer if not forever, but God has a definitive time line. This world, will not, last forever despite what technology claims it can do.
I received this book compliments of Kregel Publishers for my honest review and LOVED seeing things from a completely different perspective in addition to what references the Bible makes in regards to technology. I think John's research into the areas of how far we have advanced in technology and some of the dangers that exist for people to use it for their personal gains is insightful and one every Christian should read. It even shows how some well-meaning uses of technology in the church can also have a destructive effect in how people view the services and the Bible as well. I would rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it to any parent who tells their kids to stop spending so much time texting!