David Murray said, “Yes, our technology use can please God. He delights to see the truth instead of falsehood on Facebook, to hear truth streaming across the world, and to witness our online witness to unbelievers”. Similarly, Veith and Stamper said: “We must recognize the sense in which this new technology is a blessing from God”. Jason Baker warned Christians not to retreat from the call to be the salt and light, especially in cyberspace. He issues a call to action: “the online world is still changing rapidly, now is the time for the church to determine how she wants to use the opportunities afforded her”.
Murray noted that “the devil didn’t create and invent technology. God did, as the giver of every good and perfect gift”. He further explained, “The more we recognize that technology is a gift from God, the more we will abhor taking His gift and using it against Him, the more we will take this gift and use it as He intends”. The digital culture is created by man, providentially guided, and filled with wisdom coming from the grace of God. “The world of cyberspace is indeed a human construction…. It is, of course, a pale imitation of the real world—the one made by God—which is objective, solid, rich, and multifaceted”, Veith and Stamper said. Christ the sustainer of all things in the world (Heb. 1:2-3) is the same Christ, the only way, that the virtual world needs for salvation (Jn. 14:6).
Nevertheless, the church has the duty, through the Great Commission, to evangelize—be the salt and light—in the dark realities of the virtual world. Just as the heart of man is corrupted, and the physical world is fallen, thus the virtual world is marred with the sinfulness of humanity which needs redemption by anchoring it in the gospel of Christ towards the ultimate restoration—the telos of Christianity.
The Church should not ignore the relevance of technology but must see it as a gift from God. Christians need to learn how to simply embrace and receive it. Andrew Careaga said that “virtual connections is the ‘Romans Road’ network of this era, connecting the body of Christ in ways never before possible”. This is the time wherein the church ought to use technological virtual connections as tools for ministry. The techno-fields are “ripe for harvest”, but the “workers are few. Ask the Lord of the Harvest for ‘techies.’”
*This post is originally from John Paul Arceno’s “Utopian Virtual Reality in Ready Player One: Responding with Real Hope and the Christian Teleos,” in Film, Philosophy and Religion ed. William Anderson (Wilmington, Delaware: Vernon Press, August 2021), 69-88; and “Is Virtual Baptism a ‘Real’ Baptism?” in Technology and Theology ed. William Anderson (Wilmington, DE: Vernon Press, August 2020), 149-167.
Baker, Jason, ed., Christian Cyberspace Companion: A Guide to the Internet and Christian Online Resources. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1997.
Careaga, Andrew. eMinistry: Connecting with the Net Generation. Grand Rapids: Kregel
Murray, David. “Digital Theology”. Tabletalk Magazine 1st October 2016.
Veith, Gene Edward, and Christopher L. Stamper. Christians in a .Com World. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2000.
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