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Following Jesus in a Digital Age

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
June 19, 2022 1:13 am

Following Jesus in a Digital Age

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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June 19, 2022 1:13 am

In our final episode of our series, “Discipled by Algorithms”, we learn about Jason Thacker’s next book, “Following Jesus in a Digital Age”. This topic is basically what we’ve discussed throughout this series. To learn more about Jason’s work, purchase his books and listen to his podcast, click the link below.


Series: Discipled by Algorithms

Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
Insight for Living
Chuck Swindoll
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts

Hi this is breathing welcome to the Salvation Army's words of life. Welcome back the words of life. I'm Bernie Dakin I'm Cheryl Guillen.

Sadly, this is our last episode in the series about technology in the church with Jason Thacker.

We began this way back in May so if you've missed any episodes. Be sure to subscribe to words of life on your favorite podcast store or visit Salvation Army sound to learn more about Jason and find his latest books, you can visit our website or Jason in its final episode we talk about his next book coming out in August. Following Jesus in a digital age. Welcome back doors of life.

Jason it has been such a pleasure to have you here for listeners. Jason Thacker is joining us for the last of seven episodes were Ruben talk about his writing the book that he's put together called the age of AI artificial intelligence.

I feel smarter for having to spend your company and we again were grateful that you're here. We've touched on so many things and I think there's still more but in this episode particular talk about following Jesus in a digital age and maybe even what might be coming out from your hand in the future will good good. There were photos and I is that the tile my next book will shall be coming out in August of this year August end of August 2022 and its focus on following Jesus in the digital age. That's really the question I get asked is what is it mean to follow Jesus and what is the Bible say about technology.

I think often we can assume that whatever the Bible doesn't really speak to a lot of the modern questions we have doesn't really speak to issues of AI like we've been talking about throughout the series or technology using Goodyear concordance ELCA you don't see technology don't see a smart phone, but really what we do is we go back to this, especially from an ethical perspective and see these principles.

This wisdom that the Scriptures given so I frame the whole book is around the wisdom tradition, specifically around the Psalms. The Proverbs about how God calls us to live and I open that book specifically talking about often. I think we just assume that having the right beliefs means that were good, as long as we believe the right things that so finds it will often focus on theology or doctrine. Having the right beliefs. What I'm to argue in the book is that yes that's true but those beliefs have corresponding actions that cause us to do something which really is the nature of ethics so ethics isn't that class that you had to take that unit business ethics that was really boring or that class that seemed really disconnected from your daily life like these really crazy ethical situation that really there weren't a good answer to ethics is discipleship.

What we can talk to this whole series and so what I do and that book is Talk about the nature of theology about having right beliefs and how that corresponds to having right actions.

And that's really what wisdom is. That's with the wisdom tradition is is calling us what is it mean to live in which the agent in the Asian which God has placed us and for us it's in the digital age we live in a world inundated by technology were surrounded by constantly and so what is it mean to take our beliefs and align those with our actions as we live out in this age.

This live out what is it mean to be faithful and to follow Jesus in this digital age is on that book I really talk about the nature of technology, which we talked about a few episodes ago. What is technology how is it shaping, informing and discipling us in the getting into specific questions around misinformation, fake news in the nature of truth digitally get into questions about moral responsibility.

I think especially what we talked on the series is algorithms and we always say will the algorithm made me do it or big tech made me do it are those people over there made me do it and the Bible says something different about our moral responsibility you reference that a couple episodes ago, our moral agency are more responsibility that flows from who we are is made in the image of God. And so what is the Bible talk about that. How do we shape that these conversations about tech in the last day of focus specifically on our identity. Not only was it mean to be human, but more so our identity in Christ were often driven in this age, especially social media age defined her identity and the things we do to find her identity of things we believe defined in our tribal work groups or churches rather than Jesus. And I think that's really one of the most important questions is where is our identity because we see this kind of polarization we see this divisiveness. We see this tension within society. It's us versus them and that's where the gospel comes in and really upends our entire understanding of identity. And that's really what I try to focus on the new in this new book is, focus on really social media and kind of age in which we inhabit and what is it mean to follow Jesus in the midst of the I think this is a safe statement but no when we talk about social media were no longer talking about just teenagers or just young adults with this is affecting everybody because by and large what we subscribe to social media. Now that they have specific applications now for young people, which is a great way to protect what they're saying and limit who's got access to them. Of course, but could you give us some ideas.

We did talk about ways to really be responsible with these opportunities but maybe just really revisit the idea of being responsible with social media. I think you make a really a point is that I think for some listeners. MSA will I'm not really on social media, but you're actually still being formed by being shaped by, and I can case in point have a friend who talks about their grandmother who lives in a nursing home. Who's never been on a computer doesn't even own a smart phone obviously is not a social media who will routinely tell her son or grandson.

My neighbor was on Facebook and saw acts and so it's funny that even if we try to isolate and try to pull ourselves away and not engage in these tools and these technologies we end up still being influenced by it. And that's really what I'm talking about is even shaping the nature of truth and how we understand reality but in terms of light can of these practical habits and some of the things that we can do specifically, think is one is we talked about previous episodes, as we tend to technology causes to seek efficiency and speed. Above all, it's as fast as we can get something and react in real time to something and sometimes we just need to slow down and what that means is simply, maybe putting down our device or reading articles or slowing down or listening to a podcast and not multitasking or reading a book about multitasking are being with our kids and not multitasking or doing our job and not multitasking the I don't remember the phrase used but you have a tech free table idea that's a good practice to get into something that we for years weren't doing in one day my wife and I looked across the table or like we can't do this.

Not only are we on our devices but our kids around other devices. We try to put him down.

It was hard for a few days to be real honest. They were very happy about the children that is. And they started to come to get use to it is only working half conversation but then other times as may be putting down our devices or charging our phones, and other rooms instead of next to our bed using a red a regular alarm clock, or having honest conversations with people who can challenge you and cannot push you want things to say will how are you doing in X, Y, and Z wheat, typically in the church have seen that their accountability groups are small groups and I think that's an especially important as we can move forward in the digital age is that many people can check us and we can be no were hoping to have a vacation the next coming months and I'm thinking already. I'm going completely dark, like I'm not I'm not literally take probably not even bring some of these devices, much less have them on so I'll put a regular watch on its of a smart lot while just trying to disconnect living and not eggs, not knowing every breaking story or every controversy. This can hit social media in real time and that's okay because I think in a we live in.

There's a an author, named Alan Jacobs who talks about how we live in this kind of onslaught of information.

This information age and were simply given and exposed to more information than we can ever hope to process and he says that the way he talks about is that information processing like battlefield triage were just running from one thing to the next and next. The next is trying to like take care of the put out the fires and one of things I think we can do being inundated by information is slowing down disconnecting maybe getting our news firm. A couple's trusted sources rather than maybe always social media or reading an actual newspaper or magazine, rather than always getting the soundbites on social media little things little practices just have better habits and this doesn't mean we reject technology. I think there's kind of a misnomer, especially within the church that we just have to reject technology.

All rights, all bad know we'd Artie talked about that is not all bad. It can be really good gifts of God rest, but taking more balance wisdom filled approach is to know the technologies forming it, shaping us and maybe is shaping us in ways that are very reflective of Christ, maybe it's more reflective of the world and the culture around us and so having those coming categories. I think help us to come to realize the things we do online part of our real life, and we were responsible for those things that do there's I think there's a there's a tendency for us to divide our online life or digital life from real life. You know, you've heard the adage of what he's really nice in real life.

If you meet him. He's a jerk online. He's a really nice guy. If you meet him and that that's should not be the way it is with her since that's not who we are who we are is the same online in the same. We are in real life and in person and so are our goal is to kind of align those things. As we follow Jesus into the digital age. So for me the idea of a tech free table and being present with each other is so important. A wise man once told me when dealing with the first loss that my wife and I have experienced as a couple of her brother had passed away and I called an elder or a friend the mentor and said, what am I supposed to do his advice to me was just be present. It's a ministry of presence. Now take that forward, even into the workforce. There's something to be said about someone who can look at you with their eyes and smile. You know we always I always like to say teeth and eyes.

That's what sells things, you know that's that's how you get get influence because you're actually engaging in some form of relationship by simply being present.

I want to encourage your listeners to take that to heart and also to check out Jason Thacker's book the age of AI done a good work here and there's more to be had. This summer we heard there's another book coming out which we talked about following Jesus in the digital age.

You can find these resources anywhere you buy books, will there be an audio version of the book that's come out so I haven't heard from the publisher yet but maybe this podcast will push him along little bit whether it is an audio version available for the age of AI. If you want to check it out in that format as well. Jason Keller listeners how they can find you at all. The place yet easiest ways to where my websites.

Jason The list that all the books and forthcoming resources we have, including any Bible study.

I'm specifically on following Jesus in the digital age is alongside the book and the book comes out in August of this year. August 2022.

I really excited to get that in the hands of folks to come and start to think through this is in a book that's written for academics.

This is book written for everyday people just like me and you to think about better and have a more wisdom, and as we approach a lot of these type of questions I'm seeing on my website Jason also supplied cast called the digital public square. Podcasting on it wherever podcasts are hosted and that's really the best way through social media.

The books a lot of writing all civil weekly newsletter that a put out with various articles can of addressing what a Christian ethics in the public square month Jason got bless you.

Thanks again for joining us and to all of our listeners. God bless you. We hope to see you on the next episode words of life. The Salvation Army's mission doing the most good means helping people with material and spiritual needs become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army visit Salvation Army to offer your support and love to hear from you. Email us radio USS.Salvation or call 1-800-229-9965, write us at PO Box 29972, Atlanta, GA 30359 tell us how we can help share prayer request or share your testimony. Would love to use your story on here. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes favorite podcast store and surely give us a rating search for the Salvation Army's words of life.

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