Now that summer is over and a new academic season commences, it seemed to me a good time to set about weekly blogging again. I do so amidst much that fills our culture, from the rattling of sabers in Syria to the worries of climate change and Obamacare. Somewhere in all of this the spirit of the Lord speaks, but whether we hear is the perennial question. Traditionally we teach that God speaks through his word inspired (spirit) and inscripted (word), and in these digital days I guess I should add inscreened (iPhone and Android). My concern, apropos for every blogger I would imagine, is the extent to which our dependence on screens somehow diminishes the word of God incarnate in Christians. How do we experience the body of Christ without bodies?
Despite the insistence that “we are not our gadgets,” the separation between the physical and virtual is ever blurry. Consider (ironically) the following viral video that launched to the top of the New York Times this week.
[This] video makes for some discomfiting viewing. It’s a direct hit on our smartphone-obsessed culture, needling us about our addiction to that little screen and suggesting that maybe life is just better led when it is lived rather than viewed. While the clip has funny scenes — a man proposing on a beach while trying to record the special moment on his phone — it is mostly … sad.
Take a look, but then put down your phone and talk to somebody.