Christian Professor Says Churches Have Forgotten ‘Ordinary Embodied Human Existence’ Amid the Growth of Modern Technology

Showgoers wear Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets during the Intel press conference at CES in Las Vegas, January 4, 2017. | REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Churches have forgotten the importance of embodied human existence in response to the growth of modern technology, according to a recent book by a Christian college professor.

Craig M. Gay, professor of interdisciplinary studies at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada, wrote Modern Technology and the Human Future: A Christian Appraisal to warn people about the harms associated with modern technology and social media, while stressing the need for people to critique such technological trends from a biblical perspective.

“I am not a Luddite. I am not anti-technology. But I am concerned about it, and particularly about the directions it appears to be heading,” wrote Gay in the book’s preface.

“… my sincere desire is that you will find this book useful in judging what ‘measure of harm and of profit’ you stand to gain by employing modern automatic machine technologies.”

While Gay notes in his book that biblical Christian theology has the answer on how to combat the harms of modern technology, churches by and large have not stressed enough or even have forgotten those keys points.

“Modern technological development’s apparent trend away from ordinary embodied human existence should have triggered alarms in our churches,” wrote Gay.

“Our churches seem to have forgotten the centrality of embodied human existence within the gospel of Jesus Christ. Indeed, what appears to account for the church’s failure to protest both the mechanical modern outlook as well as the modern tendency to objectify and enframe the natural world is that we have fallen out of the habit of reflecting upon—and living out of—the implications of core Christian convictions.”

In an interview with The Christian Post last Friday, Gay explained that he believed that this trend was common throughout Western Christianity, stating that “Catholics suffer from this just as much as Protestants.”

“My hunch is that it’s happening to all of us in all kinds of subtle ways. It’s a feature of modernity. Modernity and modernization tends to disconnect people from their religious or theological traditions,” said Gay.

However, Gay did believe that some congregations were trying to combat the harms of modern technology through a renewed emphasis on teaching Christian principles.

“Catechism, I think, has become a thing again. People are talking about it again. Whereas for at least a generation, it hasn’t really been something that happened in many large churches. And now it’s beginning to happen again,” said Gay to CP.

“I think the reason that is, is because people are realizing people just don’t know what the Christian faith is and how it holds together in terms of basic conviction.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski