Losers Talk about Winners and Losers in Technology

At the beginning of this clip is a humorously botched illustration about trade-offs with technology. (Disclaimer: Jake and Amir is like a funnier, much more crass version of Jim and Dwight on the The Office. Watch at your own discretion).

It goes something like this:

Imagine aliens came and offered to give us a technology that could teleport you from point A to point B. The catch was that the aliens would kill 50,000 people at random each year. Would you take the technology?

The punchline is that this describes the statistics on automobiles pretty accurately (Amir confuses cars with gangs). Cars let us “teleport” around with ease and yet many people die because of them. When someone uses the illustration, usually someone else counters with something like the number the people saved by ambulances, but the point that cars bring a positive and a negative is pretty clear.

What about the Church?

When we talk about implementing technologies like social networking, mobile phones, video projectors, and so on in our churches, what if the questions were posed this way?

Imagine someone came and offered to give your church a technology that would allow you to reach out to millions of people. The only catch was that 50,000 people a year became less able to concentrate and another 50,000 became extremely lonely. Would you accept it?

Or this way:

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John Dyer

In my day job, I work at Dallas Theological Seminary, and at night I write Bible software for countries whose leaders could be called "overlords." This one time, I wrote a book about technology and Christian faith. You can find out more about what I'm up to at http://j.hn/.

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