For the past few years, there has been growing interest in thinking about technology and media through a Christian lens. From the churches who are hiring an increasing number of technically-oriented staff to the parents who sits across a digital divide form his child to the business people making technology decisions that will impact customers, employees, and the environment, we all need help thinking well about technology.
Below are some recent and upcoming books on technology that I thought would be helpful to point out. I have not yet read the recent works, but I have read a few of the manuscripts of the forthcoming books. (Note: many are affiliate links to Amazon)
- Reboot: Refreshing Your Faith in a High-tech World (Peggy Kendall) – I’ll be posting a review of this book next month, but I thought I’d mention it ahead of time for those that want to check it out.
- Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain (William M. Struthers) – Pornography itself is an important subject, but most Christian works focus on the moral aspects rather than the technological itself. Struthers is a neurologist and a believer, and I hope his work is beneficial for the church in helping to understand that the damage pornography does is serious. (See Rhett Smith for more on pornography and adolescents).
- Prophetically Incorrect: A Christian Introduction to Media Criticism (Paul Patton & Robert Woods) – coming August 2010, this work with forward from media scholar Quentin Schultze, looks to be a more academic in nature considering the media in relation to the mediums of prophecy and revelation.
- The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains (Nicholas Carr) – Nicholas Carr (blog: Rough Type) is not a believer to my knowledge, but his famous article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” in the Atlantic has spurred all kinds of debate on the Internet’s effect on the human brain, and his book level treatment promises to be an important reference point in the debate.
- Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns (David Gordon) A follow up to his 2009 book Why Johnny Can’t Preach: How the Media Have Shaped the Messengers (my review), Gordon uses the tools of media ecology to show why and how today’s church goers have come to prefer pop-style songs in church. I have read his manuscript, and while I know that many people will disagree with some of his points, his overall arguments is very persuasive which makes this book a must-read for all worship leaders and Sunday morning planners.
- Reclaiming the Future: biblical guidelines for technology and culture (Jack Swearengen) – This book is unique in that it doesn’t come from a theologian, pastor, or Christian personality, but rather a materials scientist working in arms control and nuclear dismantlement. I have also read this manuscript, and I can say it does an excellent job of showing what’s going on with technology in the larger world-level scale.
- The Next Story (Tim Challies) Tim Challies has one of the most popular Christian blogs on the whole entire internet. He is a fellow web developer, and a fine Christian thinker, deeply steeped in Reformed theology.
- God In the Tubes: Using the Internet and Social Media for Ministry in a Post-Web Site World (Dave Bourgeois) – From BIOLA professor Dave Bourgeois whose book will come out of a class he is teaching in Summer 2010 called Using the Internet and Social Media for Ministry.
- From the Garden to the City (John Dyer). Finally, I want to let you know that I’ll be publishing a book sometime in the next year or so that will give an introduction to the importance of technology in our lives and faith, surface some of the most important issues we face, and hopefully offer some constructive solutions.
If you know of any other books on the subject, let me know and I’ll add them to the list.