top of page

A Book Review : IGODS by Craig Detweiler



In the examination of the book, IGods by Craig Detweiler, readers should expect an exploration of the on-going impact that technology has on us as consumers and users. To add a deeper glance into this work, readers will also discover how technology shapes our culture and consequently guides our actions. In the book, Detweiler says, “Technology alters our hearts and minds. We need to understand how Google works but also what Google does to our understand o who we are and whose we are” (2013, p.18). The book seeks to push readers toward wisdom and not reliance. This wisdom gives insight to deeper meanings that are not always presented through technology. The bible holds up wisdom as a rare and precious goal (James 1:5). Structurally, the author begins by laying a foundation for technology so as to get readers to understand it. Then, he mentions a brief history of the internet and social media, and then the author discusses the need for Christians to maintain true and authentic faith in the confines of a digital world.

Defining Technology The first thing the author does in this book, is he defines technology. The expression “we reject what we don’t understand” holds true in the case of technology and it’s use within the community of Christ. Technology is often approached in hesitation or trepidation by ministry leaders when it comes to public worship because of all of the temptations to worship the technology rather than the one in whom it is used for. Misconceptions about technology has caused many to reject it as a means to communicate, experience, and promote the gospel message. To be clear, the word “technology” is "a discourse or treatise on an art or the arts," from Greek tekhnologia "systematic treatment of an art, craft, or technique," originally referring to grammar,from tekhno-, combining form of tekhnē"art, skill, craft in work; method, system, an art, a system or method of making or doing,” (Etymology Dictionary, 2020). John Dyer, in his book From the Garden to the City, defines it as the “human activity of using tools to transform God’s creation for practical purposes” (Dyer, 2011, p. 65). Aside from the fact that there plenty of biblical examples of craftsmanship, artistry, and skill development, Jesus was a techie. The Greek word describing Jesus’s trade in the Gospel texts is tekton. It is defined as a worker in wood, carpenter, joiner, or builder (Detweller, 2013, p. 23). Insert Colossians 1:16, “For by him, through him, and to him were all things made”. John 1:3 says, “all things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made” (ASV). Simply put, Technology is painted on the pages of the bible. However, there is the constant danger of missing God by focusing on the technology. Jesus should always be at the center of the focus.

Social Media Detweiler mentions that the “internet has always been social. It was created to bring people together across distances and disciplines, to make it easier to connect (2013, p. 131). The idea of bringing people from all walks, backgrounds, and ethnic groups together without the limitations of time and space has been the central thought for the internet. He uses Myspace and Facebook as the early arbiters of the social climate. In the book, he referrers to Facebook as proving “frenemies” (2013, p. 137). He is using this term because friends on Facebook aren’t always friends in real life. Jesus makes it clear that “if he is lifted up, he’d draw all men” (John 12:32).

Where are We Going? In the conclusion of the book, Detweiler states “with Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram, we have been transformed from a passive audience into active participants transforming aspects of Christian worship (2013, p. 200). One of the guidelines of digital media from a biblical perspective is that users shouldn’t seek self- glorification or gratification. Long before social media existed, the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis tells us quite a bit about what happens when people join together around technology. In Genesis 11, we find the human race again rejecting God’s plans for them in favor of technological achievement. Rather than using this technology to bring glory to God as Noah did, they wanted to glorify themselves (Dyer, 2011, p. 104). The concept of social beings is no new concept. Even from the beginning, God thought it best of humans to coexist and cohabit the earth. In Genesis 2:18, God said, “It is not good for man to be alone”. From this we see that man is better suited for “community” and “companionship”. However, the same rules that apply to us as believers as far as lifestyle is concerned should also be the applicable to our use of social media platforms.





References


Adornato, Anthony (2018). Mobile and Social Media Journalism. CQ Press of Sage Publications. Thousand Oaks, California.


Detweiler, C. (2013). IGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives. Brazos Press. Grand Rapids, MI.


Dyer, J. (2011). From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology. Kregel Publications. Grand Rapids, MI.

13 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page