For his under-appreciated sci-fi thriller Minority Report, Steven Spielberg gathered together a team of scientists to predict a vision of our technological future. Spielberg used their input to create a gritty world of advanced touch screens, virtual entertainment, and seamless digital gadgetry ranging from smart houses to personalized advertisements in shopping malls.
Beyond the story of the movie, there was a clear message in the tone of the world Spielberg created: The media saturated culture we've created is only going to increase in pressure, availability, and allure. You will be surrounded and assimilated.
The movie released in 2002 and only a decade later, many of the concepts are already a part of our social fabric, and the prediction of an increase in the saturation of media has proven eerily accurate.
In a world of Skyping on holidays with relatives, tweeting with celebrities, wireless in McDonald's, bluetooth in our cars, DVRing whole seasons of TV shows, running our own YouTube channels, the society of Facebook calling our name every minute, and sleek swiss-army-knife phones app-ing our life into ease, what is our reaction as the people of God?
Run away from it all! Get off the grid! The government and the devil are behind it all!
Don't over-react! Embrace your culture and use it! They're gifts to you! Stay relevant!
Thoughtful discernment, as usual, is hard, especially when there's no Proverbs that say "The wise only Facebook for a minute, while the fool reads the newsfeed all morning."
Fortunately, my friend Andrew Byers climbed up TechnoMountain and came down with a balanced, thorough, and God-honoring book entitled TheoMedia: The Media of God and the Digital Age.
This book is not a blog rant on the ills of social media or a how-to on leveraging technology for your church. Andy's heart is not for us to be equipped with one-liners to use in the digital debates, but to root our paradigm and principles in the media of God. He crafts an understanding of media beyond the individual devices we use, looking more at the character of God and the varied media God uses throughout history to commune with us and reveal His character.
This book is Scripture honoring, Christ revealing, and intellectually satisfying. If you are a church leader in any capacity, I would recommend this book as necessary reading for communicating effectively to a media-addicted culture. Like every other Andrew Byers sermon or writing, it is filled with passionate honesty and a hopeful realism for our future.
You can purchase the book here on Amazon.