Reading Reflection:

The Next Story, by Tim Challies (Zondervan, 2011) The subtitle of this book is Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion.  In my new experiences as a blogger (freshman, to say the least) I have had many thoughts on this very topic.  My next post will be an article I wrote a couple of weeks ago on cyber-culture verses true hospitality.  As I’ve been stirring my observations around in this cyber-hood, I knew I had to purchase Challies’ new book, hot off the press.  I appreciate the wisdom from an experienced blogger with much popularity, articulating well many of my concerns as a newbie.  This reflection is pleasantly timely in its correlation to my next article…
Many of us are more concerned with who we are in a mediated context than who we are before those who live in the same neighborhood or attend the same church. (p.105)
Challies laments a bit on how our sense of community has shifted from being defined by a space to identification according to personal interests.  Now that we have the control to “customize” our communities (just like our lattes) our spiritual growth is being hindered.  While there is so much that is good in our technological advancements, we need to evaluate our proper use of them.  As Christians, we see that throughout redemptive history, God has revealed Himself to us in an intimate way and promises the ultimate future hope.  He has brought us closer to Him in that we no longer need a priest as a mediator.  Jesus Christ walked among us, fulfilled all righteousness, physically hung on a cross, bore our sin, died, was buried, and rose again.  He is our mediator and through Him we have direct communion with God in prayer.  But it gets better.  We have a future hope—to behold the face of God, to dwell with Him in eternity. My relationship with Christ and His church shows me not to be too easily satisfied in advances of technological mediators.  While it is good to have extra tools for communication, phones, texting, Facebooking, etc., are inferior to face-to-face relationships.  Are our cyber-relationships better than our physical ones?  I do not hope to become disembodied, as a technological mediator.  I hope to become like my Real Mediator, Jesus Christ.