The Book of Acts it is the story and history of the church. In it, we see the Apostles send letters, ride in boats, access modern trade routes and traveling systems, and preach in town squares and facilities related to the architecture and culture of that day. The Apostles were able to harness the highest forms of “tech” in the Roman empire to share the gospel. We should do the same.
The Apostolic philosophy toward tech in the Bible is three-fold: reject, receive, redeem. Paul and Peter carried themselves in a manner true to this tri-partite philosophy, and I think every Christian should as well.
Today, you are going to read through the whole book of Acts—yes the whole book! Take note of the Apostle’s tactics. There are some things they outright reject, condemn, and judge to be wrong and unhelpful. However, there are many things in even the most pagan cultures that even Paul affirms as good, true, and worthy to be received. However, most of the things encountered in Acts, and utilized in Acts by the Apostles, fall under the “redeem” category.
We must remember that God created all things in our world to be “good.” However, most of the world has so perverted good things, that our task is often to look underneath all the soot in order to rediscover the shiny gold that’s now hidden. This is the job of every believer. We must be theologically redemptive architects.We must mine out the good in our culture, and help the world see God’s beautiful intended meaning and use for all things. We also must remain wise when we pick up the tools we’ve made so they don’t make us. We must take a humble posture of Solomon—the wisest man to ever live on the earth that we know of (other than Jesus). His words are sobering:
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.
Therefore my dear brothers and sisters, I will once again reiterate Calvin who said “that human hearts are idol factories.” We are endlessly scraping around for the NEW; things to prize, worship, and honor above and beyond God. We must remember that we are to use the “created” to worship the “Creator.” Not the other way around.
As you go along in your journey in the use and production of tech, ask yourselves if what you’re using it is bringing you back to the heart of the home, family, and meal, or if it’s drawing you away from this simplicity. Also continue to ask yourselves challenging questions. Is Google trying to be like God? Is Elon Musk trying to play Savior in his Mars expedition or is Jeff Bezos trying to masquerade as Lord overall through Amazon. Consider how your iPhone is shaping your patience (a fruit of the Spirit), or lack thereof.
We must keep ourselves accountable about this stuff so that “we ‘be shaping our tools, or else they will be shaping us.”
*For further reading in the Bible: Acts 1; Acts 2; Acts 3; Acts 4; Acts 5; Acts 6; Acts 7; Acts 8; Acts 9; Acts 10; Acts 11; Acts 12; Acts 13; Acts 14; Acts 15; Acts 16; Acts 17; Acts 18; Acts 19; Acts 20; Acts 21; Acts 22; Acts 23 Acts 24; Acts 25; Acts 26; Acts 27; Acts 28
Accompanying this study is over 300-Hours of video footage from 150 of today’s top Christian thinkers on culture, creativity, innovation, and invention at www.makejesusculture.com andwww.gardencityproject.com. We aim to help churches develop grass roots culture formation for their contexts. Go now!