On a Christian Technological Culture

Alan Jacobs writes on his Tumblr page

Can’t we back up a step or two, and instead of asking “What currently cool technologies can we copy?” ask “What are our core convictions and core practices, and what existing technologies best support them?” And maybe even ask this more challenging question: “What if the existing technologies don’t serve our needs very well? How can we acquire the imagination, the technical chops, and the sheer courage to roll our own instead of choosing from a pre-existing menu of options?” It’s better — far better — to risk abject failure than to choose a safely imitative course that makes excellence impossible by design.

 

This is the perennial problem with culture. Does there exist a separate, distinctively Christian way? How do we speak differently without being co-opted?

Short answer: that’s not ours to plan. It’s an illusion that we have this cultural power, a hubris of our own place. What we do have is this place. The self-aware space where we stumble a little forward, try to do something good, and if all else fails, plant a garden.

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