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How Should Christians Engage with Technology? Tony Reinke

Home » How Should Christians Engage with Technology? Tony Reinke

Dr. Arnold interviews Tony Reinke on how Christians should think about and engage with technology.

Topics of conversation include:

  • A definition of technology
  • A proper theology of God’s sovereignty as it relates to the limits of technology
  • The categories of tech-optimists and tech-pessimists
  • How Christians can help their children steward technology well
  • Resources for thinking through issues of technology

Tony Reinke is a nonprofit journalist who serves as a senior teacher for Desiring God. He is the producer and host of the Ask Dr. John podcast, and is the author of several books, including 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You (Crossway, 2017), Competing Spectacles: Treasuring Christ in the Digital Age (Crossway, 2019), and God, Technology, and the Christian Life (Crossway, 2022).

 


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Intro (00:00):

Welcome to Faith Seeking Understanding, a podcast from Phoenix Seminary—helping Christians grow in their understanding of the faith, hosted by Dr. Brian Arnold, president of Phoenix Seminary.

 

Brian Arnold (00:17):

I was born in 1983, which means the world has changed a lot in my near-40 years, most notably in technology. I can remember having TVs in the home that had knobs to change the channel. We had access to our software on our first computer only by typing in c://. I remember thinking we were big shots when we got our first VCR rewinder that was a separate device. I thought CDs were the best invention ever—you didn’t have to fast forward through a tape. And of course I remember getting my first cell phone in 2004. Then I got an iPhone, an iWatch, and an iPad. I can remember signing up for Facebook in 2006, thinking that this was a cute fad that would fade. Well, it hasn’t. If we’ve learned anything over the last four decades, it’s that technology is exponentially exploding.

 

Brian Arnold (01:00):

As Christians, this requires a lot of reflection. Technology is mostly morally neutral. It can be a wonderful help in efficiency, even in spreading the gospel around the world. But technology can be a horrible thing if it’s not stewarded well. Author Douglas Murray has said, “When you’re going in the wrong direction, technology helps you get there faster.” Well, here to help us think about technology from a Christian perspective is Tony Reinke. Tony is a nonprofit journalist and serves as the senior teacher for Desiring God, where he produces and hosts the Ask Pastor John podcast. Tony is also the author of many books on topics of practical theology, and recently he’s devoted the bulk of his writing to the topic of technology and the Christian life. In addition to numerous articles and blogs, he’s written 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You, Competing Spectacles: Treasuring Christ in the Digital Age, and earlier this year, he published God, Technology, and the Christian Life. And, he lives right here in Phoenix, the Valley of the Sun, for the last three years. Well, Tony, thanks for joining us on the podcast today,

 

Tony Reinke (02:00):

Brian, thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.

 

Brian Arnold (02:01):

So we always ask our guests one big question, today the question is—how should Christians engage with technology? Well, you’ve been thinking about this a lot. What led you to write three books on this topic?

 

Tony Reinke (02:11):

Yeah, in 2015, I realized that there were some things going on in my heart that were wrong, that were sinful, in my use of social media, and smartphone, and media in general. And so I needed to take some time away from my phone and from social media. And I did that in 2015. And I just did a reset, a hard reset on my own life to try and figure out what was going on inside of dad, before dad tried to parent his teenagers in this digital age. And so it was a really fruitful year. What came out of that was 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You, which is essentially a book about my own soul, how the phone was changing me in 12 different ways. And they were scary ways, but I was also a tech-optimist.

 

Tony Reinke (02:45):

So I saw the benefit of having a smartphone, and being in ministry online. There’s tremendous opportunities, but there’s also tremendous dangers that have to be weighed against as well. And so I spent 2015 just focusing on my own life, and it paid off. It was fruitful. In 2017, I published the book 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You, and then I moved on in 2019 to think more broadly about digital media, and gaming, and Hollywood, and this age of spectacles that we live in. What do we do as Christians to live fruitfully in such an age that is just bombarding us with visual spectacles for the eye, everywhere that we go, 24/7/365? Netflix has, as one of their corporate policies, is to intrude upon our sleep patterns. They’re trying to keep us up later and later at night. They want us to binge.

 

Tony Reinke (03:34):

They want us to use the time that we would normally use to sleep, and instead binging Netflix shows. And so that kind of—

 

Brian Arnold (03:42):

Well, it’s working.

 

Tony Reinke (03:43):

It is working. It is totally working. Hulu and Visine did a co-commercial—what happens when you spend so much time watching Hulu—a streaming device? Well, you need eyedrops. And so they actually mutually…yeah, it’s Orwellian. It was a serious commercial, you can find it on YouTube. And so like there is an attention economy. The new power is our attention. That’s where the money comes from. If YouTubers can get our eyes, our likes, our subscribes, they can make millions of dollars. And so there’s huge money now in the market economy; that market is our attention economy. And so I published that book in 2019—Competing Spectacles: Treasuring Christ in the Media Age.

 

Tony Reinke (04:19):

And then from there, I knew I had to articulate my optimistic view of technology. Because I do have that. I do believe that there’s a lot of technology that can be redeemed and be used for good—to love God with all of our heart, and to love our neighbors ourselves, which is the core priority of what we do as Christians. And so I needed to set that forward. And that’s what this new book is—God, Technology, and the Christian Life is my optimistic vision for how we now look at all the things that God has given us technologically—medical advances, internet, electricity, windows that are insulated, cars, gasoline that we burn every day, smartphones and cell phone towers, and, you know, we can pull MP3s out of the air by magic, and listen to them as we drive down the street, you know, commanding this fireball in the front of the car in the engine with the pressure of our right foot.

 

Tony Reinke (05:10):

I mean, it’s just amazing all the technologies that we have. And so I want to give God glory for what he’s given us. I want to see the dangers of what we need to avoid, and then I want to parent out of that a stewardship. Okay, son, okay, daughter, we have these technologies—now, how do we use them to glorify God and to serve and love others? And so that’s really my process from 2015 to today, is understanding the dangers of digital media, understanding the possibilities of all technology, and then living out of that a stewardship of—okay, now what has God called us to do with what he’s given us?

 

Brian Arnold (05:41):

And you’ve made a lot of your living, even, off of technology. Being able to do the Ask Pastor John podcast—your stats are staggering on that. Tell us some of those.

 

Tony Reinke (05:51):

Yeah, it’s over 200 million plays, episode plays. We have about 300,000 subscribers. And so it’s grown. We were going to do it for a year in 2013, just while Piper was in Knoxville for a year and away from Minneapolis. And then momentum just kept going. So we recorded episode 400, and that became the behemoth episode. I won’t mention the title on air, but it became the biggest episode in our history. And we just said—let’s just keep going. And so now here we are in our first decade, we’re in year number 10, continuing on, and the questions keep coming in—about 30 questions a day come in to our inbox. We can answer about two of them a week. So there’s a lot to talk about, and Pastor John is still very encouraged to do it. And so we just continue to press on. We always recorded remotely, so even in Minneapolis we were in our home offices. And then I realized about three years ago, like, I could take this show on the road and move to Phoenix, and—

 

Brian Arnold (06:43):

Go where there’s no snow.

 

Tony Reinke (06:44):

That’s exactly right.

 

Brian Arnold (06:45):

That’s right. And the last stats I saw, I think Faith Seeking Understanding is encroaching on your numbers.

 

Tony Reinke (06:49):

Oh, I’m sure. I’m sure.

 

Brian Arnold (06:50):

Yeah. I think we’re catching up. So you start in a place that might seem so obvious, but you need to begin there, and that is defining technology.

 

Tony Reinke (06:57):

Yeah.

 

Brian Arnold (06:58):

So that probably seems intuitive to people, but how do you define technology?

 

Tony Reinke (07:02):

Yeah, the easiest way that I use to define technology is go to the story of David and Goliath. These are two technologists. Both of them are using technology. Goliath is someone who has been plundering armies all across the ancient near east. So he is literally…he’s outfitted, head to toe, with the most recent war technology that he’s plundered. I mean, he is the F-22, he’s the Raptor, he’s the—whatever you would think of as the most elite technological warrior, he is it. David comes in with a more primitive technology, but it’s still a technology. It’s a sling. And what technology does, is it amplifies human dexterity. That’s basically what it does. And so, Goliath can take on 10 guys more easily, because his power is being amplified. David is a great sniper. He can go hunting with that.

 

Tony Reinke (07:45):

And he knows in a one-to-one combat he’s the superior technologist, because he’s more familiar with the sling, but he also knows that in a one-on-one combat, he’s better outfitted. So he’s the superior technologist. But that’s what technology does in general. It amplifies our native dexterity. And that’s true of the smartphone, which takes the digital activity in our brains, and it runs it through our thumbs, and we turn it into a digital signal that goes out to the world, or to one other person, or whoever we’re communicating to. It’s a dexterity, that’s what it is.

 

Brian Arnold (08:13):

And with tech, we’re usually thinking digital, but I like how you started there. You know, I tell Church History 1 students—that’s what I teach—is there was a debate in Middle Ages about using the crossbow, because that was a technological advance. And they thought that took like the chivalry out of knighthood, because now it wasn’t even as if you’re that good of a, you know, knight with a sword.

 

Tony Reinke (08:31):

Yeah. Oh totally.

 

Brian Arnold (08:32):

But now you can use the crossbow and just pick people off.

 

Tony Reinke (08:34):

Well the Chinese, I mean, they figured out gunpowder a long…very early, but they thought it was dehumanizing to kill someone without a sword, you know? And so it just…that technology sort of sat there. The steam engine, I mean, that was something that…the people knew the steam engine would work for 200 years, but nobody really tried to do anything with it. It just kind of sat there. And what Abraham Kuyper says, is that in the timing of God, God raises up a technologist, through an inventor, who will actually harness the power that’s available. And so God has a timeline for when that technology’s going to unfold. And that’s a pretty profound thing to think about when we live in technological age. But maybe God’s involved in this as it develops.

 

Brian Arnold (09:10):

Well, I hope so. Right? A providential view of God. Well, one of the things that you’re kind of touching on there, is there have been technologies that come up that people say—should we do this? Or should we not do this? This is going to change humanity as we know it. I think those questions are coming at us even faster today. I think about something like the Tower of Babel. They’re using kind of new technology in order to build this temple up to heaven. And God says, “don’t do that.” So are there some of these like Tower of Babel moments that we’re encroaching on, that we need to say—the tech needs to stop here? Like we need to be careful to guard life, or dignity, or those kinds of barriers?

 

Tony Reinke (09:44):

Yeah, there’s always going to be ethical questions that we have to address. What does it mean to be a human? What does it mean to be human at conception? What does it mean to be a man and not a woman? What does it mean to be a parent? What does it mean to be a child? What does it mean to kill an enemy in war? What does it mean to care for and love those who are suffering, those who are weak? Those are perennial questions that we’re going to face in our technologies. But what we see in the storyline of Scripture is when scary…when tech gets scary, God can step in and squelch it, or he can step in and he can hack the whole thing. We see that in the cross, and we see that in the Tower of Babel. The Tower of Babel they wanted to build one city, and God was like, “No, no, no, I want a hundred thousand cities.”

 

Tony Reinke (10:20):

And so he comes in, he squelches…he hacks it. And so, I think there’s this prevailing idea in the church that somehow we can like overstep a bounds in which we’ve strong-armed God. You see this in the technology of the 1750s, when Ben Franklin said, “Hey, let’s put a lightning rod on our steeples so our churches don’t burn down.” And people are like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa! You can’t do that, because God’s lightning is the way that he disciplines his creatures. So if you do that, and you wrest the lightning bolt out of God’s hand, you thwart his disciplining power.” In fact, pastors in Boston at the time thought if you did that, you would actually supercharge earthquakes. God will get you through the earthquake if you put the bolt into the ground.

 

Tony Reinke (11:01):

And there was a huge earthquake in the 1750s, and everybody said—see, Ben Franklin’s rod is supercharging earthquakes. And so there’s a big theological debate. There’s always been this idea that we can somehow strong-arm God with our technologies. Strong-arm him with nuclear power, strong-arm him with genetics, or strong-arm him with, you know, you name the technology. And it just doesn’t work that way. When you read the Bible, Genesis to Revelation, that is not God’s relationship with technology. He’s not overpowered by Elon Musk. He is not overpowered by Silicon Valley. And the more I talk with Christians, the more I realize, is there’s this real breakdown when it comes to the theology of God in the technological age. And so many Christians are…they’re just, they live like deists when it comes to this field. Almost like God set everything in motion and then walked away.

 

Tony Reinke (11:48):

And now it’s up to us to stop Putin. It’s up to us to stop Silicon Valley. It’s up to us to stop Elon Musk, if we must. Like, you build the bunker, because it’s up to us. God left us. And a lot of Christians live with a deistic worldview, not a Christian worldview, in which God is actually governing over Silicon Valley. And that’s a huge problem that I’m sort of poking at with this new book, and saying—what you think about technology will reveal what you think about who God is and his interaction with humanity today. And that’s where it gets a little tense in the book. But I need to go there to sort of expose this idea that somehow it’s up to us. We’ve discovered some nefarious power, we’ve discovered nuclear power and we’ve strong-armed God. He can’t do anything about us. It’s now up to us to stop it. And that is just fundamentally a wrong view of God that’s underneath that.

 

Brian Arnold (12:36):

Because one of the areas I see that the most, author Yuval Harari talks a lot about transhumanism. Right? And with transhumanism, the idea of actually evolving us to this new stage where we have digital components inside of us, and it always starts with healthcare or something, right? That this is a good thing for you to monitor your blood pressure inside, and then what does that begin to do with genetic mutation and things? Seems to be one of the scary lines that a lot of Christians, if they even know about that, are concerned about in the future. So you would say to them…?

 

Tony Reinke (13:04):

Well anti-aging is taking off as a big area. And I think the lifespan of humans is going to increase exponentially in the coming century.

 

Brian Arnold (13:13):

I’m really 84, and it’s amazing what they’ve done, isn’t it?

 

Tony Reinke (13:15):

You look great for 84. Senolytics is a fascinating field to study, basically, you know, how do you rid the body of zombie cells? You know, that’s basically the root question that cancer researchers are after, and anti-aging is after, is how do we get these dead cells out of the human body? And once we crack that, you’re going to see lifespans exceed what you would think would be possible. Can we now escape death? Can we escape the grave through our engineers hacking things in a lab? The answer is no. I mean the grave cannot be overcome through science. And C.S. Lewis was talking about this in the early forties. I mean, he was…That Hideous Strength is going right after that transhumanist spirit of—we don’t need the gospel of someone dying for us. We need two, you know, lab geeks to figure out how to make us live forever.

 

Tony Reinke (14:00):

And that impulse is still alive today, I call it the “gospel of technology.” There is a gospel of technology at work and play in the world today, where people turn to science and they say, “Hey, we’re going to worship science. We’re going to put our hope and trust in science. And we’re going to put our blind faith in science, and let the technologists protect us, save us, and make us live forever.” And that, obviously, is a wrongly placed faith. It is a gospel, a gospel of technology, and we need to be aware of that. But also realize that within that we have tremendous gifts of technology all around us. Medical advances are crazy, what we can do, and we should thank God for that and not be afraid of it.

 

Brian Arnold (14:40):

Absolutely. And in Phoenix, air conditioning. Very thankful for that. So a lot of people then are put in these kind of tech-optimist, as you have said earlier, and tech-pessimist. I am almost always on the side of pessimism, no matter what it is. So in tech I feel that way too. I am, I guess, called a laggard. I’m like the last person to ever adopt anything. And in fact, one of my most recent technological purchases was a record player.

 

Tony Reinke (15:06):

Oh wow.

 

Brian Arnold (15:07):

To make it feel like I’m going back in time, right.

 

Tony Reinke (15:09):

Backwards.

 

Brian Arnold (15:09):

So how do you even help navigate that? Because it seems like you’re probably a tech-optimist.

 

Tony Reinke (15:14):

Yep. I’m a tech-optimist.

 

Brian Arnold (15:15):

So kind of explain those categories and why you’re tech-optimist.

 

Tony Reinke (15:19):

Yeah. I go back to the Reformation and watch the development of the doctrine of common grace. And that has disappeared from the church for about a hundred years. And I think…my theory is that once the world wars begin, the doctrine of common grace just erodes and evaporates. And so what you get is you get 100 years of tech-pessimism, and most Christians don’t know that there’s another option, to be honest. And so it’s just this pessimism has built into the church and has gotten pretty deep. And I think what it is, is it’s a loss of an understanding of common grace. So when I meet with Christians and I read to them quotes, there’s a quote from Calvin’s Institutes, and there’s a quote from Calvin in his commentaries where he says, “The same Holy Spirit that regenerates the believer is the same exact Holy Spirit who’s bringing about profitable industry and economic growth within a society.”

 

Tony Reinke (16:04):

And Christian minds, just—like there’s something…there’s a breaker that flips, that it’s like they can’t compute that idea that Calvin has of the Spirit’s work among Silicon Valley, Elon Musk types, which is amazing to me. But what it is, is it’s a loss of that doctrine of common grace. Abraham Kuyper wrote a 2000 page book on common grace. It’s an amazing work. And that was, you know, right at the beginning then of World War I, which led into World War II, which led into the Cold War, which now we have Vladimir Putin saber-rattling with nuclear bombs. And we live in this age in which there is now so much scary technology, that it takes the focus off of the technology that I use every single day. The layers of technology in this room that we’re using right now is amazing. Staggering. I’m trying to make a list of things that we’re using right now to communicate, us to an audience, either live or later, as they listen to an MP3 that they probably pulled out of the sky, as they drive down the street at 50 miles an hour, listening to this episode with us right now. The layers of innovation that it takes blow my mind.

 

Brian Arnold (17:11):

Oh, even like the bolts that are holding the microphones together are created in a manufacturing plant, right?

 

Tony Reinke (17:16):

Yes.

 

Brian Arnold (17:16):

Yeah, absolutely.

 

Tony Reinke (17:17):

And so I don’t want to get lost on the scary tech, and lose gratitude for all the tech around me. Because then the problem is, as a parent, when I turn to my kids and say, “Okay, I’m going to parent you now,” what it sounds like is—don’t use a smartphone. Don’t use that app. Never use that app. Stop using your device for that. Stop. And it’s only stop, don’t, you know, cease. It’s never—here’s a stewardship vision for your life. God has given us this technology to glorify himself and so that we can love others. Now let’s live with this technology with gratitude, and then with purpose and vision and stewardship. And that’s where I think Christians really struggle, is to get into those levels. They just kind of get stuck in the don’ts and the nots and the commandments of what we shouldn’t do with technology. They don’t move into the gratitude and then the stewardship. And that really pays a price when we try to parent.

 

Brian Arnold (18:03):

Well, let’s move into that place. Let’s get really practical with it. You’ve done probably more thinking about this than almost any Christian alive today. I mean, this is kind of your sphere. So how do you help your own children steward technology well, for the glory of God?

 

Tony Reinke (18:15):

Yeah, this is big. So it’s, you know, having a Sabbath. Time away from screens. And making sure the kids are, even though they do online school, that there’s times in which their phones and their tablets are plugged in. So at 8 pm, every weeknight, those devices are plugged in in mom and dad’s room. There’s no devices in kids’ rooms. There’s no screens in kids’ rooms at 8 pm, and until 8 am or 7 am the next morning on weekdays. And then there’s a day off that we take for a Sabbath, away from those devices. So that’s one practical way to do it. We use actual alarm clocks in rooms, so we don’t have…our kids don’t use their phones as alarms, which is really helpful, I think. So there’s little tips and tricks like that. Obviously, each kid is going to be different.

 

Tony Reinke (18:58):

You’re going to have to parent each kid in a different way, but those are some ways that we’ve worked around it. We’ve, you know, Gabb Wireless has some really great devices for young kids, who you want a GPS to know where they’re at—you want to be able to text them, but you don’t want them to have a smartphone. There’s a lot of new technologies to parent young kids without giving them a smartphone too soon. And I think that’s one of the dangers, is giving them a device too soon. And so there’s just a lot of things. There’s a lot of practical ways to envision then—okay, so you’re involved in these activities and you’re involved with these kids’ lives—how do we use technology to bless them, and not just use technology to veg out or to just consume media? And so it’s just starting to build in them this vision that God has given us these gifts, they are tremendous gifts that he’s given us, with a purpose. And so let’s have a plan for them.

 

Brian Arnold (19:48):

And that’s the scary thing to me, is the kids with iPhones. My kids are 10 and eight. And so the stats, even on things like pornography, are staggering—that most boys have been exposed by the time they’re 10. And I’m thinking—my son has friends who have cell phones already. And to me, that’s not even a topic of a conversation in our home, of getting them any kind of a smartphone anytime soon. I’m thinking like 35, perhaps?

 

Tony Reinke (20:13):

I wish it was that easy. I remember the first time I saw a pornographic image is a friend who had a magazine on a school bus. And I know there’s tons of stories now with parents who have kids who are exposed to porn on a school bus, through a device of their friends. So it’s not…it’s not just—”my kid isn’t going to have a device, and therefore they’re safe.” But it’s like—the friends now have the devices. And so there’s a false security in just not giving our kids a device, because there’s other ways that those temptations come in. So yeah, we’ve got to think through that, and we’ve got to prepare those kids for what they’re going to see in this world. And it’s going to come at them very quick, and they need to be prepared for that.

 

Tony Reinke (20:50):

And it opens up some really honest conversations, because I think me being online for so many years, and knowing my own heart tendencies towards wanting approval, towards wanting to be liked, towards wanting to be viral online, like—I feel that. And so I can parent my kids in that awareness to know that—Dad knows what you face, you know? You’re trying to, you know, impress your peers on Instagram. I’ve been there, you know? And so it’s coming out of that honesty, and that’s why 2015 was really a key year for me, is really dealing with my own heart first, because then we can parent, I think more honestly. Rather than—”there’s this problem called pornography, don’t do it.” Being able to open up and talk about personal struggles with our kids, and…the field is more level, I think, because we’re all immersed in the digital age.

 

Brian Arnold (21:36):

And I think—man, there’s so much to unpack there, because what you said at the end, I think is so important, of our kids recognizing we have those struggles, and we have those challenges with technology, you know, to binge Netflix, you know, and just check out, kind of that distraction piece. I remember reading Paul David Tripp’s book, Dangerous Calling.

 

Tony Reinke (21:59):

Yeah.

 

Brian Arnold (22:00):

And him talking about escapism for pastors, and just the desire to just be done with stress and just go to technology as relief places. Instead of saying, “how can we use technology to leverage the gospel and get the gospel around the world?” I mean, that’s one of the things we’re doing in Phoenix Seminary, is trying to figure out how to get seminary education to places that are really remote and don’t even have the technology that they need, but we can bring it to them still through technology.

 

Brian Arnold (22:23):

Right? Which is pretty amazing stuff. So, we’re near the end of time, but maybe you could, in addition to the books you’ve written—and I just want to make sure that people listening know—go check these out, even on Amazon. They are very accessible. Probably your most recent book is the more technical of them.

 

Tony Reinke (22:40):

Yes, yeah.

 

Brian Arnold (22:40):

But, you know, 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You—super accessible. Could be really practical to bring into your life now. I’m a little late to the game, I’m just now reading Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death. It was written in the eighties, mid-eighties, I think. So what are some other resources you’d point people to?

 

Tony Reinke (22:58):

Yeah, so most of the, most of the Postman, McLuhan resources are going to be tech-pessimism, which we need. We need Wendell Berry, we need, you know, belligerence towards big tech. I think that’s useful. That’s helpful. I think we should all also pay attention to what’s being developed in Silicon Valley and the Christians that are there. I just spoke with 300 college students at UC Berkeley. I mean, these are students who are going to be at Tesla, at Microsoft, at, you know, they’re going to be in Silicon Valley at Apple in the coming years. And it’s just fascinating to hear just how, you know, how they’re developing and growing and wanting to go into tech, and to make a difference in this field. And I think that’s where the church has maybe not prepared our young people well enough—to go into Silicon Valley and make a difference.

 

Tony Reinke (23:42):

I think we’ve scared our kids to stay out of the tech industry, and that’s…I want to help reverse that. So that’s a big part of it. As far as resources—tech-optimism—I feel very alone. Honestly, I really do feel alone. And it’s a good place to be, because I do think I’m pressing on something that needs to be said in the course of this watershed of a hundred years that has been so tech-pessimistic. And I want to say like—what if these are gifts that God has given us in his own time? What if Herman Bavinck is right, that the only cultures that have technology are the cultures that are wealthy, because God made them wealthy? Like, what if that’s true? How do we think about what do we think about this age?

 

Tony Reinke (24:24):

And so there’s a lot to think about. The most recent book is the most technical. There’s lots of footnotes there if you want to find other writers who are kind of thinking in these areas. But as far as tech-optimists, there aren’t a lot of us. And so I’m throwing up the flag and saying—there might be a different way to think of all this. And we’ll see. It’s going to take years and decades, you know, for this message to get out. I don’t think it’s just—launch a book and then walk away. But I’m real excited to flag it and say, you know what? Maybe there’s a different way of thinking of God’s relationship to human innovation. Maybe he gave us Elon Musk to be Elon Musk. Maybe the Holy Spirit made Elon Musk to be Elon Musk.

 

Brian Arnold (25:04):

That’s right. So we might even just say—whether we eat, drink, create software, new technologies, do it all for the glory of God, who’s given it to us in the first place.

 

Tony Reinke (25:14):

Exactly right.

 

Brian Arnold (25:14):

Well, Tony, thanks for the conversation today. It’s been great.

 

Tony Reinke (25:16):

Brian, I appreciate it.

 

Outro (25:18):

Thank you for listening to Faith Seeking Understanding. It means so much to us that this content is helping you grow in your understanding of the faith. I want to take a moment to tell you about our new online learning experience at Phoenix Seminary. Over the last year, we’ve been creating what we believe to be the highest quality of online courses for ministry training. If you’re called to train for a lifetime of faithful service, but can’t join us on campus, I’d like you to invite you to join us online. Take courses featuring some of the guests you’ve heard on Faith Seeking Understanding, including Wayne Grudem, Mike Thigpen, Steve Duby, myself, and more. Learn more about Phoenix seminary online, and even access the entire online lecture content for my church history course at ps.edu/online.

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