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Following Jesus in a Digital Age Q&A

Erica Travis | Aug 15th

Why did you write this book? What inspired you to write it?

You can’t look up “social media,” “algorithms,” or “the internet” in your Bible concordance. So it can be easy for the church to believe the Bible doesn’t address the questions we’re asking in today’s digital society. But in recent years, there’s been a growing concern about what technology is doing to us and how it’s altering our perceptions of God, ourselves and the world around us. I wrote this book to help the church think deeply about how technology is shaping us and how to develop wisdom for our digital age.

Who did you write this book for?

I wrote Following Jesus in a Digital Age for the everyday believer. I wrote it to aid all believers in thinking wisely about technology through the lens of Scripture and to expose how these tools are shaping the way we perceive the world around us. The book is designed to help us understand the deeply formative nature of technology. It’s built upon this expanded view of technology and a call to cultivating biblical wisdom for our digital age. Wisdom is a combination of a rich understanding of how God has revealed himself to us (theology) and how he calls us to live in light of those truths (ethics).

Digital innovations present us with new challenges every day. Why is it important for Christians to understand how these innovations affect the way we interact with our neighbors and how we follow Jesus?

Without a deep understanding of how technology is shaping and forming us, we’ll continue feeling like powerless pawns blaming others for how technology is altering our perceptions of reality and how we interact with other people. Christ calls us to follow him as we seek to love God and our neighbors as ourselves. In light of that calling, we must think wisely about these tools and how to use them to glorify God in every aspect of our lives rather than simply letting them subtly shape us in ways contrary to our faith (Romans 12:2).

How does this book equip Christians to apply biblical wisdom to their digital engagement?

Building upon the idea that technology is discipling us and shaping how we view God, ourselves, and the world around us, each chapter of the book focuses on a major way technology is discipling us in terms of truth, responsibility, and identity in subtle yet distinct ways. Our tools are altering our perceptions of truth, our responsibility for our actions, and how we craft our identity in modern society—both as followers of Christ and members of His body, the church.

How does this message resonate with you personally? What has been formative in your own walk of following Jesus in a digital age?

I’ve always been interested in and surrounded by technology. But when I got married and had kids, I noticed how my social media use affected my relationships with my wife and kids. It shaped how I interacted with and listened to them. As I read books on technology and studied wisdom literature, the Lord opened my mind to pursuing a better way to follow Jesus in our digital age. Cultivating a more biblical understanding of these tools, how they’re shaping me, and how to navigate these challenges hopefully will help me be more present, engaged and connected as a husband, father and church member.

Navigating this digital age can be a daunting task. How does this book give readers a vision for how God can enable them to navigate such a complicated digital world? How do these discussions give pastors and church leaders the tools they need to engage their people on a deeper level about the issues at play in this digital age?

This book reminds us that not only is God not surprised or taken back by these innovations, but also that His Word is sufficient for navigating the challenges before us. Amid the confusion and seeming chaos of our day, we can engage these pressing issues of technology from a place of hope, rooted in the fact that God’s in control of all things and His plans for our lives are good. This is one of the functions of biblical wisdom which must frame the entire conversation about following Jesus in a digital age.

How do these discussions give pastors and church leaders the tools they need to engage their people on a deeper level about the issues at play in this digital age?

Our people are being formed by technology. These tools have become a primary discipler of our people, and we must think wisely about how to shepherd our people to use these tools in line with the biblical calling to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-39). We must remember technology doesn’t cause us to ask new questions of how to live in light of wisdom but causes us to ask these age-old questions in light of new and seemingly limitless possibilities. As church leaders, we must think deeply about these powerful tools as we seek to lead our people to follow Jesus in our digital age.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

First, I hope readers walk away seeing how technology is deeply shaping everything about our lives and how to slow down to think wisely about these tools. Second, I hope readers see how God’s word applies to every aspect of our lives—even the difficult questions we’re faced with in our digital age. Wisdom is a central component to Christian discipleship and is the foundation for how we navigate all of life.

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