Funny how this post about the revolution (not evolution) of the Internet from Colin Carmichael got me thinking about Jesus and the gospel. Jesus is sometimes portrayed as the next step along the Judeo-Christian continuum, but he was/is revolutionary.
To slightly change Colin:
The truth is this: [Jesus] is a
technologicalrevolution that has transformed, and continues to transform, our global society. Nothing will be spared the impact of [Jesus]. Our socio-political structures will change, our understanding of personal relationships will change, and, eventually, our churches will change too.
What I find really interesting is that we sometimes do with the gospel what Colin has done with the web: tried to make it easier for people to accept. Colin did this by telling them that the web is a natural evolution from printing press, phone, tv, etc. We’ve done this sometimes by making the gospel easier, summarizing it, “updating” (ie. truncating) it, telling people it’s natural (and forgetting it’s supernatural)…
I do have to in the end disagree with Colin just a bit. I think the printing press was revolutionary for its time, I also think the phone was revolutionary. I think there was tons of fear about these inventions. I also think they weren’t all that revolutionary for the woman in sub-sahran Africa who has to walk 5 miles a day for clean water. I’m not sure the web will touch her either, or have any transforming effect. My hope and prayer is that the web may enable people to better help those in the greatest need. But in my heart, I believe that should the world be transformed into a place where the web or any technology for that matter was used solely for good, it would have more to do with the transforming power of Jesus which goes beyond race, class, and culture.