Monday, December 8, 2008

God is Not a Wiki

Image credit: Valleywag.

Relevant has a thought-provoking piece by high school teacher Matt Litton about the relationship between faith and internet searches. Litton fears that the internet's ability to instantly answer any question has made his students less curious, and therefore less open to new knowledge and insight. A self-described evangelical, he wonders if Wikipedia and Google have also compromised our collective ability to deepen our faith through questioning:

Maybe we Christians feel the need to compete with the resources of the information age, maybe we feel like we should have all the answers. Whatever sent us down this path, it’s now clear that many of us are not only afraid to ask tough questions, but we actively discourage curiosity and question-asking. Questions, doubts and uncertainty are portrayed as clear signs of spiritual weakness. We are selling the world our faith as the ultimate answer button. We evangelicals seem to feel the dangerous need to eschew doubt and to offer the Christian faith to the world as the spiritual equivalent of Google.

More important than instant answers, he says, is a willingness to explore our Christian faith through difficult questions:

How do we reconcile faith without questions, faith without doubt, how can our faith grow without curiosity?
Whatever our approach to the Bible, we must concede that God is big enough to handle our curiosity and our questions... The Psalmists, David, Solomon and Job approached God with tough questions, with anger bordering on disrespect, heartfelt, pain-ridden anguish, and it ultimately grew their faith.

Read the whole thing here.

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