How to Live Your Faith in a Digital Age

John Dyer | October 26, 2016

Discussing issues of technology and faith—how Facebook shapes our marriages, how Instagram and Snapchat influence youth, what that theologian said on Twitter—can be fun. Laying out a clear, systematic, theologically and theoretically grounded approach to technology that has practical value is much harder. 

In Networked Theology: Negotiating Faith in Digital Culture, American sociology of religion scholar Heidi Campbell and Australian theologian Stephen Garner have made great strides in modeling the latter approach.

Framing the Question 

Before getting into specifics, it’s important to understand where this book fits among the various ways others have approached the subject. Some readers are likely to have had exposure to communication theory in a field called “media ecology”—popularized by Marshall McLuhan and his students Walter Ong and Neil Postman, who became cultural critics—that points out ways media influences society and culture. Another approach is “philosophy of technology” in which thinkers like Martin Heidegger, Albert Borgmann, Andrew Feenberg, and perhaps Jaques Ellul ask more fundamental questions like what it means to be human in a technological age. Then there are Christian authors who typically fall into one of two categories: those offering advice on how to use technology for more effective ministry, and those addressing the new moral issues presented by technological change (e.g., internet…

To read the rest of this article, visit