Where To Put The Phone?

Technology runs ahead of research but we are also catching up on some important lessons. Sherry Turkle- like always- is one of our thought leaders:

Rule of Three: Turkle reveals the social phenomenon of social gatherings. Whether at dinner with 5 people or in a meeting, the “rule of three” applies. If three or more are paying attention- that is, their heads are up and their eyes are focused on the one who is talking- then it’s acceptable to access your phone. Notice the cost however:

The effect is what you would expect: Conversation is kept relatively light, on topics where people feel they can drop in and out.

Cell Location: This is an easy point of evaluation, with extraordinary research emerging:

Studies of conversation both in the laboratory and in natural settings show that when two people are talking, the mere presence of a phone on a table between them or in the periphery of their vision changes both what they talk about and the degree of connection they feel. People keep the conversation on topics where they won’t mind being interrupted. They don’t feel as invested in each other. Even a silent phone disconnects us.

Assault on Empathy: Turkle goes on to explain how the invasive nature of technology- with all the good that it brings- is draining our ability to be empathetic. We shy away from deep dialogue. We avoid spontaneity and open-ended conversation. Why? Because the “elsewhere” is always present.

You can find the full article here.

“….A Word Please?”

God talks with us through the Bible. We work out life’s tangles with him through prayer. The dialogue deepens.

My own rhythm- spending time with him- didn’t begin to emerge until my 40’s, when consistency began to hold hands with a pattern. “I should” began to fade, slowly replaced with “I get to.” And maybe it had something to do with my growing imagination- the ability to create scenarios in my mind as to what God was saying.

Satan’s deception is anchored in powerful, imaginative misrepresentations of reality, and until these lies are confronted with truth in ways that are at least as vivid and powerful as the misrepresentations, the lies will continue to dominate our lives. We are new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17), but if this truth is believed in the form of mere information while the old self is continually experienced in vivid, imaginative re-presentations, we will find it nearly impossible to display our new nature consistently. – Gregory Boyd

Take a 13-year-old boy whose curiosity with sex leads him to porn. Two months laters he’s obsessed. So we forward him a verse from the Bible, “…anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28, NIV). Does the truth cancel his lust? Does it even put a dent in his pattern?

Gregory Boyd lends a clue. The boy’s imagination is overrun with vivid misrepresentations of reality. His need is to begin to build out a powerful moral imagination. God’s story. This is where the power of God’s word begins and builds.

How about you? As your own rhythm begins to emerge and gain momentum, where is your place? Your pattern? Your niche? Identify your preference(s) from the following list:

  • Memorizing scripture
  • Reading scripture
  • Word studies
  • Small group Bible study
  • Study Bibles
  • Audio Bible
  • Podcasts

Our moral imagination is the ability to envision God’s story in the middle of situations that threaten to take our thinking captive


Cheat Sheet On Marriage

When “Marriage” hits the fan, as it appears scripted to do, when the U.S. Supreme Court hands down the decision in June or July, when the predictable reconfiguration occurs to adopt same-sex unions, you’re going to need a cheat sheet.

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The avalanche of data- historical, civil, judicial and practical definitions of marriage- seems to be exceeded only by the cultural forces against traditional marriage. Into this sophisticated mess, you better have your answer well-thought-out. Simple, short, powerful. Let me offer a sticky note, from which you can edit and create your own:

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P – Pleasure has been surgically removed from procreation and repackaged by itself. This has led to an endless drop-down menu of sexually deviant options. Once removed, pleasure has no generational future because it avoids procreation. Porn, masturbation, contraception, hook-up, abortion, same-sex. They all create a work-around to God’s original design.

2 – “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27). The intentional blurring of gender (male and female) has produced a wild menu of over 50 categories to choose from. But the beginning was very, very simple. It involved 2

P – Procreation is the inseparable result of a conjugal relationship between husband and wife, providing the future and structure of society and ensuring the stability of child-rearing.

Robby P. George says it this way:

Do you believe, as I believe, that the core social function of marriage is to unite a man and woman as husband and wife to be mother and father to children born of their union? Do you hold, as I hold, that the norms that shape marriage as a truly conjugal partnership are grounded in its procreative nature- its singular aptness for the project of child-rearing? Do you understand marriage as the uniquely comprehensive type of bond- comprehensive in that it unites spouses in a bodily way and not merely at the level of hearts and minds- that is oriented to and would naturally be fulfilled by their conceiving and rearing children together?

To think that we’ve arrived at a place of societal suspension, where we actually have to think through what marriage is, where we must define, defend and demand it, is almost in itself….unthinkable. But so it is.

What does your cheat sheet say?