Sunday, September 26, 2010

Spiritual Life... 21st century...

I've been putting a slow pulse through a new book idea on the side.  I'm not going to write much of it here--I do enough of that sort of thing.  I thought I might give a little glimpse on some Sundays.  Believe it or not, it has to do with spiritual formation.  Here's today's excerpt:
What I do feel confident about is that we are in the middle of a major cultural shift. We are shifting away from a world of sequence—where we do things in order from beginning to end—to a world of associations—where we slide from one thing to another by unplanned connections. We live in a world where a dictionary like Wikipedia will come together overnight instead of a ten year project where each entry is assigned to a scholar. This new world offers a level of stimulation that can feed the attention deficit like never before, but it will also make it harder for more and more people to engage successfully in the sequential world of conventional spirituality.

At this point some will complain, as if we can actually do something about it. Yeah, that’s going to happen. The internet is here to stay. Teachers who think they can shut wireless out of the classroom are destined for failure. Parents who think they can somehow hold back the flood of endless text message exchanges are destined to lose before they even start trying to fight. This is just the way things are going to be from here on out.

Plato bemoaned how writing softened the memory. Our parents’ math teachers bemoaned the calculator. Just ten years ago traditional educators bemoaned online education and called the internet a fad. Publishers have bemoaned the rise of the electronic book. Bemoan on—and adjust or go out of business.

The way we do spiritual formation will have to adjust too...


Ken Schenck said...

I liked this sentence so much, I thought I would post it: "An attention deficit boy who manages to pray for thirty seconds may show more virtue than a monk that prays for hours."

::athada:: said...

React I do to the changes, but you put them in good historical context. Even some of the more core or cherish Christian virtues are called into question, and the answers are not easy. For example, thriftiness and simplicity do not stimulate the economy - could Africa need us to stay on our consumer binge to lift them from poverty?

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