Monday, 23 July 2018

Technology can help spread the word

FROM a recent press report: “Chess robot proves to be superhuman.”

Such headlines often cause disquiet as we observe the march of new technology demonstrated, if not demonised, by the apparent invasiveness of robotics or the excesses made visible by social media.    

Fear not, for history has taught us that the imaginative endeavours of the human mind, which at first appear threatening, may well turn out to be a great blessing. 

Five hundred years ago, Reformers used that newfangled contraption, the printing press, to produce inexpensive printed leaflets and books to further their cause. 

In particular, the publication of Martin Luther’s The Ninety-five Theses in the vernacular took only a couple of months to spread across Europe, an extraordinary achievement at that time. 

The speed at which this printed publication spread probably saved Luther from the fire.  What leader of the day would have dared burn him as a heretic when the power of his reforming ideas had been spread so widely and so quickly?   

While today’s Christian community, whether Catholic or Protestant, seeks to follow its mission in the 21st century, we must learn to use the tools we have available to spread the Christian
message. 

Surely, 21st century technology will come to our aid if we pursue our Christian faith anew with intelligence and rigorous intent, particularly when centred on the greatest manifesto in history, the Sermon on the Mount.

May I suggest that before welcoming in the New Year, with all its festive cheer, we prepare ourselves for 2018 by reading again the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew chapters five, six and seven. 

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