iPhone Idolatry: Can Technology Become an Idol?

Tim Challies, an evangelical blogger, has launched his new book The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion, about how technology can change what people believe.

“This iPhone - it gives me such joy, it makes my heart long for it. But yet it can very easily take the place of God in my life,” he explained, according to World publication.

Challies, who maintains one of the most-visited Christian blogs on the internet, has said that the world’s desire to obtain the latest technology can confuse their affections.

Can technology become an idol?

The writer, who is also pastor, points out that there is technological good and evil.

“Technological media (cell phones, email, texting) can keep relationships connected from anywhere, but what's the drawback? They allow us to communicate immediately outside of our physical presence.”

More and more, he said, young people have very little face-to-face contact.

He said, “It's now even expected that before you call me you'll text me to ask if it's OK that you call, because jumping into my life with your voice is almost too intimate.”

For him, it is quite clear that technology has the potential to become a dehumanizing thing. He offers the example saying that no young man would say to his girlfriend “I just can’t wait to write you a letter.”

Rather he says the young man would just say: “I can’t wait to be with you.”

That is one of the great things that the Lord longs for in heaven, he explained: “You will see Me face to face. There won’t be this mediation between us anymore.”

According to the writer, people embrace technologies that make them feel happy and fulfilled. The reason for that he said is that technology usually makes life better and more comfortable.

“We look at idols as bad things, but generally what happen is you take a good thing and make it an ultimate thing, and that's what idolatry is”, he explained.

Regarding how Christians should deal with the daily torrent of news and information, Challies urges Christians to weigh up the quality of the information.

“Along the way news really does become entertainment for many of us. We want tons of news, we want quick news, but we don't really want to ponder it and to take all that knowledge and put it through a biblical lens so it becomes wisdom.”