12 Ways your Phone is Changing You
224pp, Crossway. £8.39
We've been set free by Christ, right? Then how come our phones often seem to control us? We are quick to affirm our freedom in Christ, yet easily find ourselves living as though still enslaved. Smartphones often exert such a pull on us.
Author, Tony Reinke, is a journalist and writer for desiringgod.org and is by no means a technophobe; he is happy to admit that his phone is one of the most useful tools in his ministry. However, he reminds the reader that in following Christ, our highest calling is to enjoy our Father God under his lordship. Our smartphones are to be used for his glory and the good of others.
Reinke leads with a brief theology of technology before launching into the '12 ways…' some of which are expected (eg. addressing pornography), but others I hadn't considered before (eg. the fragmentation of our lives and disorientation of our place in time). Alongside each warning, Reinke helpfully offers disciplines to redeem our phone use. Packed with quotes from influential pastors, ethicists and commentators on culture, much high-level thought has gone into this book, but not at the expense of its readability. More importantly, it's saturated in Scripture - read it in one hand with Bible (or Bible app) in the other!
Knowing this book might be uncomfortable reading - I was initially reluctant to pick it up, but I am so glad I did. In exposing underlying heart conditions, it left me with big questions to ponder and changes to make, refocusing me on the wonderful goal of knowing and glorifying God, in which my phone has a part to play.
Jeremy Foster is a medical student in Brighton and chair of CMF's National Student Council