Sunday, August 05, 2007

Media Fast

One of the best parts of my vacation was being without a computer. Good for the soul!

I thought back to something that Doug Groothuis (philosophy professor at Denver Seminary) requires of his students:
I routinely require my students to engage in some kind of "media fast," in which they abstain from an electronic medium for at least one week. During this time they are required to reflection several portions of Scripture--the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, the fruit of the Spirit, etc.--in light of their experiences. In the six or so years I have been assigning this fast, the results have been nothing less than profound for the vast majority of the students. Having withdrawn from the world of TV, radio, computers, they find more silence, time for reflection and prayer, and more opportunities to engage family and friends thoughtfully. They become more peaceful and contemplative-and begin to notice how media-saturated most of our culture has become. So, we need some asceticism. Any area of culture that decreases godliness and enhances worldliness must come under the loving discipline of Jesus Christ--for his glory, for our good, and for the good of those we serve. Christians need to withdraw from aspects of our technological culture (which Postman calls a "Technopoly"-a culture dominated by technology) in order to gain perspective on ourselves, God, and our culture.