Our…worldview conference…challenged attendees to be thinking about the implications of their technology choices in light of their biblical commitments and understanding. We spoke to issues related to usage of our time, innovation’s impact upon social expectations and roles, our enjoyment of creation, and challenges and opportunities of technology usage in ministry. This is something we should be doing as a Christian institution of higher learning, especially as one with our conviction that the Bible speaks to all areas of life and service.
As a biblical university, PBU is committed to engaging the culture and helping Christians think rightly about their place in the church, society, and the world. Christians should know the importance of being salt and light. They should know that while they are not of this world they are placed in it by a sovereign God. They should know the Bible teaches that all things are given by God for our pleasure. They should also know that while all things are lawful, not all things are profitable. The dilemma for the Christian is to resolve the tension between cultural engagement and godly thinking and living. What is their relationship to the world and the things of it? This requires of Christians a cultural wisdom, right thinking about culture, the things of culture, and their relationship to them, like technology. … we know that strategic engagement with the world requires more of us than hosting conferences, it is partly accomplished by offering such conferences as a means to providing guidance to Christians regarding their own thinking and living in this world.
The Christian life is real life, in real time and real space. Our faith is not a virtual one. It is an incarnational one. God made all things, all creatures, in physical form. He called his people out of one culture and gave them a land where they shaped another. He revealed Himself to humanity through His Son and saved humanity by His Son's atoning sacrifice -- through His death, and bodily resurrection. He has given us life, spiritual life and physical life, to enjoy to His glory. We enjoy relationships, nature, food, the arts, sports, and even technology. But we are also to bring a biblical faith and worldview to bear upon how we think about and experience these things. We need to enjoy and engage the culture around us and not hide from it, but we must be wise about it, and be thinking about the implications of our choices regarding all things cultural. God’s people are to be set apart, yet actively engaged. This is no thoughtless task. PBU desires to cultivate in its students the ability and inclination to exercise such wisdom, that they may truly be in the world without being of it. And part of what we must do is provide opportunities to practice this.
©2009 Philadelphia Biblical University. Reprinted with permission.
Todd J. Williams is the President of Philadelphia Biblical University. He can be reached by email.