PS already published in 2014

“Presence and Pixels: Some impacts of electronically mediated communication on Christian living,” Review and Expositor, 111,1, 2014, 56-63.

I’d be particularly keen to get feedback from readers here who may see this. Your ideas would be welcome grist to the mill of my thinking :)

4 comments on “PS already published in 2014

    1. tim

      Thanks, Mark, I did not put the link because (I think) it is behind a subscription wall, and so wondered if people would need to go in via an institution site to get it. I intend to upload a preprint to, but have not yet :(

  1. Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman

    Just finished reading the article, Tim. Thanks. Helpful facts, even more helpful reflection. As you might guess, I lean to the advantages (and inevitability) of the technological opportunities. Like you, I don’t see it being a simple matter of one being better than the other. Rather, old and new media and forms of communication are simply different with inherent and potential strengths and weaknesses. To paraphrase John 4.20ff, our ancestors may have read and used the Bible the old way, but you say we must use the new technology. Which is it? The hour is coming, and is now here, when neither of those is really the point of the matter!
    As for the part about the Bible, I’m imagining a day when it will be possible to have a microchip embedded in our brains. Would you choose to have a Bible embedded and instantaneously available just by thinking it? (Is this a fulfillment of Deut 6:8; 11:18 or Revelation 14:9?)
    As for the communication part, you do a good job again of showing the potentials and pitfalls of technologically mediated forms. In my own experiences, I’ve had both good and bad. In part, as you noted at the end, it works to varying degrees with different kinds of people. But in defining “presence as a measure of the sense of relating to a real person,” I think you need to consider both quality and quantity. I’m thinking of Facebook in particular. There isn’t much quality interaction there, but the frequency of it has enabled me to reconnect and ‘keep in touch’ with friends and even family that would have disappeared long ago. It also greatly improves the quality of interaction when we do have something substantive to discuss or, even better, are able to meet face to face.
    So, thanks again. I’m with you. (Figuratively and in a presence kind of way!)

  2. Jerry Hilburn

    Fascinating! I have worked remotely with staff in the Philippines for 15+ years never having had the opportunity to meet face to face. We use chat, video, text, email, workflow tools, and document repositories to manage the work flow for the News site.

    Over the years we have become part of each others family. We’ve raised children, had our sick days, ups and downs, and the usual experiences one has when working together. With one major exception. Presence.

    I know them, though I have never been in their presence. One effect of having had this experience is that I have come to realize that while we are culturally different, as human beings we are the same. The world is much smaller for me because of it.

    When I think about the Bible the first thought is that a printed book as a form of communication is a less powerful medium than digital communication today.

    1. A book is static, once thoughts are written, they do not change.

    2. A book is a one way communication from the writer to the reader.

    3. Digital communications can broadcast static information, and in so doing match the mode of the book. The communication can be rich with pictures, audio, and video. A book can contain pictures, but no audio, or video.

    4. Where digital communications takes off is in real time communications, where the recipient can interact and change the direction of the communication.

    So in terms of the method of communication I wonder to what degree the method has any real impact on ideas?

    No matter how you share a thought, if the meaning is transferred as intended then the medium has not affected the idea. Without doubt, various forms of communication will be received differently by each individual. Some people prefer imagery, others prefer imagination. The mode of learning appears to be a wetware issue, hence the creation of so many communications methods.

    It disturbs me when I see Christians thumping a bible professing it to be the exact word of God when we know that the method of its original making was a matter of politics. Yet the manner of its making is not a consideration as to the book’s divinity. The book is indeed an idol when treated as a HOLY Bible. It’s not Holy at all, but the ideas within its pages, that is a completely different discussion.

    I have never met Christ, so will not have the experience of presence. But for those that believe Christ is present. And no matter how the ideas of Christ are transmitted, the ideas themselves rise above the method of the transmission.

    2 centavos…