Together Apart

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A few years ago, AT&T launched an ad campaign for its mobile phone services. In it, a business traveler checks into a stark and lifeless motel room. He sits alone on the bed, dejected and lonely. The ad then cuts to him sitting in an airport after his flight has been delayed. A close-up of [...]

How the Christian Media Industry Made “Bible” into a Category Instead of a Proper Name

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Tonight, after dinner, baths, and a lot of screaming, my wife and I will settle down next to our toddlers and attempt to inculcate them into the Christian mythos telling them the stories of Abraham, Rahab, Paul, Silas, and the rest. Sometimes we read from our own leather-bound Bibles, but most nights we use books [...]

The Betrayal by Technology: A Portrait of Jacques Ellul

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Editor’s Note: The Betrayal by Technology, a Portrait of Jacques Ellul is an hour long interview with the French theologian and sociologist, Jacques Ellul, produced by ReRun Productions. Released in 1996, the interview touches on several of the main themes of Ellul’s body of work, including the technological society, the problems technique poses to ethics, and Ellul’s [...]

How (Not) to Date Like Jesus

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Contrary to the claims of dozens of books found in Christian bookstores, or perhaps evidenced by those myriad books, the Bible does not include an instruction manual for dating like Jesus. One cannot imitate a celibate man if one wants to take steps in a road different from that of celibacy. Even the married exemplars [...]

Perspectives on Privacy and Human Flourishing

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I’ve not been able to track down the source, but somewhere Marshall McLuhan wrote, “Publication is a self-invasion of privacy. The more the data banks record about each one of us, the less we exist.” The unfolding NSA scandal has brought privacy front and center. A great deal is being written right now about the ideal [...]

Passion and Precision: The Faith of Marshall McLuhan

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The Catholic Church does not depend on human wisdom or human strategies for survival. All the best intentions in the world can’t destroy the Catholic Church! It is indestructible, even as a human institution. It may once again undergo a terrible persecution and so on. But that’s probably what it needs. – Marshall McLuhan Precision This is a [...]

Did McLuhan’s Deeply Held Roman Catholic Convictions Bias His Scholarship?

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“He was a very religious man and, as a matter of fact, that was the only thing that helped him through the 15 months after his stroke. That was the core of his being – his religious strength. – Corinne McLuhan, Marshall’s wife (McLuhan, C. 1988).” McLuhan’s religious beliefs did not bias his scholarship or [...]

The Railing Principle

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Who was that guy—that first guy who thought, “I’m going to use my roof as a second floor”? When did it occur to him that the ceiling over his head could become a new floor beneath his feet? Was he lying in bed in the pre-dawn? Was he staring up at the ceiling with his [...]

Through the Looking Glass of an iPhone

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The call of Pope Francis to take the Gospel to the streets also includes the digital ones. The first message of Pope Francis for World Communications Day is consistent with the Holy Father’s concern for reaching individuals where they are. Today that often means the virtual confines of the digital environment. The Holy Father’s message [...]

Conscience of a Machine

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Gary Marcus has predicted that within the next two to three decades we would enter an era “in which it will no longer be optional for machines to have ethical systems.” Marcus invites us to imagine the following driverless car scenario: “Your car is speeding along a bridge at fifty miles per hour when errant school [...]