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Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.
The Next Story
Even the least technical among us are being pressed from all sides by advances in digital technology. We rely upon computers, cell phones, and the Internet for communication, commerce, and entertainment. Yet even though we live in this ‘instant message’ culture, many of us feel disconnected, and we question if all this technology is really good for our souls. In a manner that attempts to be accessible, thoughtful, and biblical, I address questions such as:
- How has life—and faith—changed now that everyone is available all the time through mobile phones?
- How does our constant connection to these digital devices affect our families and our church communities?
- What does it mean that almost two billion humans are connected by the Internet … with hundreds of millions more coming online each year?
Providing the reader with a framework they can apply to any technology, I explain how and why our society has become reliant on digital technology, what it means for our lives, and how it impacts the Christian faith.
So it’s a book not just for the young and digital, but for all of us.
Here’s a sample from the book (in PDF format) to give you a taste.
Here is what a few people are saying about The Next Story:
“The digital revolution is one of the most important developments of our times. Christians need good, solid, and insightful guidance as to how to engage the digital world without surrendering to the digital mind. Tim Challies is uniquely qualified to write this book, and I greet its arrival with enthusiasm.” Albert Mohler
“There are many books evaluating the nature and impact of new media. There are many books on Christian discipleship. However, this book brings these issues together, with profound simplicity and well-informed analysis. This is an important book not only for church leaders but for all of us who seek to understand how we are used by our technology as well as use it.” Michael Horton
“Tim Challies knows technology and he knows the faith. So, when he writes on the intersection of technology and faith, it’s a must read. The Next Story gives solid counsel to living out the gospel in the context of today’s rapid progression of technology.” Ed Stetzer
“All of us today—whether digital immigrants or digital natives—are living in the aftershock of the digital explosion. Though our world has radically changed, the fundamental question remains the same: Will we be found faithful? Tim Challies proves to be a faithful navigator, though humble enough to admit that he identifies with the rest of us as a fellow struggler. The result of his labors is an accessible guide full of wise reflection and practical counsel. What hath technology to do with the biblical worldview? Come and see.” Justin Taylor
“No one I know is more thoughtfully connected to and wisely critical of the digital universe that envelops us than Tim Challies. In The Next Story, he helps us navigate the rapidly expanding digital explosion. The beauty of the book is not simply its wow factor (“I had no idea all of that was happening on the web …”), but more importantly its heart concern (“How do I stay virtuous in a virtual world?”). Challies’s work is cutting-edge in the best sense, helping Christians to sever themselves from the sin that so easily (and subtly) entangles in order to run the race that glorifies Christ.” Bryan Chapell
“We all marvel at the rapid technological advances that have taken place in our lifetime. But few of us stop to reflect on the profound way these changes are shaping what it means to be human. The Next Story is a great place to start. It moves beyond warnings simply to be careful what we see (important though these are) to explore how the medium of new technology affects how we know God, relate to other people and even how we think. Instead of simplistic rules or proof texts, it offers a penetrating analysis of the modern world in the light of the biblical story together with practical principles that will enable you to ensure technology is your tool and not your master.” Tim Chester
“As the co-author of 13 words in Tim’s new book, I’m very happy that he, with his skill as a writer, his experience as a web designer, and his deeply informed, discerning faith, wrote the other 60,000.” John Dyer
“This is an important book. As someone who has spent almost two decades helping couples and families grow stronger and thrive, I have seen how what Tim Challies calls the digital explosion is sending shock waves through homes - everything from Facebook threatening marriages to couples who can’t have a conversation that goes deeper than a tweet. It’s time we think seriously about the subtle way technology is reordering our lives. The Next Story helps us do that.” Bob Lepine
“If I outsource memory, is it an advance or a loss? Where is wisdom in the immediacy of the information explosion? Can we really affirm biblical authority when Wikipedia is truth? Tim Challies uses theoretical, experiential, and theological lenses to give a prophetic assessment of our digital age. He unpacks the opportunities of increased connection as well as the new Gnosticism of the dis-incarnations of the virtual society. He calls us to extricate ourselves from the ADHD world of information overload to live as whole persons who give ourselves to wisdom and worship of God alone.” Gerry Breshears
“When we think about technology, most of us are content to focus naively on features and price. Thankfully, Tim Challies calls us to something deeper. The Next Story is a compelling call for God’s people to consider technology’s implications, effects, and tendencies. Challies demonstrates thoughtful examination of what technology can do to us rather than just what it can do for us.” Scott McClellan
Michael Krahn - “If The Next Story has the same effect on you that it had on me, it will cause you repent of some of your technological habits, to refine many others, and to refocus your attention on the true goal of all that you do, both online and off – to bring glory to God.”
Pastor Matt - “Challies’ new book is not just a good book (although it certainly an early contender for book of the year in my humble opinion), it is an important book. I pastor a church in which the average attendee is 24 and they are not ‘digital immigrants’ like me but barely known any other world than one of constant technological access. Each one of them needs to read (not skim) this book and carefully consider the arguments therein.”