Saturday Short Thought: Ajith Fernando on Technology & Theology in Preaching

This week I have been thinking out loud about technology and sermon preparation.

Later today I will be adding a book review of a book on biblical scholarship by Ben Witherington III.  Let me quote a brief segment that is relevant to our subject this week:  “We begin to believe we can find anything on the Internet if we are just computer and web savvy enough.  This is false.  You can waste a lot of time searching for things on the Internet, when what is needed is to travel to an actual library or consult with scholars in person.”  (Witherington, Is There a Doctor?, p85).

The LinkedIn preacher’s group has also had a bit of a discussion going on this subject – if you are on LinkedIn, please join the group.  I asked Ajith Fernando if I could quote his comment on this site, and he graciously agreed.  Ajith is the Teaching Director for YFC in Sri Lanka and is a regular expositor at well-known Christian conferences around the world.

Technology could be a help or a hindrance to good preaching. One of the biggest problems in the church is that our leaders are technicians when they should primarily be thinkers, theologians–that is, with everything they do coming from reflecting on the teaching of the Scriptures. For example, the great John Stott who was in every way a great theologian of the Christian life applied to contemporary life was not computer savvy. I use technology a lot. But I try to make it something that helps me do technical work (e.g. exegesis) faster and more efficiently than before so that I will be freed to give extra time for thinking, meditating, applying etc, etc.

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2 thoughts on “Saturday Short Thought: Ajith Fernando on Technology & Theology in Preaching

  1. Good thoughts. I have noticed there are times where a sermon illustration is googled, and it leads them to, or as I would like to call it: the most over used illustrations on earth. I think sometimes we tend to me more concerned about whether or not we have good illustrations and witty lines as opposed to focusing on the truth of Scripture.

  2. Very interesting angle Fernando offers, about using technology to be able to spend more time thinking…I agree that the Internet can make you lazy. Especially when we’re pressed for time, we tend to use other people’s thoughts instead of taking the time to go through our own thought process. And yes, Joe G is right, those overused sermon illustrations should be outlawed!

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