Fifty years ago, if someone told you to grab a mouse, point it, and double-click it to tweet, you might have been accused of cruelty to animals. Today, information technology pervades our lives. Nowhere is this truer than in the rapidly expanding cyber-world of the Internet.
We ignore the Internet to our own peril. Like any form of technology, it has great potential for good as well as evil. Parents must know how to guide their children through its numerous options. Teachers must understand how students can use the Internet, whether for research or for cheating. Pastors should be equipped with a basic understanding of its operations so that they can broadcast the gospel to all nations and protect their congregations from its corruptions. We all should get a grip on this powerful tool to use it for the glory of God.
David Clark is well equipped to explain such matters. He has been working with the Internet for three decades, since studying computer science at college. In clear and simple language, Clark explains the ways in which the Internet is determining how people communicate and form communities, sell products and analyze trends, play online games and gamble away their money, view distant friends and destroy their souls with pornography, share the news, and make the news by mobilizing mass movements quickly.
But this book does more than just educate us about technology. Clark also charts a course for Christians through the dangers, delusions, and opportunities of the Internet. He shows us that the Internet not only opens a door for us to access information and images but also provides others with information about us and our lives. He warns us of the false sense of privacy and freedom that Internet users feel, while their actions may lead to very public consequences.
Repeatedly, he calls us to exercise wisdom and self-control in using the Internet. This is our calling in every age. God’s grace teaches us that “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age” (Titus 2:12). That doesn’t just mean we must avoid bad websites. It commands us to redeem the time for God (Ephesians 5:16). May God use this book to keep our salt salty, and to shine our light brightly until every nation glorifies our Father.
Joel R. Beeke
President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary Grand Rapids, Michigan