Andy Crouch – The Life We’re Looking For: Reclaiming Relationships in a Technological World
Hodder and Stoughton
ISBN 978 1 399 801786 8
Andy Crouch has written many books on cultural engagement, especially on the impact of digital technology on humans. This is one of the themes of this wide-ranging-book.
What are Christians to do in a world where people know the cost of everything and the value of nothing? How do we navigate life that is highly commodified? What is the Christian response to technological advances that save us time but steal our souls?
This is by no means an obscurantist rant; it is instead a carefully textured reflection on how we view money, power and technology in a way that enhances rather than reduces our lives. The author writing about wearable technology says: “The future of wearables is really a quest for human enhancement.”
This book is not arguing for a rejection of technology but for its proper use, which includes not being duped into thinking it can deliver all that it promises. Nor should we fail to see the consequences of being overly dependant on artificial means of shaping and controlling our lives.
The author provides the example of “smart” buildings during the Covid Pandemic, places where windows cannot be opened where the environment is controlled to maintain the optimum temperature. Such spaces become the most dangerous places to be in a pandemic.
“For if human flourishing requires us to love with all our hearts, souls, and strength, what happens when nothing in our lives develops those capacities? With what exactly shall we love?”
The author helpfully interacts with the biblical model of household; an extended family setting of male and female, different ages and social classes, as a pointer to how satisfying social networks can be formed and cultivated. This elegantly written book should start a conversation and I trust lead to a shift in our thinking and practice.
John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex. He is Director of Training at the School of Preachers in Riga, Latvia.