Saturday, March 19, 2011

Inundated with Information: How a digital age breeds being overfed but undernourished

The 2009 Gospel Coalition conference featured a series of expositions on 2 Timothy. The theme was "Entrusted with the Gospel," and Crossway published a wonderful compilation of those sermons in a book form.

One sermon was given by Edward Copeland from 2 Timothy 3:1-9, entitled "Shadowlands: Pitfalls and Parodies of Gospel-centered ministry. Copeland stresses the urgency of the moment as we attempt to declare the gospel in a hostile environment. However, the resistance to the gospel is demonstrated in an unusual way.

Copeland explain hows a digital age - loaded with information - directly affects how the gospel is heard:

In these last days we live in a society that is oversaturated with information. We have information that we cannot assimilate or apply. On a daily basis most of us hear and see reports and images of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet most of us would be hard-pressed to explain the difference between Al Qaeda and the Taliban. We do not understand and cannot express what is happening with the Shiites and the Sunnis. We hear the talking heads on television report incessantly on the ups and downs of the economy. Yet we cannot accurately define a derivative or a junk bond. We hear it every day but we don't know what it actually means.

In the last days the Bible says that we will be overfed but undernourished as it relates to spiritual matters. We have spiritual color commentators preaching recreationally and primarily appealing to those who are burdened down with sins and driven to be inoculated against the Truth. They will hear just enough "gospel" to hinder them from receiving the true gospel of Jesus Christ. they will be immunized against the gospel by a false impression of religion given as a placebo for their frail consciences.

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