Book Review: The Next Story

If anyone is qualified to write a book about a Christian perspective on the Internet, it’s Tim Challies. His blog is among the most popular websites for people of faith, and is always a reliable guide to faith, theology, church culture and the wider world.

His new book is titled The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion. Though other authors have explored the hazards represented by the proliferation of pornography on the Internet, Challies offers a much broader perspective on digital diversions and their impact on our lives. He frames the discussion about websites, social media, communication and entertainment to provide a prudent and balanced understanding of the opportunities and pitfalls represented by technological advances throughout history.

One viewpoint I found particularly helpful was his opinion that digital media can be a temptation in and of itself, but also can be an enabler of other temptations. For example, a man who fuels his lustful thoughts with lurid images can connect with an avalanche of pornography online. In the same way, a woman who fails to exercise self-control in terms of use of finances finds a wide, paved highway to overspending simply by launching her web browser.

The Next Story should prove to be an invaluable resource to families and churches who want to learn how to own electronic gadgets rather than being owned by them. Chapters include useful questions and application sections that will facilitate discussion and reflection, and key takeaways are summarized at the end of the book. As a father, I’m looking forward to exploring many of the enclosed concepts with my children.

Are you ever nagged by a suspicion that the Internet, cell phones and other digital technologies are having an unhealthy impact on your life?
The publisher provided a complimentary review copy of this book. In turn, I provided the above review.

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