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Digital Liturgies: Rediscovering Christian Wisdom in an Online Age

By Samuel D. James

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Digital Liturgies: Rediscovering Christian Wisdom in an Online Age

By Samuel D. James

... Show All

How the Habitat of Internet Technology Undermines Christian Wisdom

With advancements in internet technology, people can get instant answers to just about any of their questions, connect long distance with family and friends, and stay informed with events around the world in real time.

In Digital Liturgies, tech-realist Samuel D. James examines the connection between patterns in technology and human desires. Everyone longs for a glimpse of heaven; James argues they are just looking for it in the wrong place—the internet. 

This accessible book exposes 5 “digital liturgies” that prohibit people from contemplating big truths, accepting the uncomfortable, and acknowledging God as their Creator. It then calls readers to live faithfully before Christ, finding wisdom through Scripture and rest in God’s perfect design. 

  • A Biblical View of the Internet and Technology: Readers explore the connection between human desire, the internet, and wisdom through a Christian lens
  • Great for College Students, Parents, and Pastors: This book encourages readers to live faithfully for Christ 
  • Offers a Tech-Realist Perspective: Samuel D. James highlights the inherent dangers of digital technologies, offering wisdom for navigating our internet-saturated world 

Read Chapter 1


Author:

Samuel D. James

Samuel James is the associate acquisitions editor at Crossway. He is the author of Digital Liturgies, a regular newsletter on Christianity, technology, and culture. He lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife, Emily, and their three children. 

Product Details

Category: Christian Living
Culture & Social Issues
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 208
Size: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Weight: 8.9 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-8713-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-8713-9
ISBN-UPC: 9781433587139
Case Quantity: 52
Published: September 05, 2023

Table of Contents

Introduction: What the Web Means for Our Spiritual Lives

Part 1: Truth and Technology

Chapter 1: Embodied Wisdom in a Faceless Age
Chapter 2: How Technology Shapes Us
Chapter 3: Drowning in the Shallows

Part 2: Engaging the Digital Liturgies

Chapter 4: “My Story, My Truth”: Digital Liturgy #1: Authenticity
Chapter 5: The Abolition of Thought: Digital Liturgy #2: Outrage
Chapter 6: Shame on You: Digital Liturgy #3: Shame
Chapter 7: Naked in the Dark: Digital Liturgy #4: Consumption
Chapter 8: Death by Minutiae: Digital Liturgy #5: Meaninglessness

Conclusion: Habits of Wisdom and Resistance 
Acknowledgments
General Index
Scripture Index

Endorsements

“This accessible but penetrating book shows how our late-modern, secular culture provides liturgies: soul-shaping practices and narratives that train us to turn from God to the sovereign self, from God-created nature to self-created reality, from living for truth and love to living for power. If you can’t see them, you can’t resist them, and the author gives you resources to do both. Samuel James has written an essential book. He is one of the small but growing number of young thinkers to whom the church must listen if it is to learn how to be effective in evangelism and formation in a post-Christendom world.”
Tim Keller, Founding Pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City; Cofounder, Redeemer City to City

“This is such a wise and insightful book. Its power lies in the way it exposes truths not just about the digital world but about us: the things we want, the way we try to find them, how the internet weaponizes them in ways we may not have noticed, and what we can do about it. Penetrating without being frightening, and positive without being naïve, Digital Liturgies is the guide we need.”
Andrew Wilson, Teaching Pastor, King’s Church London

Digital Liturgies is a book that issues both a challenge and a call. Samuel James challenges our perspective by pulling back the curtain so we see that technology’s effects are not neutral, and our digital habits tilt us toward an online world that makes the wisdom of God seem like foolishness. But James also calls us to a better way, reorienting us toward greater understanding, wisdom, and the practices of resistance necessary for faithful and fruitful living. An accessible book full of profound insight.”
Trevin Wax, Vice President of Research and Resource Development, North American Mission Board; Visiting Professor, Cedarville University; author, The Thrill of Orthodoxy; Rethink Your Self; and This Is Our Time

“Virtually everyone I know feels exhausted by or enslaved to some aspect of digital life. In this book, one of the sharpest Christian minds helps us discover what exactly we’re looking for in our screens. Digital Liturgies points a path beyond the outrage, anger, shame, and boredom that we accidentally download into our souls.”
Russell Moore, Editor in Chief, Christianity Today

“After the first few chapters, I decided my teenagers should read this book, and maybe their whole school as well. Such good sociological insights. A few chapters later I decided I wanted my church to read it. Such helpful spiritual and pastoral insights too. By the book’s end, however, I realized I needed this book. It applied the gospel to me and my online habits, and I need worthier ones. What that means, friend, is that I’m pretty sure you also need this book. It explains the digital water we’re all swimming in and how that digital water has reprogrammed us more than we realize.”
Jonathan Leeman, Editorial Director, 9Marks; Elder, Cheverly Baptist Church, Hyattsville, Maryland

“Modern-day Christians are so trained to think about the what (content) that we don’t often enough consider the how (form). Digital Liturgies—wisely, clearly, and compellingly—helps us to consider the ways in which we are formed by the digital world in which we live. Samuel James not only introduces some of the most important thinkers on this most defining quality of our age, but he also offers his own fresh insights.”
Karen Swallow Prior, author, The Evangelical Imagination: How Stories, Images, and Metaphors Created a Culture in Crisis

“Secular man is trying to supplant the divine Creator with a false one—the almighty algorithm. As Samuel James argues, we utilize digital tools believing that through them, we can make the world into our own image. With careless passivity, digital tools end up conforming us into its Silicon Valley–engineered image—alienated, fragmented, compulsive, and angry. There is no evangelical thinker I am aware of who has thought as critically, cautiously, and self-critically about the toll of digital life on our spirituality, psychology, and embodiment as Samuel James. From one of the most talented writers of his generation of evangelical thinkers, Digital Liturgies is one of the smartest books I’ve read from one of evangelicalism’s brightest lights.”
Andrew T. Walker, Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Fellow, The Ethics and Public Policy Center