The Convergence of Spirit and Technology

Throughout recorded history, the expansion of the Kingdom of God has mostly been in direct proportion to the convergence of the Spirit and technology.

Three such convergences have occurred in recent recorded history: the Roman Empire, the printing press, and the World Wide Web. During the first two convergences, established religions -- first Judaism and then Christianity -- lost ground. Will Judeo-Christianity lose ground a third time? 

Very possibly the next 10 years will either usher in a worldwide golden period in Christianity or signal the beginning of a steep decline in Christian influence in the Western world.

God made a promise to Abraham that through his seed all of the world would be blessed. With that promise a journey began that would alter the course of human events everywhere. As we read through the Old Testament, we see the struggle of God's people to fulfill this promise. In all fairness, for much of the Old Testament the times just weren't right. Travel was difficult and dangerous, with the world fragmented into thousands of tiny cultures, each speaking a different language.

However, as early as the 4th century b.c., the Roman road system made the fulfillment of God's promise a distinct possibility. By the height of the Roman Empire, more than 50,000 miles of state-of-the-art roads stretched from Britain to Mesopotamia. These roads were one of the wonders of the world. For the first time, travelers and merchants could avoid many threatening storms, pirates, and navigational problems.

Unfortunately, Israel refused to step out onto those roads to engage the world with the good news that had been entrusted to her. Instead, she developed a fortress mentality and defended her territory -- much as many established congregations do today. The day Paul set foot on the Roman roads, Israel was left behind. Without the Roman roads, Christianity might not have spread so quickly throughout most of the known world.

The same convergence of Spirit and technology happened again during the Reformation with the invention of the printing press. Again, the established Church fought the new technology because it threatened the church's monopoly on interpreting the Scriptures. The emerging Protestants embraced the new technology, and Protestantism flourished.

Twice now, the convergence of the gospel and new technology has proven to be an awesome power in advancing the Kingdom of God at the expense of the established Church. Could it happen again and where will you stand?

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