I had the privilege of knowing David Lochhead. He taught at Vancouver School of Theology, but I knew him through Agora BBS, a bulletin board system he ran back in the days when the Internet was not widely accessible by mere mortals. Agora was the first system I had ever called which was devoted to discussing Christianity. There were theological liberals, there were fundamentalists, there were unbelievers, and there were people like me who just enjoyed being a nuisance to others. And behind it all was David's incredible patience with technological "newbies", and his remarkable ability to be civil and agreeable, even with people (like me) with whom he didn't hold many theological convictions in common. Since then, technological innovations have come and gone. Agora BBS is long gone, as are most of the others I have used. The Internet has gone from nothing to being practically everything when it comes to electronic communications. Through it all, David displayed a remarkable ability to see past the trends and the hype and discern the deeper issues raised by information technology. David passed away in June, 1999 after a stroke. I thank God for the privilege of knowing him. This collection of essays shows some of David's thinking about the issues raised by information technology, and how IT interacts with Christian faith and Christian communities. His earlier work, Theology in a Digital World, was perhaps more profound, but as far as I know it's out of print. I strongly recommend David's work, because he raises important questions. Whether you agree with the answers he comes to or not, I believe that it is important to consider the questions.
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Still a relevant treatment of technology and theology13 Oct. 2003
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The late David Lochhead was an "early adapter" of technology, and also a theological thinker who could steer between demonising and idolising computers even if he did once write a piece "Have you hugged your computer today?" He recognised the importance of the communications opened up by the internet, and the temptations that went with it. He stimulated cyber-ecumenism and explored the benefits of the new relationships and dialogues which it made possible. First published in 1997, this is still a relevant treatment of technology and theology, even when both continue to change over time. There is wisdom here about expecting too much, and failing to act to realise the good. John Roxborogh