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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece in its Field, 11 May 2011
By 
Enoch Burke "Campaign for Conscience" (Castlebar, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Next Story The (Hardcover)
Tim Challies book The Next Story is a masterpiece in its field. The book effectively engages with all the primary practical imports of technology to drive home the principle that using technology for the glory of God is both a challenge and an opportunity for Christians (blurb).

Challies book is quite unique, in a Christian book field with few comparable books. Three things, however, make it a book to treasure.

Firstly, Challies deals with technology from the inside. As a pioneer in the Christian blogosphere, author of Challies.com, which receives over 20,000 hits a day and editor of DiscerningReader.com, Challies is not only qualified but competent in his field. From the very first page, the reader is impressed by his approach: one characterised by a reason, born out of experience, but not overly cautious. He rightly recognises that both an `unqualified embrace' of technological advances and `strict separation' are missing something vital, a `biblical, God-honouring response' (32), yet bestows more respect on the latter. Challies attitude exudes a balance and competence that captures the reader's heart.

Secondly, Challies approach to the subject of digital technology is grounded in one simple principle: look deeper (39). He rightly discerns that we are `prone to be quite lazy in our thinking about technology' (41). Thus, his book promotes not rigid legalism but a rationalism that will benefit every user of technology, Christian or otherwise. His book deals with core principles of technology; by referencing communication, distraction, information and authority, the maxims which he uncovers will remain timelessly relevant in a rapidly changing field.

Thirdly, Challies writes to change. Not to change technology, but to change people. Or rather, to point his readers to the only source of change - the true wisdom found in Jesus Christ. In a world of Facebook-frivolity, he declares that "shallow words reveal a shallow heart" (79) and champions instead a life "submitted to the One who is Truth" (82). Most chapters close with a comprehensive Application section and Questions for Reflection. Challies' Epilogue is a summary of how his book has changed him and articulates his deepest desire simply and succinctly: "I want you to take what's true and have these things shape your relationship with technology in a way that suits your unique situation" (193). Rather than be shaped by our technology, Challies urges us to shape it for the glory of God.

Challies book accomplishes its mission. It takes the reader on a journey of understanding in a world we travel every day, but hitherto had only a dim notion of where we were really headed. It breathes clarity into confusion and cultivates technological confidence in an age of digital dictation. The sincerity of the author and his steady reliance on Scripture ensure that, for every reader, the next story can truly be His story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A balanced and insightful challenge to the modern obsession with technology, 28 Nov 2013
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Very helpful analysis of the modern phenomenon of technology based living. Personally challenged and chastised by brother Challies. Reading recommended to all who seek to use the modern digital world for promoting personal godliness and to further the work and the glory of God. At times I thought this guy as looking over my shoulder or reading my mind.
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Next Story The
Next Story The by Challies Tim (Hardcover - 30 April 2011)
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