When I was a student in a theologically conservative and Reformed college, we often used the phrase, “The antithesis runs through it.” In one sense, the statement is a reminder that the distinctions of good and bad or sacred and secular don’t quite capture the truth of how sin has affected the world. There aren’t some things affected by the Fall and others that aren’t. Everything was created “good,” and everything is now completely fallen.
For instance, “secular” music or literature isn’t inherently “bad” and Christian music and literature inherently “good.” Each tells the truth or it doesn’t. In fact, one may argue that Christian music sometimes falls short of telling the whole truth--focusing entirely upon the redemptive elements of God’s story while neglecting our humanity, brokenness, struggle, or hard places in life. Likewise, people aren’t inherently good or bad. Henry Ford did some pretty amazing things for our Nation and the world. He was also horribly anti-semitic. Without Thomas Jefferson, the concept of a free democratic Republic would not have spread throughout the globe. Yet, he was also a slave holder and a Deist. Sexuality is not “bad,” but it has ends that are either in harmony with God’s plans or that cause us to dwell in broken places.
The world is full of contradictions, and there are few areas that have been left untouched by our sin. Still, as Abraham Kuyper put it, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”
It’s no secret that Dominion is restrictive when it comes to what we recommend regarding children’s and teens’ use of technology. We regularly guide parents and faculty towards deferring or limiting its use in homes, classrooms, and everyday life. Technology has been affected by the fall insofar as it destroys families. It offers outlets for broken sexuality. It dehumanizes us. It takes us away from our families. It pushes our brains towards an insatiable craving for stimulation. Yet, the use of technology - yes, even technology - belongs to our Creator. Technology is not bad but it has its proper place and end. It can be redeemed. At the same time, just as we don’t give the keys to our car to a four-year-old child, we should not unleash a child or teen on the Internet without guidance, serious conversations, and appropriate supervision and limitations.
So, while we believe that using technology for online learning in the midst of present circumstances presents a redemptive use of our resources, we also pause to urge parents to take some important steps towards protecting their children. We still believe technology use needs to be regulated, filtered, and bridled.
We invite you to begin considering how you will manage technology in your home, even as its use has become necessary in order for your children to continue being educated. Start having the conversations with your children if you haven’t already. In our next blog post, we will share some practical thoughts and suggestions for how to set appropriate boundaries.