34 episodes

Chris & Adam argue about life in a techified world—from iPhones to DNA tests—and if Christians have a third-way.

Device & Virtue Chris Ridgeway & Adam Graber

    • Christianity

Chris & Adam argue about life in a techified world—from iPhones to DNA tests—and if Christians have a third-way.

    In TikTok We Trust

    In TikTok We Trust

    Have you installed the world’s newest social media app? Your church youth group has! China, dancing cats, and Adam’s new obsession all right here on the first episode of season 5.

    • 47 min
    Force For Good?

    Force For Good?

    What if cops carried freeze rays instead of guns? Could it change society? Could technology really solve police brutality?
    Christians for millennia have debated whether force—and the technology employed in it—is necessary to stop evil, and whether Christians should resist lethal weapons in general. Some people envision a future without guns, where law enforcement uses non-lethal weapons. Star Trek has long pictured a reality where force involves stun guns but not bullets.
    Can non-lethal technology create a more peaceful future? Could it lead to a more equitable society?
    After all these centuries, Adam and Chris finally have the answer. . . . well, okay, that didn’t happen. Instead, we’re diving into this question from our unique angle, asking how is the gun shaping our relationships and our society, even when it isn’t fired?

    “The History of Policing in the United States” (PDF)

    A list of current less-lethal weapons

    How police tactics differ around the world

    “Police, Power, and the Specter of Guns”

    “Can Star Trek’s non-violent utopia happen?”

    • 44 min
    Holy Emoji 😂❤

    Holy Emoji 😂❤

    Can you translate the Bible into emoji? 😂. Some Christian leaders say No Way. But we ❤ this idea. Here’s why.

    Some people 👀 emoji as just 😜 cartoons that make texting more fun, but they offer a crucial way to recover our humanity and share our ❤ with others. Could they help us know God better too?

    Adam and Chris look at the multi-faceted world of emoji:

    the surprising value of their playful style

    emoji keyboards as cultural battlegrounds 💻

    the history of emoji 📜

    representing gender, sexuality, and politics ✌

    the 🤔 of images . . . and words

    God’s use of images . . . and words

    and, yes, whether the Bible has a place for emoji.

    By the ⏭ of this episode, the next emoji you 🤳 will be more than a cartoon. You will 👀 yourself, others, and the world a little bit differently. And you just might 😍 God a little bit more too.

    Big shout out to Paddy Johnson whose Gizmodo article, “Emoji We Lost,” started us thinking about emoji in a deeper way. Worth your time if you want to dig in a bit more.

    Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud is awesome. A fast, entertaining, and smart read. More than an introduction to comics, it’s a study in how we perceive, communicate, and represent the world we live in.

    Chris mentioned McCloud’s spectrum of faces, realistic to iconic. See it here.

    To see the Google blob/💃 emoji Chris mentions, go here.

    Daniella Zsupan-Jerome discusses the idol vs the icon in her paper: “Virtual Presence as Real Presence? Sacramental Theology and Digital Culture in Dialogue.”

    News: No new emoji next year, thanks to the global 😷. But here’s the new emoji for 2020.

    Send us your favorite Bible verse in emoji (on Twitter or Facebook). ✍ your own, or use the Bible Emoji translator.

    The Atlantic reviewed the Emoji Bible. Read it here. 📘

    Submit your own emoji to Unicode here, but beware, the process is *intense.*

    Academics aren’t above studying emoji either. Here’s research on how people use the 🔫, and on the inherent ambiguity to all emoji(s).

    • 44 min
    Ring Doorbell and the Neighborhood Surveillance State

    Ring Doorbell and the Neighborhood Surveillance State

    If you’re out for an evening stroll, you can bet that someone’s watching, even if nobody’s home. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood surveillance state. Instead of Mr. Rogers, Jeff Bezos is putting on his cardigan and answering the door. Grab your shoes.
    Ring Doorbells are popping up on porches across the country and around the world. What happens in your neighborhood no longer stays in your neighborhood. The video is getting uploaded to the cloud, everything from kidnappings to random acts of kindness.
    Are Ring cameras making our neighborhoods safer or making us more suspicious? This is the 6 o’clock news at the neighborhood level. And police are finding new ways to patrol your streets without leaving the precinct.
    Chris and Adam unpack the new normal for Christians who want to love their neighbor without violating their privacy.
    We recounted a bunch of stories in this episode. Read more about each one here: kidnapping, halloween, eavesdropping, trolling girl, aliens.
    Caroline Haskins has covered Ring’s relationship with police in quite a number of articles for Vice. Quite.
    Two earlier episodes from Device & Virtue, Season 2, touch on some of these same themes: Can I Get a Witness? (S2E1) and Fixing Our Privacy Settings (S2E2).
    Photo by Qusai Akoud from StockSnap

    • 33 min
    Too Close For Comfort? Contact Tracing, Big Brother, And Loving Your Neighbor

    Too Close For Comfort? Contact Tracing, Big Brother, And Loving Your Neighbor

    Apple, Google, and governments around the world are cooking up a new way to trace where you’ve been and who you’ve talked to. Sound like Big Brother? It may actually help you to love your neighbor.

    • 39 min
    Watching Or Worshiping? Digital Platforms Can Make Or Break Your Online Church

    Watching Or Worshiping? Digital Platforms Can Make Or Break Your Online Church

    Life's changed for all of us, right? Adam & Chris each highlight four things they noticed this week about technology & faith—all from home.
    For one thing, when church goes online, what’s the difference between watching and worshiping? It may depend on which app you use. Pastors are scrambling to keep their congregations connected during the coronavirus quarantine. And they are realizing that some key elements of “church” go far beyond just live-streaming the service itself.
    Plus, every live-streaming platform offers different features, and these differences will significantly impact the online community experience. Chris and Adam help pastors consider how different platforms will shape their congregations’ feelings of connection and meaningful relationship.
    Chris mentioned this Washington Post article arguing why we should use smartphones to track the coronavirus.
    Digital Tithing is more crucial than ever for churches during COVID-19. We talked about smartphone giving back in season 2, weighing the benefits and risks, and suggesting ways the technology could be improved.
    Chris argues that “Online Communion Can Still Be Sacramental” over at Christianity Today.

    • 48 min

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