November 30, 2021

Episode 14 – “Being Techwise and Culture Making” with Andy Crouch

We are all called to create, as humans and as Christians. But are we all equipped to do so? With so many distractions and influences in our world, it can be hard to focus on creating for the greater good. Follow along as we discuss with Andy Crouch the importance of being culture makers for God’s message and balancing the good and bad of technology.
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Show Notes


Guest Bio:

Andy Crouch is a musician, author, advisor, editor, husband, and father. He currently serves as a partner for theology and culture at Praxis, an organization that works as a creative engine for redemptive entrepreneurship. He studied classics at Cornell University and received a Master of Divinity summa cum laude from Boston University School of Theology. From 1998 to 2003, Andy was the editor-in-chief of re:generation quarterly, a magazine for an emerging generation of culturally creative Christians. In addition, he served as a campus minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Harvard University for more than  ten years. He is the author of The Tech-Wise Family, Strong and Weak, Playing God, and Culture Making. His writings have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time magazine.


Summary of EPISODE:

We’re stuck in a culture of instant gratification and gut reactions. As Christians, how do we influence culture and use technology in God-honoring ways? On this episode of Where Ya From?, Rasool talks to Andy Crouch about how we can be culture makers instead of just culture consumers. He explains the reasons why we are so addicted to technology and how we can lessen that addiction. Andy also gives a glimpse into his life journey, including the inspiration behind his two best-selling books Culture Making and The Tech-Wise Family.


Notes and Quotes:

  • “Culture is what we make of the world, and it’s both the physical things that we make and the meaning we make, and they always go together. There’s nothing really that human beings fashion physically out of the world that doesn’t have a layer of meaning to it. And there’s actually no meaning that human beings find in the world that they don’t attach an artifact to. They actually make a thing. There’s no purely immaterial meaning. It’s always made material. And there’s no meaningless material. It’s always meaningful material.”
  • “I have increasingly come to believe that while the material stack of technology is basically good, I would say very good, it’s part of the human act of making the good world very good. But the meaning we have attached to it and the things we are asking it to do for us and the kinds of people we want it to help us become are, I actually think, very misdirected.”
  • “A certain vision of what it is to be human is embedded in the devices we’re making.”
  • “The dream is to be like God. The dream is to be what we think God is like, which is not actually what God is like at all. The dream is to be free of limits, to have abundance without dependence, to have prosperity without relationship. It’s to be able—in an impersonal, endlessly powerful way—to extract from the world everything I want without effort.”
  • “See, for us to become like gods, we’re going to need a lot of work to get done because we don’t want to do any work. God doesn’t do any work does he? God gets to just command and things work. So we’re going to need things to work. So the dream is we’re going to make things, evermore sophisticated and complicated things, call them robots, and they’ll just do the work for us. And we’ll be able to live a life of total leisure while the robots do everything and we’ll feel so great about ourselves.”
  • “Isn’t it true that our lives don’t actually feel like they’re becoming just full of leisure and enjoyment?”
  • “There’s this biblical rhythm of work and rest, and we can all work and then at the end of the day rest, but there’s this distortion of it in the technological world, which you might call toil and leisure. When we have toil and leisure, you can’t have leisure without someone else having toil.”
  • “I think work is a fruitful transformation of the world in some way, or fruitful care for the world. It includes a lot of things. It includes doing dishes. It includes taking out the trash. It’s not all writing poetry. In fact none of it, almost. It’s hard. It’s tiring. It’s often physical. In fact, I think at its best, it’s physical, but it’s fruitful. Whereas toil is work that ultimately feels that you just in your heart of hearts know, this is kind of fruitless. This is vain. This is not leading to something. It’s also detached from the dignity of the person who does it.”
  • “Leisure is just inactivity that has nothing to do with the work I did. I’m not celebrating the work I did. I’m just, I’m free of it for a while. Someone else has to work for me to have leisure.”
  • “When you’re monitored every moment by technology, when you’re told every moment by technology, what you have to do, how many steps you have to take, how fast you have to get to that next site, it’s a real limitation of, I think, what makes work good work.”
  • “We’re made to create. And so the core idea, and we kind of impressed this on our own children as we were raising them, is we want to be a family who creates more than we consume. So we want the center of gravity of our life to be creative action rather than consuming what other people have made or consuming through devices.”
  • “Rearrange your home to actually have at the center the things that involve you—heart, soul, mind, strength—as a whole person with other people, rather than kind of put you on the couch basically as a consumer.”
  • “The other thing is to reshape time, which is really about a pattern of on and off. Our devices, our whole technological world is designed to be on all the time, but the biblical pattern is work and rest. So we started having this pattern in our family of one hour a day, one day a week, and one week a year where basically, anything that has an off switch gets turned off.”


Links Mentioned In Show:


Verses Mentioned in Show:

  • Isaiah 58
  • Romans 7

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