Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion” as Want to Read:
The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  554 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
Even the least technical among us are being pressed from all sides by advances in digital technology. We rely upon computers, cell phones, and the Internet for communication, commerce, and entertainment. Yet even though we live in this 'instant message' culture, many of us feel disconnected, and we question if all this technology is really good for our souls.In a manner th ...more
MP3 Book, 0 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Zondervan (first published March 28th 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Next Story, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Next Story

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,254)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 06, 2011 Emily marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Free digital download available during the month of May at

Joel Arnold
I applaud Challies' work to present a biblical evaluation of technology. On the other hand, I felt that his philosophy was strongly influenced by the Mcluhan / Postmanesque media ecology that goes looking for evil lurking under every circuit board and behind every glowing screen. He made a few good points with a lot of rather unhelpful points in between. Overall, I would read From the Garden to the City if you simply must read a book on the Christian view of technology. I'm not sure that it is e ...more
Justin Lonas
May 14, 2012 Justin Lonas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Canadian pastor, author, and blogger Tim Challies has long been recognized as an insightful voice on cultural and technological issues facing the Church. His website ( often features product reviews of new devices and he frequently wrestles with the theological implications of new technologies in his blog posts.

In The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion, Challies attempts to make a more comprehensive statement about the relationship between technology and the Chr
Martin Bour
Nov 14, 2014 Martin Bour rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think Tim Challies did a nice job of setting a balanced context for this digital world that we live in.

Laptops, tablets and phones have become a regular part of our daily lives. Our phones are with us every moment of the day. We think we have it all under control, but maybe the table is turned. Maybe we are under the control of the technology in our lives.

We know that technology is changing us and our culture, but it is difficult to know how to frame that discussion. That is what this book is
Jun 30, 2014 Ryan rated it liked it
If you read Tim Challies' blog, neither the quality nor the content of this book will surprise you. And that's a good thing. I find Challies to be a generally careful and thoughtful writer, and in The Next Story he has written a guide for Christians to think through the implications of new, digital technologies.

Note that while Challies points to many concerns and problems with the technologies of the last 10 years, he offers few solutions aside from some personal adjustments he has made (found
Johnny Mcclean
Feb 15, 2013 Johnny Mcclean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
Absolutely fantastic analysis that is a vital read for anyone who feels (like me) that digital life, communication speed, information overload is getting overwhelming.
Zacarias Rivera, Jr.
Tim Challies clearly delineates how new media is impacting, influencing, and permeating every part of our lives. He provides wise counsel on how to use this media and prevent it from manipulating us. He writes, "Our searches are a penetrating window into our hearts. We tell search engines what we would not tell anyone else; we ask them what we would be too embarrassed to ask in any context. And we entrust to them this information, perhaps not realizing that they might keep these searches forever ...more
Graham Heslop
Nov 27, 2015 Graham Heslop rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you live in the 21st century, you have to read this book. Challies’ excellent piece explores the relationship between technology, especially social networking and online communication, and the Christian faith. Perhaps one of the reasons I found this book such a helpfully insightful read is because I have long felt that we are becoming increasingly enslaved to our technology, idolising communication and convenience, as well as outsourcing knowledge – or memory – to data stores. This has, in my ...more
Jun 07, 2011 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very easily could become the best book of this year. :) A very thorough overview of the ways in which technology (beginning with such things as the plow) has evolved and influenced the times in which it has become useful. While many technologies have been very helpful, there are often less welcome changes that aren't really taken into consideration until they've become thoroughly ingrained into public life.

Much of the book focuses on what we call technology--computer-based interaction. One of t
Jul 20, 2011 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: culture
The Next Story by Tim Challies is the first book about the digital age, and the first critique of our culture’s technology-centeredness, that I have ever read. There are other books and articles, some of which Challies references (Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death, for instance), that I haven’t read, but really want to now because of The Next Story. The most interesting thing about this book, and why it makes me want to read some of the other works on the subject, is that it taps into cu ...more
Steve Hemmeke
Aug 31, 2011 Steve Hemmeke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Next Story” by Tim Challies

Tim Challies is a popular blogger and knows the digital world. This book helps us think carefully about ourselves as we email, text, blog and surf the web. I really enjoyed it. Ironically (full disclosure, here), I listened to the whole thing… on my iPhone.

The digital world is a real and significant change. We store and process information very differently than 30 years ago. Publishing and reading patterns have changed because things are now digital. Publishing ca
Jun 07, 2011 Jon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thinks hard on an area of life that is often blindly stumbled into. Addressed nagging thoughts that I was afraid to pursue.

Gospel-centered approach to technology. Call it a "Gospel Primer for The Millenial Age."

Great balance that steers clear of Amish Neo-Luddism and total lighthouse consumerism. It helps that Tim is a programmer blogger Pastor designer. :) Kinda like me.

Historical and researched approach to the impact of the digital age. Timelined the story of the digital explosion in a concise
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).[return][return]Challies book is quite unique, in a Christian book field with few comparable books. Three things, however, make it a book to treasure.[return][return]Firstly, Challies deals with technology from the inside ...more
Jan 02, 2012 Devin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
A good book, considering the impacts that digital technology has had on people today, especially within the church.

The beginning of the book is largely a recapitulation of Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman. This section proved to be a rather awkward read for me, hearing old ideas being recast for a different audience. Challies did a good job here, but did present himself in the same confident, poignant manner that Postman did so many years
Aug 30, 2012 logdog rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book reminds us to think before buying any new technology, asking ourselves questions like:

What, if any, legitimate problem(s) in my life will this new gadget solve? What problems will it create?

Will this technology make more or less provision for my current idol(s) and addiction(s) (e.g., gossip, always being "in the know," workaholism/ungodly ambition/unceasing desire for "productivity" at the expense of relationships with the Lord and others, loneliness resulting from dissatisfactio
Craig Hurst
Do you own your technology or does your technology own you? This is a deeply probing and provocative question. “Am I giving up control of my life? Is it possible that these technologies are changing me? Am I becoming a tool of the very tools that are supposed to serve me (p. 11)?” Answering these questions put Tim Challies on a quest which resulted in his recent book The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion.

Whether we want to be or not we are all plugged into technology. Some o
Technology is everywhere. Therefore, we need to think about it - go ahead. What do you think? Are you really thinking deeply about technology? What was it created to do? What place does it currently hold in your life? It is benefitting you and your relationships? Did you have any trouble grappling over these deeper issues? Perhaps your problem is that your use of technology has rewired your brain. In his book, "The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion", Tim Challies walks his r ...more
Mandy J. Hoffman
Dec 06, 2011 Mandy J. Hoffman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-books, i-own

So many times I am find myself wondering how I managed without a cell phone...or how I would contact people without Facebook...or how inconvenient it would be without wifi in our home...and sometimes I even wonder how I learned without twitter. And this is exactly what - and so much more! - Tim Cahllies deals with in this book: The Next Story.

I "read" the audio version of this book and because it was not a book that I wanted to read but rather knew I should read. The audio format was b
Aug 22, 2012 Daryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good commentary on how we use digital tools today or how they use us. It made me think and re-evaluate how technology can overtake my life, how it can be a huge distraction and what again is 'truth'. I know I need to discipline my online habits, be careful what and how I say things online and how I need to talk more to people directly or at least on the phone to have better and more clear communication, rather than txting or emailing.

I like how the author put it that we have so much more 'i
Dec 31, 2012 Eric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I reviewed Tim Challies' book "The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment" about a year ago. I used to subscribe to his blog, but in an exercise similar to one he recommends in "The Next Story", I unsubscribed because of a lack of personal value for the time reading.

My review of "The Next Story" will be different, because I listened to it in the form of an audiobook. It was one of Christian Audio's freebies at one point. I wasn't sure if I should try to review it, or how to review it. With a paper
I am a blog follower of Tim Challies. I have always enjoyed the things that he has shared plus the little part of himself that he shares with it. When he talked of his book and it coming out, I thought I would read it because I enjoy Tim's writing and why not. Well it only took me 3 days to finish this book and it is probably one of those books you need to read again and again. Just to check were you are at any given time. This is a book for all of us to read. To think about how the digital worl ...more
Oct 17, 2013 Bret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably the best single book I have found of the potential dangers lurking in our technology. Like me, Challies is no technology hater, but he is well aware that technology is not always positive in its outcome. His book gives a good overview of the various issues facing us in our technology, and how it works to re-wire us - often in ways that make being conformed to the image of Christ harder rather than easier.

I really appreciated a couple of things about the book. First, he has clear
J. Alex Sánchez
Jul 03, 2014 J. Alex Sánchez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Digital immigrants & natives alike
So many great points in this theology-meets-technology treatise that will arm you for battling & bending technology to your advantage. Although it’s not a “how-to” book, it does offer practical guides that will help you & your family navigate your own next story in our ever-shifting world of social media. I enjoyed Challies’ theological, theoretical, & experiential framework that he convincingly presents to those who desire to live lives of virtue & dignity after the digital expl ...more
Matthew Young
Aug 22, 2015 Matthew Young rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tim Challies has had a profound impact on me over the last couple years. His blog was recommended to me by my pastor and from there I have branched out to his books. This is the first of his that I've read and it was far better than his blog. He is a strong writer with great ideas. He keeps things Bible centered and doesn't talk around tough issues. I really appreciate his candor and am thankful that I have him as a resource.
Dec 03, 2012 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very insightful volume. There have been many books that speak about the impact of digital technology upon society, but almost none that are addressed to the Christian church in particular. So this book certainly fills a void in that respect. Not only does Challies, the well-known Canadian Christian blogger, discuss the more obvious deleterious effects of computer and web applications (encouraging appetites for diversion, taking time away from face-to-face conversations, etc.) but also ...more
Jun 12, 2012 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Next Story by Tim Challies is a must read for Christians interested in thinking seriously about technology, social media and Christian worldview. Challies addresses some of the important issues that we must confront as we adopt smartphones, Facebook, Twitter and Wikipedia. Challies, like Postman and others before, reminds us that technologies are not neutral entities waiting to be used. The very use of the technology itself changes us and the way we view the world. As Christians we must be m ...more
Aug 08, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While already quickly becoming dated as of 2014 (with references to MySpace and Google Reader), the principles on how to properly think about technology and its dangers will be helpful long into the future. In this world of increasing digital and social media, I was helped by the explanation and exhortation to value 'immediate' over mediated communication and relationship.
Chris Giovagnoni
If you're already aware of and/or dealing with the friction in your personal, professional and spiritual lives as digital technology reshapes how you live, influences how you view yourself and redefines what relationships look and feel like, you're probably looking for ideas on what to do. Skip the first 120 or so pages of this book, which describe the breadth of digital distraction in our lives, essentially making the case that a problem exists, and begin reading with chapter six.

Challies deli
Adam Shields
May 20, 2011 Adam Shields rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short review: This is a good book about how we can think about the way that technology (particularly digital technology) changes the way we live our lives and look at faith. He asks lots of good questions and is both practical and pastoral in his approach. It is free on audiobook from until the end of May 2011. There are some things that I disagree with, but they are mostly issues of Reformed theology (he is reformed, I am not). In spite of the theology issues, I think it is w ...more
Damon Bauer
Although it's already starting to get outdated by today's standards (as it was written in 2010), Tim Challies has written a book that is thought provoking and simultaneously encouraging and challenging.

Throughout The Next Story, Challies finds ways to be relevant, factual and descriptive (rather than prescriptive) when describing various facets to today's technological world. Even better, he does it in such a way that helps understand how Christians can relate to this new, information saturated
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 41 42 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • What is the Mission of the Church?: Making sense of social justice, Shalom and the Great Commission
  • Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books
  • From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology
  • Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything
  • Gospel Wakefulness
  • Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God
  • Reverberation: How God's Word Brings Light, Freedom, and Action to His People
  • Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus
  • Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope
  • What's Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done
  • Proclaiming a Cross-Centered Theology
  • Echoes of Eden: Reflections on Christianity, Literature, and the Arts
  • Sex, Dating, And Relationships: A Fresh Approach
  • The Unquenchable Flame: Discovering the Heart of the Reformation
  • Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different
  • Slave: The Hidden Truth about Your Identity in Christ
  • Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World
  • Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself
Tim Challies is a leading evangelical blogger and editor of Discerning Reader, a site dedicated to discerning reviews of books that are of interest to Christians. A self-employed web designer, Tim lives in the outskirts of Toronto, Ontario with his wife and three children.
More about Tim Challies...

Share This Book

“By giving us control, our new technologies tend to enhance existing idols in our lives. Instead of becoming more like Christ through the forming and shaping influence of the church community, we form, and shape, and personalize our community to make it more like us. We take control of things that are not ours to control. Could it be that our desire for control is short-circuiting the process of change and transformation God wants us to experience through the mess of real world, flesh and blood, face-to-face relationships?” 13 likes
“We deliberately forget because forgetting is a blessing. On both an emotional level and a spiritual level, forgetting is a natural part of the human experience and a natural function of the human brain. It is a feature, not a bug, one that saves us from being owned by our memories. Can a world that never forgets be a world that truly forgives?” 9 likes
More quotes…