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

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  822 ratings  ·  128 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 t ...more
Hardcover, 204 pages
Published April 19th 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

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  822 ratings  ·  128 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Joey by: Christian Audio
Shelves: audio-books
I listened to this audio book from Christian Audio. There was an element of irony when the author was talking about the negative effect that digital techonology has on our attention span, while I was listening to the book at double speed to get through it more quickly.

There was an interesting history of technological advances in here as well as a discussion about internet narcissism/privacy issues, a conflicting desire to be seen and not to be seen.

I enjoyed the discussion of how technology has
Dec 31, 2012 rated it liked it
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
May 06, 2011 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Free digital download available during the month of May at

Alana Ellsworth
The Next Story isn't so much a book discussing the potential dangers of technology as it is a biblical guidebook to how we should approach our use of it responsibly. It doesn't list all the expected dangers of our mobile (and immobile) devices and suggest a technology fast. Instead, it acts as a guidebook for how we are to use technology as Christians.

Tim Challies explores many common topics surrounding our increasing consumption and reliance on technology such as the danger of distraction, pri
Rebekah Bailey
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
It was very interesting to read this book in the midst of a pandemic that has changed our society to all be dependent on technology in some form or another. I think it makes the questions raised in this book very important as more people/organizations/churches/ect. are using technology like never before. *When saying technology - think computers/tv/phones primarily*

Challies writes in the conclusion the questions that he asked himself before he wrote this book.
1) Is technology taking over my li
Steve Penner
May 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
I did not find this book engaging and I'm not sure why. From the comments of the book club and the ratings here, I am totally out of step, but that's not unusual. Maybe I have read most of the ideas before in other places, so it had little real impact on the way I do life and handle technology. Maybe because I think the fears are overblown. Technological change--from the rise of agriculture to the industrial revolution to the digital transformation--always elicits change in our lifestyles, use o ...more
Dec 19, 2020 added it
Listened to this audiobook. I wasn't sure how many new ideas it would have but I was pleasantly surprised. Does a good job covering topics we should think about related to our media use. ...more
Justin Lonas
May 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Joel Arnold
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid, simple read with applicable wisdom. Highly recommended read for anyone interested in media/technology and its impact on culture, faith and society.
Brian Eshleman
Surveys the history of IT progression, its impact on the culture at large, and choices of Christian discipleship in particular. Sells the virtues of carefully considered digital choices with an awareness of the motives of the purveyors. The last aspect, in my opinion, can wander toward the paranoid or at least obsessive. Will the culture really fall if Wikipedia prospers, as though those who look to its consensus for their theology, of all things, wouldn't have grazed somewhere in any century. ...more
Jonathan Roberts
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2017
This is a spectacular book. So very good and timely. Now grated some will put their noses up because a book on technology written in 2011 (updated 2015) is so out of date, but the concepts are totally biblical and something all christians need to read, especially parents. I am reminded of when I was first exposed to Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves To Death, and have always wanted to read more in that vein but from a Christian worldview, and I have found it in this book. Highest recommendation!! ...more
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I actually listened to this rather than read it. It was such an interesting book. It made me think a lot about how and why I use technology and how technology affects how we think about truth. It talks about how our use of technology changes how our brains work as well. I don't want to spend quite so much time on the computer anymore...This book is definitely worth a read! ...more
Johnny Mcclean
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Technology is the creative activity of using tools to shape God’s creation for practical purposes.2
Location: 369

God made us creative beings in his image and assigned to us a task that would require us to plumb the depths of that creativity. He knew that to fulfill our created purpose we would need to be innovative, developing new tools and means of utilizing the resources and abilities that he had given to us. In other words, obedience to God requires that we create technology. This tells us tha
Craig Hurst
May 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
James Frederick
Dec 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a fascinating read. It gets five stars because I LOVE a book that provokes deep thought and makes me consider new perspectives. There are boatloads of such issues dealt with, here, including:

1. The history of technology and the changes that it has forced on our culture and our faith;
2. The possibility of technology becoming an idol;
3. How technology affects us from a biological perspective;
4. The difference between information, knowledge and wisdom;
5. The fact that current technology pr
Taylor Rollo
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was an excellent book for helping Christians think through the impact of technology on our lives. It does not try to demonize technology, but it does take a hard look at how technology changes us and even masters us, when we should be masters of it. It also takes a good look at how it changes human interaction, intuitions of value, relationships, views of truth and authority, etc.

The author's point is to make sure we are actively thinking about tech in our lives and actively making sure we
Andrew Wolgemuth
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, faith
Five years after it's publication, this book remains a helpful, insightful resource for thinking Christianly about technology.

While the hot devices and apps have changed somewhat during the last five years, Challies' reflections on Communication (the challenges and the responsibilities of improved means of broadcast community), Mediation (what changes when we're not face-to-face with those we're communicating with?), Distraction (the difficulty of thinking deeply in the digital age), Informatio
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A little slow to start as he gives history and background that wasn’t really news to me. I didn’t agree with his take that anyone born in the 80s is a digital native. But shortly after that but he started to hit upon some really interesting points and striking some nerves that caught my attention. This book provoked a lot of thoughts for me. I found it was realistic and helpful, but not alarmist. Definitely worthwhile read if you: feel like you might be a tool to your tools, aren’t sure how to n ...more
Stephan vanOs
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very interesting and challenging book designed to make us think about how we should interact with the new digital technology as Christians. This book is now nine years old and computer technologies have advanced even more in that time. However, the general principles that Challies sets out are just a relevant today and certainly all youth pastors and parents should be aware of the special challenges and temptations (along with the benefits and opportunities) of computers and social media for t ...more
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Should be required reading, Tim did a lot of research and provided a very detailed explanation about the digital world and the effects it is having. "Have we perhaps grown a little too comfortable with digital technology, our fancy gadgets and beeping devices? Is there a hidden cost to using them, a price we must pay to enjoy their benefits? How exactly are these technologies changing us? And are these changes good?" ...more
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is definitely a thought provoking book. The start of it was slow and a bit difficult to grasp his framework but the application of his points leads one to seriously think through the footprint he leaves in this digital world. Technology isn't evil but we have to think about the affect it has on us and how our faith works in this digital world.

Definitely worth a read.
Kevin Burrell
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great points to consider. I especially appreciated the concepts of truth by consensus (a la Wikipedia) and truth by relevance (a la Google algorithms) as contrasted with the objective truth we are called to seek.
Carter Hemphill
This is a excellent book about the implications of technology and how they can provide both negative and positive consequences. This book really made me think about the impact technology and to be more cautious in assuming that technological innovation should always be welcomed.
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Unique in the way that it approaches technology, a must-read for the modern Christian. I really appreciated the insights Tim Challies brought to my personal view of the modern world and the growing reach of media and tech.
Jim Taylor
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very insightful about how technology has subtly changed us in monumental ways.
Excellent book! Challies spend a lot of time talking about the theology, history, and philosophy of technology before getting into practical application. Great resource!
Nate Bate
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this over 10 years ago. It was the first book I read of a Christian author dealing with this. I remember it being challenging and helpful. I hope to read it again some day.
Gavin Meeples
Jun 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
Pastorally sound and filled with good advice on how to live in a way that will please God in the digital age. However, his analysis of technolgy and tech companies is shallow and pretentious.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • What's Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done
  • Union with Christ: The Way to Know and Enjoy God
  • Talking Back to Purity Culture: Rediscovering Faithful Christian Sexuality
  • Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God, a Broken Mother's Search for Hope
  • Coronavirus and Christ
  • The Gospel for Muslims: An Encouragement to Share Christ with Confidence
  • Questioning Evangelism: Engaging People's Hearts the Way Jesus Did
  • The God Ask
  • Peace Child: An unforgettable Story of Primitive Jungle Teaching in the 20th Century
  • Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity
  • Competing Spectacles: Treasuring Christ in the Media Age
  • But He Said He Is a Christian: Journal Entries of a Young Christian Woman in an Abusive Relationship
  • Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God
  • God's Love: How the Infinite God Cares for His Children
  • Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God's Story
  • Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist
  • Happily Ever After Do-Over
  • The Little City of Hope: A Christmas Story
See similar books…
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.

Related Articles

San Francisco is a gold rush town. There aren’t many books about people in their 20s who move to Silicon Valley with dreams of earning a living...
33 likes · 1 comments
“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?” 17 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?” 10 likes
More quotes…