Tim Casteel's Reviews > Disruptive Witness

Disruptive Witness by Alan  Noble
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it was amazing

This fall, Tim Keller tweeted re Disruptive Witness: "Best book I've read recently. No, I did not get paid, nor was I contacted to say that. I mean it."
It’s that good. This book is a must read for anyone doing ministry in America, especially for those working with young people.

Alan Noble is the first I've seen to address both phones and secularism. They are not two separate issues: secularism and distraction. And both contribute to the rampant anxiety of modern America (especially among young people).
"distraction & secularism…perpetuate each other: we long for distraction in part because we are terrified of living in a meaningless world, & we struggle to discover a satisfying sense of fullness in the world because we're constantly distracted"

Many have riffed on Charles Taylor's A Secular Age, explaining the meaninglessness of our modern, secular predicament- Tim Keller perhaps doing the best with "Making Sense of God".
Many have written re the havoc our phones wreak on our ability to think (the best: "Amusing Ourselves to Death" and "The Shallows") and follow God (the best: Andy Crouch's "Techwise Family" and Tim Challies's "The Next Story").
Noble puts the two together.

And he takes it a level further: what does all of this mean for sharing Christ with a distracted, secular world?
Even if we take steps personally "to resist getting sucked into the electronic buzz of the 21st century" (which is NOT easy), how do we reach a culture who is not self-aware enough to free themselves from The Shallows of digital distraction?

"our past models of discussing faith have almost all assumed a listener who is active, attentive, and aware of the costs of believing. But as we have moved to a distracted age, we can no longer make this assumption…For the foreseeable future our society will be…defined by technology designed to continually distract us…[shielding] us from the kind of deep, honest reflection needed to ask why we exist & what is true.”

"The challenge for Christians in our time is to speak of the gospel in a way that unsettles listeners, that conveys the transcendence of God, that provokes contemplation and reflection, and that reveals the stark givenness of reality.”

Another key insight from @TheAlanNoble's Disruptive Witness re the damning effects of our phones:
- How do people come to a saving knowledge of Christ? They 1st have to grasp their own misery apart from God. We can't see our falling-short-ness bc we're too medicated by our phones.
- To think deeply and truly grasp our devastating spiritual condition, you have to be without distraction and be still.
- "We cannot aspire to [God] until we've begun to be displeased w ourselves. For what man is not disposed to rest in himself? Who does not rest, so long as he is unconscious of his misery? Every person…on coming to knowledge of himself, is led as by the hand to find [God]” John Calvin
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Reading Progress

December 22, 2018 – Started Reading
December 22, 2018 – Shelved
December 25, 2018 – Finished Reading

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