In an address meant to encourage Christians to have a faithful digital presence, Dr. Al Mohler makes this statement:
Leaders who talk about the “real world” as opposed to the “digital world” are making a mistake, a category error. While we are right to prioritize real face-to-face conversations and to find comfort and grounding in stable authorities like the printed book, the digital world is itself a real world, just real in a different way.
Real communication is happening in the digital world, on the Web and on the smartphone in your pocket or business case. Real information is being shared and globally disseminated, faster than ever before. Real conversations are taking place, through voice and words and images, connecting people and conversations all over the world.
If the leader is not leading in the digital world, his leadership is, by definition, limited to those who also ignore or neglect that world, and that population is shrinking every minute. The clock is ticking.
While we should always be reserved about the explicit language of “leadership” and “influence,” for those things are never commodities which can be uniformly prescribed, the basic point is sound and essential: the internet is the “real world.”
This doesn’t mean that only the internet is the real world, nor that the internet is without its own flaws and perils, but it is still the case that the internet is a place where real people come together to learn, talk, and have their lives changed in powerful ways. It is precisely because the internet can be misused that wise and godly Christians must develop a mastery of it.
Steven Wedgeworth is the pastor of Christ Church in Lakeland, Florida. He writes about theology, history, and political theory, and he has taught Jr. High and High School. He is the founder and general editor of The Calvinist International, an online journal of Christian Humanism and political theology, and a Director for the Davenant Trust. A graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson, MS), Steven lives in Lakeland, FL with his wife, son, daughter, and two terriers.
The Calvinist International is a forum for research, resourcement, and renewal of Christian wisdom.