Sunday’s Washington Post’s Outlook section had a wonderful commentary by Patrick Welsh, a veteran English teacher at Alexlandria’s T.C.Williams High School, decrying the school’s technolust (A School That’s Too High on Gizmos – though the more suggestive title "Fast Downloads at Gizmo High" provided the link from the Post’s Outlook page). In his commentary Mr. Welsh argues that the school administrators have gotten carried away with technology, allowing gadgets and gizmos to take precedence over the face-to-face nature of teaching and learning. What’s worse is that use of this technology has been mandated, forcing teachers to use new technology where a simple chalk board or overhead projector might actually be easier to use and a better teaching aide.
In my sermon Face-to-Face from the Third Sunday after the Epiphany (January 27, 2008) I argued that what we in the church have is a face-to-face experience with a face-to-face God. Through prayer and Bible study, service to neighbor and fellowship groups, to worship and the sacraments, in church we come face-to-face with each other and with God. Digital projection, websites, fancy curricula, slick literature inspired by marketing methods are good only in so far as they foster and facilitate a face-to-face encounter between members of the Body of Christ and their God.