Stephen Holmes – technology’s influence on theology
Following wonderfully entertaining and informative panel discussions with legendary theologian Jürgen Moltmann and high-profile apologist Professor John Lennox, Dr Stephen Holmes presented audiences at Catalyst Live with a fascinating lecture on how new technology may be shaping how we understand and relate to Scripture.
Taking as his starting point a Bible passage in which the apostle Paul specifically asked for his membrana (codex style books rather than scrolls) to be brought to him, Dr Holmes demonstrated how the way we read Scripture has a profound influence on our attitude to and even understanding of religious texts. “You can’t have proper fundamentalism without the printing press,” he postulated. “If every Bible or Koran is slightly different, you will never become a fundamentalist. You can’t do it when the text is unstable.”
After tracing the importance of every believer having access to a Bible in forming Protestant theology, Dr Holmes examined the potential effect of much of the Church moving from codex-style books back to a kind of scroll in the form of tablet computers, and mused on what impact apps that automatically update the version of the Bible translation one uses might have on the Church.
“New technology will again shape my engagement with Scripture,” he said. “We must have our eyes open to how that happens.”