Thursday, September 18, 2008

Want to take a class at Yale, Duke, Stanford, A&M?

The internet really is creating nerd heaven. Did you know that in the iTunes Store you can click the iTunes U tab and browse thousands of lectures from universities around the world? Ever wanted to sit in on a class at Yale, Duke, Stanford, or another one of their featured universities – Texas A&M (I’m not making this up. A&M was listed on the iTunes page as a featured university)? Now you can. I can listen to a lecture on quantum physics, creative writing, philosophy: you name it, you can listen to it. The best part is that it’s free. iTunes isn’t the only place you can find this type of information. The University of Texas has developed what they call the World Lecture Hall that, likewise, lets you download lectures, syllabi, and class notes from university classrooms around the world. Not since the advent of the printing press has there been such a revolution of information in the world.

Yes, the world has changed dramatically. It used to be that the people with the information had all the power. But in a world where anyone has access to information, it’s not so much the possessors of information who have the power as it is those who know what to do with that information. How do you sort through the endless opportunities for learning? How do you creatively and imaginatively employ that information in ways that transform the world around us? It’s the people who can answer questions like these who are the new power brokers in the world around us.

What’s become true for the fields of science, and art, and the humanities has always been true in the world of the church. At church, we give out a lot of information. If you are ambitious, at our church alone, you could attend four or more Bible studies/sermons a week. Add in other community Bible studies and I’m pretty confident you could probably attend at least one Bible study a day (if not more). Add in the internet and the possibilities seem endless. The question is not one of information. We have plenty of information. The question is what are we doing with that information? Or perhaps, better yet, what are we allowing God to do in and through us with that information? Are we allowing him to use it for our transformation?

Here’s some “information” from this week’s sermon text that should, if we allow God to work through it, lead to our transformation.

For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. . . Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ – Philippians 1:21, 27

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