Articles on the challenges of technology used to start with a long list of statistics proving the seriousness of the moral, spiritual, relational, and cognitive problems resulting from the digital revolution. I hardly need to waste ink or space on such matters now. Everyone knows by personal experience and observation how many and how massive the problems are. And the vast majority of Christians are concerned enough to want to do something about it. But what can we do?

No Technology

There are probably a few people left who are still trying the “no technology” approach. They say: “The dangers are too great; the consequences are too awful. Therefore, we’ll keep separate from the world by rejecting technology. We won’t buy it, and we will ban our children from using it, too.”

This approach is admirable and understandable, but impossible. Digital technology is so pervasive that trying to avoid it is like trying to avoid breathing. And even if we succeed in avoiding contamination, our children certainly won’t. They will find it, or it will find them. They will then be using it without our knowledge and without any training and teaching—probably the worst of all worlds.

More Technology

Other people try the “more technology” strategy. That’s what I used to focus on most, the idea being that we use good technology to defeat bad technology. So, we use blockers on cable TV channels, we set up passwords and time limits on home computers, we add tracking apps to our children’s cell phones, we install accountability software on our laptops, and so on. All of these things are good and can certainly be helpful parts of an overall package of caring for ourselves and our children.

There are some problems, though, if we are relying on the “more technology” approach alone. The first is that we can never get enough good technology to beat bad technology. Teens are especially adept at circumventing controls and finding loopholes in the most secure systems. Sure, we can slow them down, we can make it more difficult by putting some obstacles in the way, but if they are determined enough, they are going to beat us. They can always find more technology to beat our “more technology” battle plan.

Also, even if we succeed in securing their devices, as soon as they walk out the door, they can access anything they want on friends’ devices. Or, they can simply get another device and hide it from us. This approach also tends toward legalism and undermines relationships by creating a sort of “cat and mouse” scenario, resulting in suspicion on the one side and hiding on the other. We need more than “more technology.”

More Theology

The longer I’ve wrestled with this problem in my own family, the more convinced I’ve become that the ultimate answer is not “no technology” or “more technology” but “more theology.” If we want a deep, lasting, and spiritual solution, we need to learn and teach deep, lasting, and spiritual truths. Sound digital theology is the answer to digital technology; the oldest truths are the best rebuttal to the newest challenges. More Trinity is more effective than more technology.

To find out how more Trinity is more effective than more technology, read the rest of the article at Ligonier.

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  • Brandon M

    Dr. Murray,

    Thank you for your thought provoking post. I agree with your “more theology” premise. But would a faithful application of it require families to do away with all forms of accountability software?

    Lastly, and this is not to discredit the thrust of your article, but concerning the future judgment of believers, Rick Phillips has written persuasively that believers will not face one last final shaming for their sins on the Day of Judgement; rather, believers will only receive reward and praise and the unjust will be judged by their works.

    Here’s the link to the article ( If you can find the time at some point, I’d be interested to hear your take on his position.

    Blessings in Christ,

    • David Murray

      No Brandon, I’m sorry if my article suggested that technology had no role in controlling technology. I’m not so much arguing for less technology but more theology. I agree that there will be no shaming involved in the final judgment for believers.

      • Brandon M

        Thank you for clarifying!