Category: Technology

An amazing article by Dr. Alex Tang across the bridge, describing the new Metaverse (or Web 3.0) & its implications, following the Facebook Corp’s name/concept change & rebrand to “Meta.” Summary below.

Main components of the Metaverse

  • Augmented Reality
  • Lifelogging
  • Mirror Worlds
  • Virtual Reality

Christian concerns

  • Artificial Intelligence (A.I.)
  • Identity
  • Worship
  • Hospitality
  • Gospel

Read full article here.

Throwback to this helpful article describing Web 3.0 already back in 2019.

Carey Nieuwhof writes on emerging divides and church splits which are probably already happening or accelerating (largely due in part to the Covid pandemic) or coming in the near future. Each of these (and collectively) will likely greatly influence and impact whether churches will be well-positioned, effective in accomplishing their mission, and thrive in the future post-pandemic world.

  • Online-optional vs. fully hybrid
  • Bringing people back vs. moving people forward
  • Judging vs. embracing (loving)
  • Ideology vs. gospel-driven

Read the full article here.

I attended an insightful public lecture by BGST on the increasingly important topic, “Is a digital church a real church?” The speaker was Dr Peter Phillips, Director of Research at Center for Digital Theology, Durham University. For those interested, an M.A in Digital Theology is now being offered.

It’s been more than half a year since the Covid-19 pandemic has forced schools to move to remote learning, both here in the States as well as in Singapore around mid-March to April. Two articles I came across gives us only a small glimpse of how great a challenge and impact social inequality and disparity has on society and the implications for Christians and the church. In a Straits Times (ST) article (18 April 2020, Venessa Lee & Stephanie Yeo), titled “How home-based learning shows up inequality in Singapore,” three families were interviewed and featured, discussing the struggles of children face with home-based learning (HBL), especially those coming from low-income families with multiple siblings.

How home-based learning shows up inequality in Singapore (Credit: ST Alphonsus Chern)
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Managing screen time

Dr Sears posted a great article entitled “8 Ways to Manage Screen Time for Kids and Teens“.

Here’s a summary.

  1. No phones in the car (unless trip goes over 20 min)
  2. Movies & shows are watched on the big screens, not the phone or tablet
  3. Mealtime is a No Phone Zone
  4. Phones go away one hour before bedtime
  5. Grades drop = phone is gone
  6. When phones are ON, we use them to promote family togetherness
  7. Phone safety
  8. Have an occasional unplugged weekend

You can read the full article here.

A good article was recently published on tips for parents of teens in a technology-crazed world. They also talk about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of technology today. Here is a summary.

  1. Anchor your lives in eternal things.
  2. Be aware of the major trends.
  3. Have intentional and honest conversations.
  4. Engage with them in their world.
  5. Develop an understanding about online privacy.
  6. Establish some standards.
  7. Let grace prevail.

Read the full article here.

Powerful video by Ditch the Label, an online community effort against bullying.

Jonathan McKee blogged about 5 considerations for parents of teens using or planning to use Snapchat, a relatively new and popular social media communication app among young people today.

Summary of key points:

  • Nothing you send or post is ever temporary.
  • Anonymity is actually only perceived anonymity, and it breeds carelessness.

5 considerations:

  1. How old are they?
  2. Do they understand that Snapchat pictures are not truly temporary?
  3. Are they exhibiting good discernment?
  4. If you do decide to let them have Snapchat, then you get it too.
  5. If they’re older- like 16 or 17- educate them, and let them make the decision.

Read the full article here.

Spiritual HP

This stop is where you recover your spiritual HP (health points)
#pokemongosg #pokestopsg

Recently, Pokemon Go (a mobile game app described as a “free-to-play, location-based augmented reality game”) was launched. This has viralled into a global craze of over 20 million daily users, with the app designers reporting earnings of over USD$200 million in revenue, with an average of USD$10 million a day. In Singapore, you might have noticed in the past 2 weeks, crowds of children, youths, and even adults staring at their mobile devices playing this game whilst walking, commuting, and even driving (dangerously). 2 young men were arrested for fighting allegedly due to the game, and the police were called in when residents complained of hordes of cars and crowds congregating in a public housing estate carpark in the middle of the night, causing much disturbance and noise, with the only aim of “catching” virtual monsters.Worldwide crazes and phenomenons have come and gone. Years back, it was the Hello Kitty collectibles from McDonald’s. I’m sure many of our young people in church have no doubtedly downloaded and are currently playing Pokemon Go. In and of itself, it’s just like any other computer or mobile game that is out there in the market. Parents and young people will need to exercise wisdom and discernment on whether or not it is advisable to play. I think the challenge is moderation, and when one crosses the line towards addiction and excessive playing. Also, we need to be mindful of how our behaviour changes when we are playing. Do we become reckless, foregoing safety, such as playing whilst crossing the road, or worse, when driving and suddenly pulling to the side and stopping abruptly just for the sake of the game? Or do we even become aggressive, anxious, depressed, and experience withdrawal symptoms when not playing or not being to get ahead of our friends or others in the game?

Romans 12 begins with the warning, “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world.” Instead, Paul exhorts us to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Many might laugh off this Pokemon Go craze as something trivial, but what are the other challenges, pressures and temptations for us to follow, to “conform” to worldly trends, patterns, thinking and behaviour? Are we only Sunday Christians, but the rest of the week, when we are out there in the world, no one can tell the difference between us and non-believers? Do we ever struggle with standing up to our biblical convictions, and risk being in conflict with our colleagues, our bosses, our companies, our schools, our friends, or maybe sometimes even our family members?

As we celebrate Young Adults Sunday today, my prayer is that God will continue to raise up faithful generations of young people who are rooted in God’s Word, filled and led by the Holy Spirit to be living sacrifices, godly examples and influencers in all spheres of society. May we truly be a community of spiritual support that loves sincerely and serves selflessly as we grow towards Christlike maturity, building each other up towards service and leadership, for the glory of God.

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