We are also left without a clearly defined theological vision for technology. The book itself is solidly written from the perspective of a rich theological tradition, but Detweiler does not detail the "robust theology of technology" he calls us to embrace. He does ask a lot of theological questions, though, and asking the right questions is an important way of doing theology. Where he excels most notably is in his careful, well-researched portrayal of the values and motivations behind the digital technologies so tightly woven into the fabric of our lives. By tracing the formation of the iGod institutions, his book constitutes "an active resistance to a thoughtless embrace." We're offered a theologically informed exposé of technological influences and a cautionary reminder that our media gadgets and their makers are far from neutral. Technology shapes us. And the technology of our day is continually insinuating that newer, faster, and sleeker are superior values.
Jesus just might have something counterintuitive to say about that. But in the meantime, Detweiler's book stirs us out of our awed fascination to hear our Lord's holy whisper amidst the techno-religious choirs.
Andrew Byers is a chaplain at St. Mary's College of Durham University. He is the author of TheoMedia: The Media of God and The Digital Age (Wipf & Stock).