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New inventions for smartphone users

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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A screen grab from a Rocky inspired training montage video from United Kingdom mobile carrier 02, a promotional video for their new 4G LTE service (Credit: O2 UK via YouTube)

O2 is a mobile phone provider in the United Kingdom.  The company is upgrading its network speed and says it wants customers to “make sure their thumbs are well looked after so they can make use of all the great technology that is available at their fingertips.”  So it has unveiled the “Thumbell,” a 65-gram device that can be used to strengthen thumb muscles.  It sounds like a late April Fool’s joke, but the company is testing the weight and exercises with its own employees.

I remember my first mobile phone.  It was actually a car phone wired into the electrical system of the vehicle and to an external antenna.  You could use it to make calls, period.  No access to the Internet or social media (of course, there was no such thing as “social media”).

Now the next iPhone, to be available in September, is rumored to have a fingerprint scanner for security.  It will also come in a cheaper version with a plastic case available in various colors.  Starbucks has announced that it will partner with Google to offer its customers dramatically faster Wi-Fi service.  And “3D printing,” technology which creates a solid object from a digital model, will soon be available for personal use.  One study indicates that the device could save the average home up to $2,000 in avoided purchase costs.

Not all technology news is good news, however.  I just read about an app which “alerts Facebook friends who express mutual interest in a sexual encounter” and says it has more than a million registered users.  What God uses for good, the enemy will use for evil.

Without the technological revolution of these days, our ministry would not exist.  We email a Cultural Commentary every weekday morning to more than 80,000 readers in 181 countries.  Mailing the essay would cost $36,800 per day and arrive long after the news it engages is no longer relevant.  Nor would our website, video content, and social media resources exist.  When God called us to use contemporary technology to equip Christians to change their culture for his Kingdom, he saw a future we could not imagine.

Now we’re ready to announce a new initiative.  The Jewish people pray three times a day (cf. Acts 3:1), following Psalm 55:17, where the psalmist prayed “evening and morning and at noon.”  I’m now sending three tweets a day intended to help people make God King of their day, using the hashtag, #MakeGodKing.  If you’re on Twitter, you can follow me @Jim Denison. If you’re not on Twitter, I invite you to read my three daily reminders on the right hand side of our website, under “Janet’s Blog.”

Paul said, “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:23).  I’m confident he would have used email and social media.  Have you asked God how he wants you to use contemporary technology for his glory?