The Talk Place

Blogs with inside information and personal opinions from GRN members around the world

Who says Technology and Evangelism don't mix?

Richard & Heather Roper - Friday 26 October 2007

Some say that personal evangelism and technology are incompatible and that the only real way to reach a person for Christ is meeting them face to face. Well not so long ago I visited a place that put all that into a different perspective for me.

I've never agreed with the incompatibility idea. After all I probably wouldn't be working for GRN if I did. However I recall a visit to Hadrian's wall that caused me to ponder this issue once more.

What possible connection could evangelism have with Hadrian's wall? Bear with me a moment and I'll try to answer it.

For those who don't know, Hadrian's wall is the wall that was commissioned in the British isles by the emperor Hadrian to mark the limits of the Roman Empire. It lasted 200 years till the end of the empire itself when it was gradually dismantled or left to deteriorate. Significant portions of the structure remain today and some of the civilization that surrounded it has been reconstructed.

I must say that I am very taken with Hadrian's wall. It is a mammoth engineering feat. Pictures don't do it justice. When you see the location with the naked eyes it is just a little impressive to say the least.

There is a city called Wallsend (I'm sure you have figured out where the name came from), where the wall used to meet the sea and they have uncovered the fort that used to occupy the original location. By that fort they have reconstructed a Roman bath house. The technology that was used to construct the wall and the bathhouse is what gave me pause to ponder.

The roman empire was a civilization that just bristled with technology. They had flushing toilets, double glassed windows, underfloor heating systems not based on hot springs and that is just the bath house. The floor was made with a roman version of modern concrete and the walls were constructed with brick that is little different from he bricks we make today.

Thinking outside the wall and the bathhouse, the boats they used to sail to ancient Britain had sails that far surpassed the sails even of the tall ship of the 18th century. The war technology that allowed the conquering of so many places world wide was nothing short of brilliant and some say, had it not been for the advent of Hadrian's wall it would have allowed this empire to rule for much longer than it did.

The Romans built roads that allowed movement on a scale that had not been achieved before. They built amphitheaters that were acoustically marvelous. Aqueducts that not only allowed for the transport of clean water over long distances but were also used to power industry. All these things and more allowed for the Romans to create and empire that had not been seen before.

It was this empire and this very technology that was responsible for the spread of the Gospel way beyond a small country call Israel.

So technology and the spread of the Gospel have been integrally linked from the very start of Jesus message.

You may say, as did the character of Judas in the stage musical Jesus Christ superstar, "why didn't Jesus come in this day of mass communication"?

My answer is that the Roman empire was the highest technology society that ever existed that still allowed for the public execution whereby someone could be sacrifice for the truth.

Long after the Roman empire had disappeared, the telling of the story of Jesus had been so well established that even without all that technology it was unstoppable. And that is what GRN is all about isn't it? Telling the story of Jesus.

So evangelism and technology are far from incompatible. In fact history would suggest that God actually encourages it.