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Analog Christian

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Member Reviews

In The Analog Christian, Silicon Valley pastor Jay Y. Kim presents compelling evidence and inspiration toward our need to be watchful regarding the time we spend on the internet, social media, and our smartphones. I was drawn into the book from the beginning by the sharing of the author’s personal experience with the effects of social media during the pandemic, and also by the sharing of disheartening statistics which especially concern young people today.

By making helpful connections to the fruit of the Holy Spirit, this must-read book explains how we can build the values of contentment, resilience, and wisdom in our lives in light of the digital world’s ability to have just the opposite effects on us, causing unhealthy comparison, persistent discontentment, ungodly self-indulgence, and more.

The book rightly echoes the truth of how the world of social media is changing us and causing many to be addicted to it. In fact, the book points out that this is what those behind social media want it, so that we will give more of our time to the frenetic, never-satisfying ilk that it often is. The Analog Christian is a perfect reminder of these things, again fueling us to say no to allowing the digital world to fool us into giving it so much of our time. With the focus on the fruit of the Spirit, the reader is drawn into the things that truly matter, qualities that we should seek to grow in in our daily lives.

The only frustration I had with the book was when something would be written as “this is why _______ said…,” but it the *why* of what they said actually can’t be 100% known for certain. For example, the book might say, “This is why Paul begins and ends his letter to the Romans” in such and such way, rather than “Perhaps this is why Paul…” Maybe I’m just being picky, but it bothers me when anyone does that unless the Bible explicitly says why, especially because I know those in my generation and younger would likely pick something like this apart in an unhelpful way to their faith.

All in all, The Analog Christian contains a essential, timely message for our time, especially for those born in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and younger. Just as I found in this book myself, the reader is bound to discover a vast wealth of wisdom, wisdom that we desperately need to understand and to heed. By taking this book’s message to heart, we can take back the reigns from a world of smartphones and social media which so often affects us adversely and seeks to influence us in problematic ways.

I received an advanced reader copy of this book for free from Netgalley, and am leaving this review voluntarily. All opinions are my own.
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My thoughts:
This book didn’t say anything new about technology and christianity. The basic push was still balancing the two in healthy ways. However, the book is framed in an interesting model. The author structures the usage of technology and social media, around the fruit of the spirit. The principles of how to interact online, and in person, are structured around the nine traits Paul speaks about in Galatians. I will keep this in the back of my mind for recommendations on the subject but I’m not going to actively promote it. It is a solid book. 

Who is this book for:
This is for the person who is interested in how they interact with the online world. Even if the person does not hold a Christian world view they may still benefit in thinking about joy, comparison, grudges, etc. 

Critique, Questions, Comments:
As mentioned in my thoughts this book is not really anything new. The topic of technology, internet usage, social media have been talked about constantly. I do think the structure is very clever.
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Great collection of interesting factoids about how the digital age is wiring us differently, personal meditations about what means for pastors as well as congregants, and a dash of humor and self-deprecating honesty about when the author hasn't done things well. A great follow-up to Analog Church
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A lot to love here, if you're a Christian and suspicious of the push towards a full digital life. Of course, if you are those things, you probably are already familiar with many of the things mentioned, but there's still food for thought and at the very least the knowledge that others feel similarly
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This is a great book about growing in the fruit of the Spirit in a digital age. He separates the fruit of the spirit in three main areas: contentment, resilience, and wisdom. Each chapter in those parts tackles a fruit of the spirit in contrast to what our digit lives are producing in us: Love instead of self-centric despair, peace instead of contempt, kindness and goodness instead of hostility, gentleness instead of outrage, etc. 

Framing the fruit of the spirit in light of these specific temptations of our age is useful and helpful. It is really what sets the book apart and makes it more unique. The book pays special attention to how social media and our digital lives particularly move us away from the fruit of the spirit. What's useful is that the book does not argue for a monastic retreat from digital life, but a more intentional life.

Honestly, I am usually wary of books that are only 150ish pages. It makes me wonder if there is enough meat that makes the book worth reading. This book is worth it. Each chapter is meaty and weighty. It could have easily been another 100 pages, but it would have lost its succinctness. 

I think this book is useful for both laity and pastors.
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This book is a great reminder of what it means to live and love as a diverse community in the body of Christ. How we love others in the body and out are a testament the Spirit in us. It’s about cultivating the fruits of the spirit in us in order to be a more perfect reflection of Christ to the world.
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Analog Christian by Jay Y. Kim is one of the most vital books I have read this year. Kim addresses arguably the most important formational influence on our generation. Even from within the industry itself, the alarms are ringing about the negative effects of digital technologies and social media. It is now clear that our emotions, beliefs and views can be manipulated by these technologies. Kim wants us to be aware of how social media influences our faith and character and how we can overcome these through a life of walking by the Spirit. He is not advocating a wholesale rejection of digital tech, rather, he is encouraging mindful awareness, moderation and spiritual formation. The author leads the reader through an inspirational study of Galatians 5, showing how, by cultivating the fruit of the Spirit, we are able to counter the corrosive effects of digital tech. The writing is entertaining, inspirational and intelligent. Kim engages widely with a range of discussion partners, including theologians, ministers, psychologists, mainstream media, researchers and more. His thesis is compelling and we need to pay attention to what he is saying. Every Christian who is serious in their pursuit of Christ needs to read this book. Kim provides excellent discussion questions and I highly recommend "Analog Christian" for small group studies. I would also recommend that every Pastor, Minister and Church leader read this book to gain a better understanding of the influences of digital tech on ourselves and our communities.
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The kind of book the world is needing right now. An extremely important message that worth every hour spent reading the pages. In the era of technology, Christians need to be well informed about the way We deal with world changes wihtou losing our Heavenly perceptions and convictions. The essence of Christ Must remain now and forever. Good Job!
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I really enjoyed this one! Jay Kim discusses the fruits of the Spirit and how each one commonly plays out in our digital age. I like that his focus wasn’t only on the dangers of social media or the distraction of wasted time online, but how technology and the digital world are shaping our spiritual lives. He provided a fresh perspective on an important but common topic. I like that the chapters gave each fruit a counterpart (i.e. peace instead of contempt, kindness instead of hostility), which makes it easier to recognize some of the traps of not living in step with the Spirit.
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This book addressed a very urgent matter that is affecting the church: that is living in this digital age that is accelerated by the pandemic. The premise of this book covers the fruit of the Spirit and the author made a good contrasting responses Christians can choose in relationship with others. The principle is biblical and help us to see the danger of going with the flow of responding the way everyone else is responding instead of walking in the Spirit and living it out in our lives. This is a much needed discussion Christians need to have, I would recommend this book.
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Jay Kim's Analog Christian is an interesting theology book that I think hits some marks while also actively avoiding some important conversations that I think it needed to have. 

I think Kim's book is an important addition to post-Covid theological conversations especially as our churches begin to figure out what it'll look like to come back to in-person worship settings. I know many of my pastor-colleagues had lots of feelings about how they were supported by their denominations and churches over the course of the pandemic. Some felt the burden of having to move completely online while others are now having churches that don't want to go back to the old way of doing things. I think this book, at it's most effective moments, is speaking directly to that scenario and suggests that there is something significant in face-to-face communciation and social time. 

I would argue that those most effective moments are in the second half of the book when Kim is talking about ways to cultivate resilent spaces. I think that portion of the book would be helpful for anyone, especially pastors, who are trying to figure out what Post-Covid worship settings look like. Unfortunately, the first half is far less effective and unfortunately I think it's because Kim keeps delving into politics. His concerns about Marxists, leftists,  protests and riots occurs in several chapters. And his concerns might be justified but he never once mentions the proliferation of conspiracy theories and anti-vaccine denialism also during Covid. In deciding to talk about one side and never mentioning the other, Kim's arguments are weakened in this reviewers opinion. This is unfortunate because I think there is something very important, if not essential, that Kim touches on about how social media and online spaces have expanded the divide between us. However, because Kim avoids about an entire side of the problem, it feels less like an important discussion and more the same political diatribes I hear from both sides on Facebook. Unfortunately, in doing that Kim actively undercuts the thesis of his book which is that we shouldn't be doing what-sides-ism on social media.

Ultimately, I think this book has some strong parts. I think Kim has some great advice for pastors as they begin to consider what it might look like as they move back from online spaces. There are some really good ideas for ways to encourage those that are hesitant about returning to in-person worship. Unfortunately, there are weaker sections as well which make this a significantly harder book to recommend to those looking for a resource on how to navigate the world of post-Covid worship.
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