PODCAST | Following Jesus In A Digital Age (Feat. Jason Thacker)

Jason Thacker Podcast Digital Age

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In today’s podcast, Jason Thacker talks about his new book, Following Jesus in a Digital Age. Jason serves as chair of research in technology ethics and director of the research institute at The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Jason challenges listeners on how technology is shaping their relationship with Christ. He provides biblical wisdom to navigate the difficult aspects of our digital culture and lead others through it. We hope you enjoy the conversation!

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Christa Neidig:
Welcome to the Vanderbloemen Leadership Podcast. I'm your host, Christa Neidig, marketing manager here at Vanderbloemen. In today's podcast, I sit down with Jason Thacker to talk about his new book "Following Jesus in a Digital Age". Jason serves as chair of Research and Technology Ethics, and director of the Research Institute at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Jason challenges listeners on how technology is shaping their relationship with Christ, and he provides biblical wisdom to navigate the difficult aspects of our digital culture. We hope you enjoy the conversation.
Well, hey everyone, thank you so much for joining us today. I'm so excited because I'm joined with Jason Thacker, and we get to talk all about your new book, Jason, "Following Jesus in a Digital Age". I think this is going to be such a relevant conversation. Hi Jason, thanks for joining us.

Jason Thacker:
Yeah, thanks for having me, Christa.

Christa Neidig:
Yeah. Why don't you go ahead and just tell some of our listeners that may not be familiar with you and your work, a little bit about your background and leading up to what led you to write a book about this concept.

Jason Thacker:
Yeah, this is a question that I get asked pretty regularly in my role. So I serve as Chair of Research and Technology Ethics, as well as oversee the Research Institute here at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. It's a mouthful, but we are the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. So essentially, what we do is we help to equip and engage the church, on some of the most pressing cultural and social issues of the day, as well as advocate on behalf of the Church in the public arena, whether it's in courts, in the administration, or even against Congress.
And so one of the things that I do is overseeing research, specifically in Christian ethics. And that's really kind of how this book really came about, is I grew up surrounded by technology, I'm a tad old to say that. Some listeners may be able to agree with me there. Is that I didn't always have access to these tools, but I was always kind of surrounded by technology. And it wasn't until I came here to the ERLC that I started to see how my faith really applies to a lot of these pressing issues of technology, and a lot of the ethical issues, and a lot of the challenges that leaders are specifically facing today with the rise of technology and the use of technology, where everyone seems to be connected to their smartphones or connected to social media and digital devices all the time, all day.
And so that presents some very unique challenges and that's what I really try to do in the book, is to unpack some of those challenges. I do that with my students. I also teach college students at Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky, specifically focusing in ethics and philosophy. And this book is written though for everyday believers. This isn't an academic book, this isn't a book that's written for skilled kind of workers in specific areas. It's written for all of us, to show how technology's shaping and forming us as people, and then how do we respond as Christians, amidst a lot of the pressures of our day.

Christa Neidig:
That's so great. I think you really hit on such a pressing point right now. It's almost like we have a whole another battle field out there, digitally. As leaders and as believers, and just learning how to navigate that. I think we're starting to get into the age where we're really aware of that, and more people are growing up in this technology age than without. So I think this will be a great thing. Why don't you go ahead and tell me who this book was written for, and then what readers can get out of this.
So I alluded to it earlier, this book is, it's a small trim size, meaning it's a small book when you pick it up, it's not incredibly long. It's designed for everyday believers. This isn't a book specifically for academics, or those specifically working in technology. While it's helpful for all of us, it's written for the rest of us, who are thinking about technology, we're starting to wonder, we may have some concerns about technology. It seems like every day there's a new headline about something big tech, and there's something about government, and there's something about these technology companies, or something about social media, or see reports on how social media is shaping us as people. And I think that is an odd concept for a lot of people. And so I try to introduce the book by basically talking about the nature of technology, because I think often we run to, well I just need a quick list of solutions and a checklist to fix my relationship with technology, or to have a better way of thinking about these things.
And I say, yeah, those are helpful and good, and we need to get there, and I think I do get there in the book. But to start to peel back and ask some of the basic questions about what is technology, how is it forming and shaping us? Isn't it just a smartphone? Isn't it just tool that I use? Is it something more than that? And then specifically, as Christians, how do we think about those topics?
So it's written for everyday believers, but one of the things I do specifically for leaders though, is at the very end there's an appendix is say, "Hey, in light of everything we've talked about, what does this mean for you as a leader"? Because I think a lot of times leaders naturally feel overwhelmed, they're often overworked and they're often don't feel that they're able to navigate so many of the big questions, and people are asking them, "What do you think about this?", or, "How should I deal with this?", or, "What do we do with our family with this situation"? And that can be quite overwhelming.
It can also be quite isolating, and we'll get to it, but at some point that's also the nature of technology, is it's in some sense very isolating. But for leaders I think it's very particularly isolating because we're told to have an answer to everything, and to be able to navigate all of these things, and some of us are just ill-equipped to do that. And it's one of the things I hope to do in the book, is to equip leaders to think wisely, and to most importantly think biblically about the nature of technology and how we should address that from a Christian worldview.
That's great. I want to come back to that leadership aspect, but first you mentioned a couple times this concept of technology shaping us, and the way that technology shapes us. Let's talk about that a little bit. What are those signs? What are some things that we can see tangibly of technology shaping us?

Jason Thacker:
I think for many of us, especially in the last couple years, we're realizing, whether it's because of a pandemic or because of challenges, and social challenges, and leadership challenges, many of us are starting to just realize, "Hey, maybe I'm a little too tied to my device", or, "Why do I seem so anxious? Why do I seem so overwhelmed or stressed out"? Or even just tired, just trying to use social media, sometimes it's like navigating a battlefield. You're everywhere and every place, and you're feeling like you always have to be on, you're always having to be connected. And that can really wear you out. So it's funny because technology, especially digital technology in terms of social media, et cetera, when it was debuted or released, we were talked about we were going to have richer community, we were going to have more access to information than we could ever imagine.
And there were a lot of these big promises, often very lofty promises of what technology was going to do for us. And I think that's true in some sense. We can't say technology's all bad, because there's a lot of good aspects. Even being able to do a podcast like this means that we're using technology.

Christa Neidig:
I was going to say [inaudible 00:07:08] job.

Jason Thacker:
Yeah, technology's a good gift from God, but as sinful and broken human beings, we misuse these tools, we abuse these tools. And I think that makes sense for most people when you think about it, technology is simply a tool that can be used for good or bad. But one of the things that fails to recognize is that sometimes it's not just about the way you're using technology, sometimes it's about the way technology is using you, or it's forming you, it's shaping you.
And I always use the example, and I use that in the book as well. I have two kids, we have a six year old and a four year old. And when they were a little bit younger, we had a little wooden hammer in our house and it was part of their little toy box. And when I handed my children, my son specifically, this little hammer, everything became a nail. And that's kind of that old adage, when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. They would hit each other, they would hit me, they'd hit the wall, they hit their toys, everything was a nail to them. Why? Well, the hammer's designed to hit nails. It's designed to hit things. So naturally, they started hitting things. Well I open up with a quote from a friend, Jacob Shazer, he updates that adage and says, "When you have a smartphone, everything looks like a status update".
Well why? Because these devices, specifically social media and digital devices, are designed with an intent and a purpose. They're designed to be used in a particular way. And so they're shaping us and to use them in those particular ways. You can think about with Twitter or Facebook, it says, what's happening now, or, what's on your mind? It's prompting you to post. It's prompting you in the midst of notifications and a host of other ways you connect with these tools, to use them more, to get your news, to get your information, to maintain relationships, to follow. But you're always kind of prompted and encouraged to use these things in certain ways. So it's not just a tool that we're using, which we are, but it's also something larger than that. It's something that's a little bit deeper than that, and a lot more formative.
And so one of the things that's provocative, I guess you could say, about the book is that I propose this idea that technology is discipling us, it's shaping us, it's shaping our perspective of God. It's shaping our perspective of ourselves, and especially those around us, including the world around us. Where we stop seeing people as created in the very image of God with dignity, worth and value. And we start to reduce them down to mere political or social opinions on very particular issues. We start to see people as just merely avatars, or bits of data, or a picture online rather than in fleshed human being just like me.
And we don't actually have, for all the promises of relationships, we actually have very shallow connections with people today, much more than we did in the past. And so it's not that all technology is just all bad, because it's not, it's not all bad and it's not all good, technology, and it's not neutral either, meaning it is shaping and forming us in particular ways.
And that really is the thrust and the main idea of the book, is that technology is discipling you. It's not only discipling you, but it's also the discipling the people you lead. So how do we cut through some of that, and understand the nature of it to slow down and ask some of those hard questions, so that we then might proceed with wisdom and discernment. Because again, it's not a checklist, it's not five steps to fix your relationship with technology, it's cultivating a heart of wisdom and discernment as we seek to navigate and to the challenges before us to follow Jesus well and wisely, in this digital age.

Christa Neidig:
That's really good. Something you mentioned earlier is the isolating effects of technology. And I think you do a really good job in the book of connecting the very biblical ways. Even though technology and social media and Instagram is not in the Bible, you put a very biblical lens on the way you're viewing certain things. And I think biblical community is one of these, being the opposite of social media, which can feel isolating. Do you want to talk on that a little bit?

Jason Thacker:
Yeah, I think you bring up a really good point, and I think many listeners probably are thinking the same thing, how does the Bible actually talk about technology and social media? I can't look up Twitter, or Facebook, or Instagram, or TikTok, or even, for that matter, phones and computers in my concordance. I can't go and do a word search. So what does the Bible actually say about these things? Well, when you start to take that broader approach to understanding technology, you realize that while the Bible doesn't specifically talk about Twitter, a lot of the challenges that we face are these age old challenges, these age old questions. And so I always like to say that technology doesn't cause us to ask new questions of humanity, per se, and our life and how we're to live. It causes us to ask these age old questions in light of these new opportunities.
So it's not that we can, and we're more prone to lie, or to cheat, or steal, or anything like that. It's that we're able to do that on maybe a bigger scale, a grander scale. So that I used to be able, even 10 or 15 years ago, I could have some fringe thought or belief, or some kind of weird wacko theory or something like that, share it and maybe five or six people, maybe my neighbors, maybe some people in my church might hear it. But now I can share it online. And whether I have 10 followers or a hundred thousand followers, I can share it with tons and tons of people, in the hopes that maybe go viral, if the right person shares it, maybe all sorts of people will share it.

Christa Neidig:
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Jason Thacker:
But at the end of the day, the underlying problem is still the same thing. And so when you go back to a lot of the biblical text, specifically the wisdom literature, which is where I try to focus a lot of the book, is in terms of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes and even the book of James in the New Testament. It's almost as if these writers are writing about social media at times, or they're almost like writing about our digital culture, where they're talking, James will say that we should be slow to speak, we should be slow to anger and we should be quick to listen. Well man, that sounds like a needed word today, not just back then. Because I'm tempted to speak, and I'm tempted to get angry very quickly online, rather than stepping back and listening, and having that kind of cult, not only that posture of humility, but also that posture of being discerning and wise.
And so some of the challenges, I think, that we face today are really not that new. It's just that we're asking them in light of these new opportunities, so to understand and to navigate these opportunities, and to navigate the challenges before us, we kind of have to go back to this understanding. And one of the beautiful things about the wisdom literature, in particular, in terms of Eccles Proverbs, et cetera, is that these books were actually written to people that their lives were pretty chaotic. They were overwhelmed, they were burdened, they were being, in some sense, even persecuted at times.
And that seems a lot like today, in some sense, it seems like we're very overwhelmed, we're isolated, we're stressed out, we're feel anxious all the time. And that's where I say the beauty of biblical wisdom is not just teaching us what to believe, which is important, but also how to live, and what does it look like to live. So in some sense you could say our theology, our beliefs, our doctrine, as well as our ethics and how we're to live in light of these truths. And that's really the approach that it take to a lot of the challenges that we're facing with social media and digital technologies today.

Christa Neidig:
No, that's great. On the approach, let's go ahead and talk a little bit about what are some things, or maybe advice or tips you could say, speaking to the Christian as we are navigating this, in a digital world. I mean, for me at least, I know that it feels like, working on social media to have my job, I feel very aware of what's going on in social media. And I think you're right. I think there's an increased comparison and burden and isolation with that. What are some tangible things that we can work on?

Jason Thacker:
Yeah, it's often hard. And I think one of the challenging aspects of this book is, David Foster Wallace used to say, he said, "This is water, and telling a fish what water is almost nonsensical because it's just the culture, it's just the time, it's the patterns that we live in, and it feels so normal". So one of the challenges with a book like this, I have to diagnose something that you just assume is normal, that you just assume is the way things are. But that's one of the reasons, those practical steps in some sense, not only to evaluate but to just to think wisely and biblically, is that we have to slow down. One of the temptations of our digital age that may be pretty unique, I could say, is that technology causes us to go faster, faster, faster. We're all about being more efficient, having things more convenient, more accessible.
And a lot of that is good. It can be very, very helpful. We don't want to be inefficient for inefficient sake, but one of the things that's not efficient, per se, is wisdom. It's not quick, it's not an overnight thing. And I think often when we address technology issues, we think we just need another app to solve it. We need another piece of technology to fix these things. If you have a problem with X, just get this app. If you have a problem with this, you just need to change these settings and everything will be okay, and then we can make our lives more efficient and streamlined. But the pattern of wisdom and really the pattern of the Christian life is that it's pretty slow, it's methodical. In some sense, it's kind of inefficient. And that's one of the things, it makes sense when you start to think about it, the habits that we have, the good and the bad habits, they didn't form overnight.
It wasn't that we woke up tomorrow and we're addicted to Twitter, or we woke up tomorrow and we feel like we have to show off and be a certain type of person to people online, or to model a certain type of behavior, identify with a particular tribe or crowd. It was a habit that formed over time. And the same respect to un-form those habits, to reform those habits into very biblical categories in light of the Christian world view, that's also going to take time. So one of the big things that we can do and some of the most practical, almost sounds like the most trite and simple, maybe it's to slow down, maybe it's to actually disconnect for a time. Maybe it's to make the inefficiency of sitting down with someone and scheduling coffee, rather than just a phone call.
Maybe it's sitting down and putting our phones down in another room and having a conversation with someone, rather than just tweeting about it, or taking somebody out to lunch instead of just arguing with them online. What seems to be more efficient at times might not actually be the most wise.
And so part of that, cultivating a biblical view or seeking to follow Jesus well in the digital age, is to slow down and ask some of the hard questions, ask some of the questions we don't really want answers to, where it's not just how am I doing with social media, but maybe asking my spouse, or my friend, or my coworkers, "How do you think I'm doing with social media? How do you think I'm doing with my technology habits and patterns"? Because you might get some of those uncomfortable truths that in many ways are actually God's grace to you, to help you pierce through the water in which you inhabit, to help you understand a little bit more of what's actually going on with technology, how it's forming and shaping you in particular, how it's shaping your view of God, how it's shaping your view of yourself and also shaping your view of the world around you.
And this all really comes to head when you think about the biblical texts, is the thrust of the New Testament, the thrust of the biblical text is summed up in Jesus's own words. And Matthew 22, 37 through 39, he says, "To love the Lord your God, with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love your neighbors yourself". Social media wants us to point inward and technology and just modern culture wants to point inward. It's my truth, my reality. It's all about me, me, me.
The biblical understanding is actually pointing us outward, to love God and to love our neighbor. And that's a sacrificial love. It means I sacrifice my own desires, my own wants, but it also means I try to reorder my life to correspond with the reality outside of me, rather than some self-created identity or self-created reality or truth inside of me. It's always pointing me outward. And so that's the revolutionary nature of the Christian ethic and really the Christian way of life, is to love God and love our neighbors ourself. And I think when we start to apply that paradigm to our technology habits, things can be revolutionary and reshaped to help us follow Jesus well in a digital age.

Christa Neidig:
That's so good. I read, actually just this week, I think it was Jen Wilkin, wrote something along the lines of disordered lives, or no, disordered priorities lead to disordered lives.

Jason Thacker:

Christa Neidig:
And when you have your life and priority, and you have God at the forefront above social media, above everything else, it leads to that ordered lifestyle that he wants for us. So I think that's a really good point there. Something in the book that I think a lot of readers will get is, you seem really hopeful for the Church in this digital age, when I think a lot of people don't seem hopeful in this age. Why is that?

Jason Thacker:
Yeah, that's a question I get asked pretty regularly. So my first book, The Age of AI, I was asked, "Why are you so hopeful? Why do you seem so happy and kind of excited about the future"? And the funny thing about this book is I got the almost complete opposite reaction. You seem so dark and you seem like technology's all bad. Don't you see any of the good? And I almost want to step back and laugh and say it's both. And one of the reasons though that I have hope, so while I want to take technology and evaluate these things for the good and the bad and be honest about those things, I don't want to negatively cast technology as just inherently bad or evil. It's a good gift from God and we can utilize these tools, again to love God and love our neighbors ourself.
But we have to do so through a heart of wisdom and discernment. But one of the reasons that I'm so hopeful is because as a Christian, I know the end of the story. I think a lot of times we get enamored and overwhelmed and we get that tunnel vision, just focusing on what the problem is right before us, or the challenges that we're facing today. And there are real challenges, I don't want to sugar coat it and act like everything's kind of happy go lucky right now. Things are challenging, things are difficult, but we have to take our vision off of right now, and put our vision on what's already taken place. So not only did Jesus Christ die, the death we were supposed to die, and he lived the life we were supposed to live, die the death we were supposed to die, and gives us new life in Him as something that already happened.
There's also Him coming back. So one of the things people say, "Well, why are you so hopeful about the Church in the digital age"? I say, "Well go to Revelation 20 and 21". Jesus is sitting on the throne. Nothing is going to change that. Not my sin, not the culture, not the rebellion, not the challenges that I face, not the challenges I face in my church, or my ministry, or my organization. Nothing is going to change that fact. Jesus is sitting on his throne. He is victorious. He is the victorious king. And Revelation 20 and 21 tells us, people of God are going to be gather around saying, "Holy, holy, holy. As the Lord God almighty, who was and is, and is yet to come, He is coming back". And so that's the hope that we have is that our life, our future, our purpose, our identity, our dignity, everything about us is tied in who He is and what He's already accomplished.
Thus, from that perspective, when we start to engage a lot of the challenging issues of our day, we do so with hope. We do so with excitement. We do so knowing that Jesus is Lord, that Jesus is reigning and ruling, and nothing is going to change that. And if God is really sovereign and he really is the creator God, which he is, and if those things are true, then the challenges we face, nothing surprises him. I think that's one of the things we get almost infatuated with ourselves a little bit. We think like, "Whoa, these are new challenges," or, "Hey, we've done something. And God doesn't really know what to do with artificial intelligence, or algorithms, or social media, or digital technology. He doesn't really know what to...".
If He's truly the sovereign God of the universe, He knows exactly what to do. He knows exactly how he's created us. He knows exactly how he's called us to live, no matter the challenges, no matter the opportunities we face. And so from that perspective, it's not a question of, "Oh, what are we going to do here"? It's more so, "Okay, we know what our eyes should be fixed on is loving God and loving our neighbor". Thus, how do we then apply that principle, that ethical principle, that discipleship principle, to the nature of the challenges before us? And so we can do so with hope, we can do so with wisdom and discernment as we seek to follow him well in our digital age.

Christa Neidig:
That's so good. I think probably one of the most humbling and true things that someone ever told me as a leader, I remember one time feeling really bogged down about something, leading and ministry positions, and someone sat me down, they go, "Christa, the Lord's going to move with or without you. This is not fixated on you. You're thinking of yourself too much in this, because the Lord's working and he doesn't need you. He's still going to be on the throne at the end of the day". And I just love that picture, because while it might have sounded harsh, it was the most loving thing and there was so much peace there knowing that the Lord, at the end of the day, is ruling and reigning on the throne.

Jason Thacker:

Christa Neidig:
That's awesome. As we continue to wrap up, I want to go ahead and go back to leadership talk that we were talking about earlier. What are some things for leaders that church leaders can take to their people as they're leading them to Jesus in a digital age?

Jason Thacker:
Yeah, I think a lot of it comes down to church leaders are facing a lot of challenges today. Whether it's cultural and social issues, issues of politics, issues of a lot of the cultural things that we're facing today. There are a host of things that often we feel ill equipped and ill trained to deal with. One of the things that's interesting about seminary is that you learn a lot of theology, you learn a lot of Bible, which we need, and we need more of in many ways, but we often don't learn a lot about ethics. It's either a class, maybe we take, or maybe no class at all, or maybe a couple here and there.
But one of the things that's interesting, I think, for church leaders is that almost every issue we face in ministry is ethical in nature. Whether being asked, what do we do in a particular situation? What should I do, that's the question of ethics. Or some of the challenges that we just face in the public arena and in the public square, they're ethical in nature.
And so one of the things that I encourage leaders to do, one is to grab a book like this. It doesn't have to be this specific book, but a lot of the things that I'm doing here is with you in mind. I intentionally wrote an appendix to this book specifically for leaders, not just ministry leaders, not just pastors, but just leaders, even business leaders who are thinking through, what do I do here? How do I lead my people well.
And so while there are a lot of principles, there's a lot of insight, I think, hopefully, in the book for leaders, two things in particular that I think are really helpful is, one, you have to recognize and just be humble enough to admit you don't have all of the answers, and that's okay. That's actually refreshing in a digital age where everyone seems to have an opinion and a thought and an answer to everything, no matter if they have any expertise in it or not.
Somehow we've all become experts on social media, about foreign policy and about epidemiology, and about government, budgets and the economy, and everything else in the world. Where we feel like we have to have an opinion, and I think that's one of the ways to get back to what we said earlier, that technology is shaping and forming us, is to make us think that we must have an opinion. One, because we feel a lot, we feel like it's all about us and we have to build ourselves up. But two is we need to identify with the right people. We need to identify with the right tribes amidst a lot of polarization and tensions.
Just understanding the simple, "I don't know", or, "Hey, I don't know the answer to that, but we'll figure it out together", can be really refreshing to people. To say, "You know what? I don't have all the answers, nor do you, and neither of us should have that pressure". So one of the first things that I always recommend is to say, "You don't have to be an expert in technology, or even an ethics, to lead your people well". Part of it is just simply having the awareness to be humble and to be open, and to think wisely and biblically about these things, because you're actually a lot more equipped than you think you are to navigate these things. And this doesn't mean, especially for pastors, that you have to have a whole sermon series on technology. In many ways, you can just keep preaching, book by book, verse by verse. And when you come to passages like, "Love the Lord your God with love, your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbors yourself," Or James 1:19, "To be quick, to listen, to be slow to speak and slow to anger".
Hey, for those of you who are in our congregation or in our midst, we also talk a lot about technology in this church and how it's shaping and forming us as people. And one of the ways is that it's causing us to be quick to anger, quick to speak, and slow to listen, when the Bible has a different priority. So it's those little connections to say to your people, I understand the world you inhabit, I understand the challenges you face. And so while I don't have to have a 10 week sermon series on smartphones, little illustrations here and there to say, you know what, these are the challenges you're facing. This is how we as a church body seek to think through those things, and we do so with wisdom, and openness and humble humility. And this is a place where there no condemnation for those who are [inaudible 00:28:56] Jesus. So there's no guilt, there's no shame. We're all struggling in this area in that sense.
And second, and a lot of it goes back to the hope that we talked about, is that we can be hopeful, especially as leaders, hope is contagious. Hope helps us to reorient that, a lot of the despondent and overwhelming-ness and fear and anxiety and chaos that we may feel. And it reminds us and it refreshes us and places our hope and fixes us back on Jesus, as you mentioned earlier, a world that wants us to think a lot about ourselves, kind of a me-centered approach to the universe and to cultural engagement.
The Bible has a different vision. It's a God centered perspective. It always reminds me of John 3:30, that He must increase and I must decrease. It's not about me, it's actually about God. And when I take that God centered perspective, which is the heart of the wisdom literature, by the way, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, everything going back to our ultimate truths of who God is and how he made us. When we take that hopeful perspective, and a God centered perspective on these things, not that we'll have all the answers, but we'll be a hopeful, we'll be joyful people and be a people that are committed to God's word as the truth of God, but not just committed to believe it in our heads, but to actually see it take place and to root in our actions so that our actions are modeling what we say we believe.
It's one thing to say, I believe something, it's another thing to actually show that I believe something. And that's really the nature of ethics, and a lot of the challenges that we face today, again, are not easy, but there is hope and there is clarity, and there are biblical principles for navigating these things. And so we can do so together, not isolated, but do it together as the body of Christ, which is pretty counter-cultural, to say I don't have it all together, but we as the body of Christ will get through this together, as one body.

Christa Neidig:
That's great. Jason, thank you so much for sharing all of this and giving us a little bit of insight into navigating a digital age as a believer, but also into your book. Where can listeners get their own copy of your new book?

Jason Thacker:
Yeah, Following Jesus in a Digital Age is available wherever books are sold. So you can pick it up whether various online retailers, even in person places like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, local book sellers. But you can also go to jasonthacker.com. If you go to jasonthacker.com/digitalage, you'll see all the purchase links for it.
One of the things that church leaders might also be interested is that later this year in December, we'll actually have a Bible study version of the book coming out as well. So this book is written that you can do like bulk copies and giveaways in your church, and Sunday school classes, and small groups. We also have the Bible study version that'll be coming out later this year, and they correspond with one another, not the exact same, but they really coalesce with one another. Hopefully just to equip and to challenge and to encourage church leaders as they start to face a lot of these challenges head on, and their churches, hopefully resources like this. So just go to jasonthacker.com and you can find all those resources.

Christa Neidig:
That's great. Thank you so much again for joining us. I know this will be a great resource to church leaders all over.

Jason Thacker:
Well, thank you, Christa.

Christa Neidig:
Thanks for listening to the Vanderbloemen Leadership Podcast. At Vanderbloemen, we help Christian organizations build their best teams through hiring, succession, compensation and diversity consulting services. Visit our website, vanderbloemen.com, to learn more, and subscribe to our Vanderbloemen Leadership Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts, to keep up with our newest episodes. Thanks for listening.