Is Social Media the ‘Tar Pit’ of Scripture?

Is Social Media the ‘Tar Pit’ of Scripture?

This is the claim of Prof Brent Strawn of Emory University in a piece provocatively titled, “Social Media: Where the Bible Goes to Die.

This widespread lack of knowledge [of the Bible] is sad proof that the language of Christianity, especially as reflected in the Bible, is endangered and dying. Nowhere is this threat of extinction more obvious than on social media. …

The online examples that could be cited are legion. I’ve witnessed the following three myself. These days, social media is like the tar pit of Scripture: it’s where the Bible goes to die.

Strawn is focused particularly on political discourse on social media, and how Christians naively cite the Bible to support this or that, without understanding what the Bible actually says about those topics. For Strawn, this tendency puts both Scripture and Christianity at risk, analogous to the way a dying language is at risk of being replaced by another:

If they don’t [i.e., if Christians do not begin carefully reading their Bibles], Scripture will die a slow but steady death, online and beyond, with Christianity as a whole not far behind, eventually completely overtaken by those other, more powerful but deeply problematic languages.

For my part, I suspect the kind of ignorance of Scripture Strawn identifies is not new at all. The difference is that social media makes us much more aware of it.

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