NICK EICHER, HOST: Coming up next, an excerpt from Listening In. This week, a conversation with author David Eaton. He speaks to thousands of students face-to-face every year about popular culture and Christian worldview.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: In this excerpt of his conversation with Warren Smith, Eaton helps parents start informed conversations with their children about important topics.
WARREN SMITH, REPORTER: When you go into a Christian high school or secular high school, what are you telling them? You’re not telling them: “Cellphones bad. Pornography bad. Don’t do it, just say no!”
DAVID EATON: We want them to say that. So it’s kinda like Inception. We’re trying to plant these great ideas in their mind. We don’t want to just start off by saying: “bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, shame, shame, shame, terrible, terrible, terrible.” Instead we want to say: “Hey, let’s start off and say, how is this very good?”
I mean, Warren, it’s easy for people to say that technology is neutral. And actually Axis said that in our early days. There were some great quotes that we read off about how technology is not good or bad, it’s just powerful. And it’s kind of like this idea of a neutral force.
SMITH: It’s just a tool. You can use it for good or you can use it for evil.
EATON: Right. You know, and it’s, it’s cool. People say: “Oh, you have a brick. You can throw it through a window or you can build a hospital with it.” But we want to say: “There is an innate goodness to the brick. There is an innate goodness to the pencil. There’s an innate goodness to a tree or to a smartphone” because we believe that God made the world very good. So good that he actually on the seventh day, he rested in the world that he created. He said it was very good. And then he rests in it, which is a temple text. So God lives on the planet that he created. He lives in the world that he created. And then, um, and then you have the curse that comes after that.
And so instead of saying it’s not good or bad, we say it is very good and then it is very cursed. So this idea of loss. So I think if you have kids or grandkids who are on their glowing pocket rectangles all the time, these incredible phones start off with a sense of wonder. Don’t be the bad guy who’s always complaining or whining about it. Start off by saying what’s good and affirmative. And then, once you’ve established this way of thinking of it in a, in a beautiful, good way, then say, what have we lost? What are we missing out on this?
REICHARD: That’s David Eaton talking to Warren Smith. To hear their complete conversation, look for Listening In wherever you get your podcasts.