I’m a native southern Californian, so of course I’ve tried it. But it just didn’t work out for me. Happily, my kids seem to enjoy it. But actually we all surf everyday—in fact, often for hours a day. It has become a habit for us to Google and then just scan things briefly to get the gist. We have access to gazillions of resources and just hardly know where even to begin.
It’s overwhelming sometimes.
Contrast this surfing with the monk’s deep-sea diving. They had more books than anyone else did, but still that might have been 30 or 100. Books were of course very hard to make before printing. So in both of these contrasting cases, technology made a big difference. Our habits change when technology changes.
So the monk didn’t have access to the World Wide Web. However, the monk was more likely to have not only read but digested and even committed to memory much if not all of every volume he read.
We’re never going to be the monk again and that’s fine. We also have nova cane and indoor plumbing, so there. But we need to find a happy medium if we’re going to get beyond information and discover wisdom or fly to worlds unknown through someone else’s brilliant imagination.
To find the pearls, we have to dive.
Michael Horton is the J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics. He also hosts the White Horse Inn and editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation magazine. He has written many books, including The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way and Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples.