Tuesday, August 24, 2004

George C Marshall, the Internet, Technological Innovation and the Future of Theological Discourse

Earlier in posts both here and here about the degree to which online discourse will modify (while not completely revolutionalizing) theological discourse I mentioned George C Marshall and his views on military technological advancement and the execution of war. I found the exact quote and thought I'd post it.

Ed Cray, in his wonderful biography of George C Marshall - General of the Army - writes:

In a speech on March 2, 1939, he detailed a long list of military innovations that supposedly would dominate the battlefields of history: chariots, then elephants, the mounted hordes of Genghis Khan, armored knights, artillery, tanks, and now the airplane. ‘But in all these struggles, as the smoke cleared away, it was the man with the sword, or the crossbow, or the rifle who settled the final issue on the field.’

In other words, Marshall understood that these advances definitely affected how wars are fought but eschewed triumphalism about any specific development (the quote above was in the context of Marshall's fighting against the notion that airplanes alone would defeat the Axis).

Similarly, I believe it's most helpful if we strike the balance between appreciating what can happen online for God's kingdom and believing that the online world is a wholesale revolution.

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