“Knowing how is more important than simply knowing that.” ~Mary Hess
Indeed. For years I knew that rearing children is hard. Knowing how it is hard is what helps me get through it. It is in the knowing how that I am able to find what is going wrong and try to fix it.
When we only know that, we miss out on the understanding that comes with the process in which something comes into being. More easily, we take something for granted and even more so, we discount the value of it.
Some critics argue it is “the advent of digital technologies that has diluted and made more fragile our religious formation.” They fail to recognize that while one process of religious being is no longer as easily brought into being, another process will evolve- has in fact, already evolved.
Those who eschew public gatherings, who have disdain for the traditional within the Church now have access. They have a way to not only know that, but to know how Christ Loves them. They can see Christian community without the familiar trappings- they can find it in obscure places and they can connect, creating new community.
They would not find this if we did not have this digital technology. They would be stuck only know that there is a God who loves them, but until they know how, the gift is often lost on them in the midst of tradition that turns them away.
For more on how to integrate and consider the impact of digital revolution on religious formation and community, read Engaging Technology in Theological Education, All That We Can’t Leave Behind by Mary Hess, 2005.