Computer Sciences

Christians in a .com World Gene Vieth & Chris Stamper (Crossway) A very readable history of computers from an overtly Christian worldview. Happily shows the good things about the internet as well as warning about profound dangers. Asks Christians to be "salt and light" in the arena of cyberspace, using it for cultural reformation. Basic, but quite nice.

Technopoly:The Surrender of Culture to Technology Neil Postman (Vintage) Truly a wise book, this Jewish scholar has given us a vision of resisting turning everything into technique, reducing culture to a technocracy. One very good chapter on computers, although the whole book is worth pondering.

Machine Beauty: Elegance and the Heart of Technology David Gelernter (Basic) Although not overtly Christian, the effort of this author--to integrate aesthetic values such an beauty with computer design projects--is one with which a Biblical worldview would agree. Very nicely done

Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway Clifford Stoll (Anchor) Anyone involved in the field should consider Stoll's warnings. Not overtly Christian, God may be using this voice to warn against hubris and technological pride.

The War of the Worlds: Cyberspace and the High-tech Assault on Reality Mark Slouka (Basic Books) Like the above title, this non-Christian author has given us a polemic that is incredible to read, a powerful argument against the idolatry of and dangers of the field. Not to be missed nor ignored.

The Invisible Computer Donald Norman (The MIT Press) The subtitle almost says it all: Why Good Products Can Fail, the Personal Computer is So Complex, and Information Appliances Are the Solution. Norman has been a key person in some of the most significant places in computer design, and has written a clear book about innovations that are needed, even in the way computer schools teach, making the case for a "human centered" approach. Like the designs he calls for, this book is simple, clear, useful and fun. Christians wanting to make a difference will want to follow some of his suggestions and promote helpful innovations in design and usage.

Virtual Morality: Christian Ethics in the Computer Age Graham Houston (Apollos) We import this from England as it is one of the more significant, serious books in the field. How do the issues raised by computer technology in a postmodern world impact our views of truth and morality? Seeking God in Cyberspace Joshua Hammerman (Simcha Press) This Jewish rabbi has given us a fascinating narrative of his surfing the web for religious insights. Not about a religious view of computers, but an example of how some are using the net to redefine traditional religious views.

The Talmud & The Internet: A Journey Between Worlds Jonathan Rosen (Farrar,Straus) An exquisitely written and profound exploration of the way cyberspace effects our perception of texts and how reading, even sacred reading, is altered by the computer. Fans of the internet should ponder this long and hard.