In Pastoral and Spiritual Care in a Digital Age: The Future is Now, Bingaman challenges ministers, theologians, teachers, students, and congregants to stop and take stock of the significant technological changes that are happening today and that will continue to take place in the future. He implores readers to take an even-handed approach in understanding these new technololiges, assessing the opportunities and dangers. More importantly, he offiers ideas about how we can maintain and enhance our attentional depth as we struggle with the questions and engage in compassionate conversations with persons from scientific disciplines. This book is the first step toward having these conversations, which means much more work ahead of us.— Pastoral Psychology
How do I overcome my FOMO? My Fear of Missing Out when drowning in the flood of social media, texting, robotics, and artificial intelligence? Kirk Bingaman answers: pause to meditate, contemplate, and rewire the brain. This is soul-saving advice!— Ted Peters, co-editor of Theology and Science
Bingaman compellingly argues for contemplative spiritual practices as a primary strategy for evolving with the digital age—spiritually, cognitively, and communally. He argues convincingly that contemplative practices in a digital age will preserve and extend what is most precious about our humanity—our capacity for attentional depth that fosters relational and compassionate awareness. Religious leaders and spiritual caregivers have distinctive resources in their traditions’ contemplative spiritual practices for helping themselves and the people in their care experience spiritual wholeness rather than fragmentation in the digital age.— Carrie Doehring, Iliff School of Theology
Kirk Bingaman has written an important book because technology is here to stay. Computer technology extends nature into new forms of information and we have yet to understand the impact of informational flow on our spiritual lives. How do we prioritize our lives in a techno-driven age? How do we prevent brain fatigue and information burn-out when we are completely dependent on our devices? Bingaman shows that pastoral care must now include techno-spiritual care and he offers sound advice based on the wisdom of the past: slow down, focus and be attentive to the inner presence of God. This book opens a novel window on caring for the technological person and offers valuable insights that can help to navigate spirituality in the 21st century.
— Ilia Delio
Kirk Bingaman has provided us with a helpful introduction to the sobering impact of digital technologies upon human functioning, and his numerous citations of authorities in this field of inquiry are promising for people doing research in this area.... [H]is theological stance accepts technology rather than offering resistance or resignation. He insists we must take modern science seriously as revelatory of a living God and that we can see evolution as the way God delights in creating anew... [and] is antidote for the deleterious effects of digital impingement upon human neurology and interpersonal functioning is mindfulness-based meditation. He calls for pastoral care and counseling to incorporate these techniques and practices.... Bingaman is commended for this thoughtful book that is most valuable for the problems it introduces, for the questions and debate it provokes, for the introduction of mindfulness-contemplative practices, and for the articulation of a creative and constructive pastoral theology that is integrated with practices of his own religious tradition.
— David M. Franzen; Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling , 73/4 (2019)
Kirk Bingaman has entered an arena where few pastoral theologians have feared to tread. And yet pastoral theologians and practitioners who work intimately with suffering persons are in a unique position to make critical assessments of the risks and potentials and provide guidance oriented toward healing and wholeness.... Bingaman’s theological claims serve to decenter human beings, and particularly embodied beings, from any pretense of ultimate status in the universe. He rejects a “biocentric” view of our humanity, though he is not willing to replace our embodied existence with the abstract platform of transhumanism. His offer of contemplative meditation in fact draws human beings more deeply into an awareness of their own physical bodies; not simply breath and heartbeat, but movement and emotion.... Like any important book, the value of this volume lies as much in the questions it raises as in the answers it proposes. What, for instance, might human existence look like if technology passes the “tipping point” and machine intelligence makes our major decisions? Will our existence be dictated by disembodied machines, or by the programmers who develop the technologies? Whose interests will be served? What kind of moral frame, if any, might digital devices utilize?... Bingaman [here] offers an important and provocative foray into a most significant area of human evolution, and at a deeply critical time. It is hoped that more pastoral theologians will follow.
— David Hogue, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary; Journal of Pastoral Theology, 30/1 (2020)