Technology, Orthodoxy, and Parenting

A Five Part Video Seminar & Blog Series

We live increasingly technologized lives. We are supposed to live increasingly godly lives! How can we do both? This series of videos and blogs seeks to challenge your understanding of and relationship with technology. We hope you will leave equipped with theoretical and practical strategies you can immediately deploy to refocus your technological life. Orthodox parents will find this content helpful to take better control of the use of technology in their homes and the impact it has on the lives of their children.

This content is designed to either be read in blog format, watched as a video, or the videos listened to as if they were podcasts.

Session 1: Towards an Orthodox Understanding of Technology – (below on this page)

Session 2: Technology in Your Life and Home – Take Back Control

Session 3: Understanding Social Media – An Orthodox Perspective

Session 4: The Triumph of Orthodoxy in the Digital Age – Icons & Virtual Reality

Session 5:  Orthodoxy, Technology, & Parenting – Ask Me Anything w/ Fr. Tim Sas

Towards an Orthodox Understanding of Technology


The Encyclopedia Britannica online edition defines technology as the product of the application of knowledge to achieve practical goals in a reproducible way especially in the changing and manipulation of the human environment. 

By this definition, we spend most of our time absolutely surrounded by technology. Most of this technology is in fact purely useful: houses, roads, cars, tools.

In this series of blogs we will seek to understand and control the influence that the most powerful technologies have on our lives, namely internet enabled devices with screens. These devices have a disproportionate impact on our psyche and as a result, we must understand how they shape our spiritual lives. This technology should enhance our life in Christ, not hinder it.

Technology in the Bible

Technology itself does not play a prominent role in the Bible, but if we look closely, we can find an emphasis on technology in an unlikely place – the book of Genesis.

But before we dig in, there are two important foundational concepts we must first understand, upon which we will build our understanding of technology.

The Nature of Matter

In Genesis chapter 1, God created everything out of nothing and sees that it is good. God is the treasury of good things (Creed) and therefore only creates goodness. 

We as humans take the matter that is created by God and synthesize it into new things, namely technology. Here we have an abstraction in which matter is no longer inherently good, but neutral. St. Gregory Palamas has some insight for us here in his work The Triads:

“Matter is not evil, but it is the potentiality of both good and evil. . . We must not despise matter, for it is the creation of God. However, we must also not become attached to it, for it is subject to corruption.”

Thus, many Orthodox Christians understand technology this way: it is a tool, neutral, and can be used for good or for evil.

There is one more critical concept to understand as Orthodox Christians, we believe that matter matters.

We are not to forsake this world. To believe that matter is evil is actually an ancient heresy, generally called dualism but famously touted by the Manichaeans in the 300s AD.

If we are ever to doubt this we must only look so far as the incarnation. Even though God is spirit, His chosen strategy to save the world was not purely spiritual. It was physical. Jesus Christ was fully man and fully God. We are to be constantly reminded of the place of matter in our salvation in the Life of the Church, namely through the sacraments. Every Liturgy we participate in the sanctification of matter in the Eucharist. Baptism, Chrismation, and Holy Unction are also examples wherein the life of the Church reminds us that matter plays a crucial role in our salvation.

The Ark and the Tower

Two glaring examples of technology from the book of Genesis can be found between the 6th and 11th chapters.

In Genesis chapter 6 we have an interesting moment in human history – God not only commands man to create technology, but he gives him directions on exactly how it is to be fashioned and how it should be used

This famous piece of technology, the ark, was a vessel of our salvation, made by the hands of man on behalf of God, out of love and piety. 

Now let us contrast the ark with the other famous example of technology from Genesis, the Tower of Babel. 

Illustration by Nicolás Ortega, for the Atlantic, 2022, from Coenraet Decker, 1679.

In Genesis chapter 11 the people say: “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves.” They sought to elevate themselves, through their use of technology, to the level of gods. They were united in their desire to build greatness for themselves.

In a classic example of the Mandela effect, Genesis tells us nothing about God toppling the tower, despite popular belief. Instead, He confuses their language, and unable to communicate, they stop building the city and are scattered across the earth.

Here we see a sort of antithesis to Noah’s Ark. Man in his arrogance, builds something to set himself equal to God. God intervenes to thwart his plans and humble him. Oddly, God does not destroy the technology itself. The tower is left standing. But He confuses the people, so they can no longer use their building technology for their own idolatrous purposes.

The Line of Cain

Remember Cain? The first murderer? What ever happened to that guy?

Here is an excerpt from Genesis chapter 4, with emphasis added:

“So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch . . .

Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron.”

After committing murder, Cain and his family are exiled by God into the land of Nod (nod is the root of the Hebrew verb “to wander”). What did these people, living out of the presence of God, living a life of spiritual wandering, do? They were technologists! It was these people who developed economy, tools, instruments, and metallurgy.

If we are to look forward in Genesis, the full ark of this story (pun intended) is that it culminates in God seeing the world as beyond salvation. It would later be cleansed by the flood and humanity saved in the ark.

All of the technologies developed by Cain’s family are not bad in and of themselves, but their use out of the presence of God leads civilization to spiritual ruin.

A Choice to Make 

We have a choice to make. A choice we must make not only once, but every time we interact with our devices.

Is this computer, phone, tablet, or TV an ark? Or is it a tower?

Am I acting like Noah? Surrounding myself with technology that can be used for my salvation and the salvation of my family?

Or do I find myself  in the line of Cain? Developing and using technology outside of the presence of God?

Let us build arks! 

And if we desire to raise ourselves up to the heavens, instead of building a tower, we should climb the ladder.

Jump to another session:

Session 1: – Current –Towards an Orthodox Understanding of Technology

Session 2: Technology in Your Life and Home – Take Back Control

Session 3: Understanding Social Media – An Orthodox Perspective

Session 4: The Triumph of Orthodoxy in the Digital Age – Icons & Virtual Reality

Session 5:  Orthodoxy, Technology, & Parenting – Ask Me Anything w/ Fr. Tim Sas

Note from the Author:

 Hello! I’m Cooper Buss. A layman having (at the time of writing this) just completed my first year of a Master’s of Theology at the Antiochian House of Studies and a parishioner at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis.

Thinking about and studying technology from an Orthodox perspective is a passion of mine and the focus of my studies. I hope to create much more content of this type as time goes on. If you have any ideas, questions, or comments, please email me at ! I’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime – PLEASE share this content wherever you see fit and wherever you believe God could work some good through it.