Recently a Christian writer was critiquing the communication in current media and computer arenas. He stated that since much of the communication did not take the form of logical, linear thought, that truth could not be communicated. I disagree. Though the importance of truth cannot be denied, there are many ways to communicate it. Consider this passage:
Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." Rev 4:6-8
Picture that image in your mind for a moment. If you’ve ever played or seen some of the images in the current computer games this one would fit right in. But though the imaginative, games form of the image would fit, its message is far different than most fantastic video games. It isn’t about blood and destruction, it’s about worshipping God.
Linear, logical arguments are one way to communicate—but look at the book of Revelation, as the passage above illustrates and many of the visions of the prophets in the Old Testament (Ezekiel, Daniel). They’d hardly qualify as linear, logical communication. I don't think we could fault God for his communication style in them.
We share different teachings in different ways. The lists in Numbers are one form; extravagent, imaginative images fill prophetic passages. God did not limit his communication to us in one form and it doesn't make much sense to try to limit how we share the gospel message to one form.
As I reread some of the passages in preparing to write this article I found myself wondering—wouldn’t they be great illustrated on a computer screen? Sometimes I think we’d understand prophecy so much better if we could see it as the writers did.
If the Apostle John and the Prophet Ezekiel were around today, they would probably feel right at home with 3-D computer modeling and virtual reality to communicate their messages.
Instead of limiting the ways God can use us to communicate, let’s encourage those imaginative with computer tools today to use every means possible to reach our generation for Jesus. Linear, logical word-based communication is one valid and still useful method to communicate truth, but with the tools we have today, it is only one tool in the palette of ways we can share the eternal message of salvation.