A Christian On The World Is Flat, T.L. Friedman


Book Critique of Thomas L. Friedman, The World Is Flat: A Brief History Of The Twenty-First Century. New York City: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux. 2006. pg. 600.


“I think the world is flat” (5). “Three great eras of globalization,” the need to keep up to the edge with the ever-changing entire world, and other facts of the nature of the global relating as an historically unprecedented closeness, or relating “seamlessly,” through technology-created & technology-provided “sourcing” has created a current world, which may be defined as “flat” in shape with regard to the abilities of relating afforded to its inhabitants (9, 14-15, 18, 79). Friedman offers a “framework” of understanding, historical and technological, to approach and thrive within the “flat world” (49).


As a businessman, this [“flat world”] has incredible implications: a Western restaurant in an Eastern city of a Third-World country needs Western clients, and the restaurant profits from the essential ability to inform internationally about the restaurant afforded by today’s technology. As a cross-culturalist, this implies a great deal of commonality to be had between cultures as information is now available in mass. As a Christian, the current situation of the reality of “globalization,” or a global accessibility, is very telling as a witness of the nature of man and the nature of the creation of man, as in accordance with the Genesis account from the Bible, Genesis 1 & 2 (50).


As relational beings, in that relationality is part of the imago dei, “image of God,” communication as part of relating is a priority and responsibility of man in accordance with the command to be fruitful and multiply, to relate together glorifying God the Creator, and this communication priority asserts a priority of technology in the field, which is also a derivative of the imago dei, man’s intellect.


So the “flat-world platform” as an import to the world is a reflection of the nature of man (10). Also, it is a tool, an instrument, for a best purpose [a purpose attempting to attain a best goal/end by the best means] in regard to any purpose of man. This includes the purpose purported by this book’s thesis: the challenge is to not get stuck in the past and left behind but to “absorb these changes” in a way that will be “to our maximum benefit” (11, 49). Christians should take heed to the import of technology and its affects upon the world.


The “flattening” of the world should be seen as a unique platform for engaging the world with the Truth, with the Gospel, with the love of the one Holy God who sent his son Jesus to live a perfect life, die an innocent death of sacrifice, be raised after three days with new life, all as a way of redeeming a lost and lonely world dying in its own sins and evils, in desperate need of its Creator and Savior.


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