About

John Dyer

Hi, I’m John Charles Dickey Dyer. My day job is the Dean of Enrollment and Distance Education and adjunct professor of Media Arts and Worship at Dallas Theological Seminary. I also had the privilege of studying theology there and earned my Master of Theology (ThM) degree in 2008. I finished my PhD in sociology of religion at Durham University in 2019.

I have made my living as a coder since around the year 2000, and over time I’ve been able to take on more responsibilities of reflecting carefully on the technology I create and use. This involves teaching seminary students, speaking at conferences, and creating tools like bestcommentaries.com, biblewebapp.com, yallversion.com, worship.ai, and other open source tools used by companies including Apple, WordPress, Microsoft, and the Department of Defense.

I live in the Dallas area with my amazing wife who is a literature and philosophy professor and my two beautiful children, one boy and one girl.

About this Site (originally donteatthefruit.com)

After working in the field of technology and studying theology for several years, I have begun to think that technology may not be all it is seems. On the one hand it expresses the power and beauty of our God-given creativity, but on the other hand it showcases the corruption and decay of our Adam-given sin. Neil Postman, Marshall McLuhan, Murray Jardine, Jaques Ellul, Martin Heidegger, and others have heavily influenced my thinking and I hope to simplify their long, complex thoughts into short digestible blog posts that might be helpful to the community of faith. Since reading them, I have come to appreciate modern sociologists of technology and media studies scholars who have so much to offer in the real world in which we find ourselves.

The title Don’t Eat the Fruit is meant to be a play on “Don’t drink the Kool-Aid” from the Jim Jones cult, a certain amazing computer company, and the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. In the garden and Jones’ cult, the consumers thought that what they were consuming was harmless, and they didn’t know the full effects of what they were doing. Today, we are told by our screens that everything new, fast, and shiny will make our lives better. I suggest that we need to think more deeply about the tools we use. In other words, “Don’t eat the fruit.”

In 2020, I combined DontEatTheFruit.com, where I wrote about technology, and JohnDyer.name, where I kept code samples, into a single site, here at j.hn.

13 thoughts on “About

  1. John, as your mother and a great resistor of the constant barrage of new technologies and my love hate relationship with the computer I am just blown away especially having been a reader of Marshall McLuhan and having received a degree in RadioTVFilm and ahve been a photographer who has had to go through digital depression as I gave up my beloved film, a tangible beautiful piece of celluloid that I could hold and feel with my hands. Now I could not think of going back to film but I still feel nostalgic at just hearing the word. I am so grateful to God to have borne a son who is grappling with all the ramifications of technology as it relates to relationships starting with God across the spectrum to our next door neighbor who now is in Africa. Thank you John for your heart your passion to use your gifts this way. I love you son, Mom

  2. I ran across Proverbs 1:31. I thought maybe it inspired the name of your blog, but I find it didn’t. Maybe it should.

    “Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.”

    I like the KJV for the play on words with “devices.” Reminds me of your coffee making post.

  3. Hi John, I like your blog. My job is with Wycliffe Bible Translators and I found your site because of the review of the new NIV. I am into technology to speed Bible translation!

  4. Since your wife is a professor of literature, I hereby nominate her to edit your website. She should be the one to inform you that privilege does not have a d. Also, she ought to give your mom a quick refresher course on run-on sentences.
    Good luck.

  5. Sad to see that some people have enough time to be hateful and miss the point (the blog police). John the site is awesome and I look forward to it being the blessing in my life you intented it to be.

  6. Love the title! And this is a first to see a blend of Christianity and technology and ignore the blog police, I get them from time to time too. lol

  7. Amazing blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring
    writers? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally confused ..
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  8. Hi John,

    Any plans to update bib.ly to use HTTPS and auto-redirect to the HTTPS version of bib.ly URLs? Better for security, better for SEO (maybe not relevant to a shortener), less prone to interception and injection by ISPs and bad actors, etc.

    Let’s Encrypt / Certbot is free these days for HTTPS certs, depends on how you’re hosting it how hard that is to set up, directions here: https://certbot.eff.org/

    Thanks!
    – Cal

  9. I am a scripture prof. who uses Chrome OS and cannot therefore always rely on tools like BibleWorks. I greatly appreciate having your original language scripture tool always online. In my mind there is little online for serious scholars. Thank you!

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