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.