Resource page: Technology
We live in the digital age, where our lives often revolve around technology. Smartphones and personal computers have revolutionized our work, changed our relationships and even influenced our spiritual lives. Now, on the near horizon, a whole new set of technological advancements through artificial intelligence and virtual reality raise more ethical and moral questions for us to consider
Technology was part of God’s intent
God gave Adam and Eve instructions for their life. They were to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it (Genesis 1:28). When God placed man in the garden, he told him to “work it and watch over it” (Genesis 2:15).
Those commands, given prior to the fall, required the development of technologies. To subdue the whole earth, man would have to create new ways to travel long distances and over large bodies of water. To properly work the garden, man would have to make tools to turn over the soil. Those tasks became harder after the fall, but they required man to be technological creatures from the beginning.
As with everything else, technology was impacted by the fall. What was intended to help us fulfill God’s calling became yet another temptation or tool of disobedience. Humans now faced a choice with each new technology. Will I use this for God’s glory or my own?
Technology and parenting our kids well
Millennials are the first generation to “grow up” with the Internet and personal computers. Those who are young now have never known a world without the iPhone (crazy!). How they learn to interact with these new advancements will matter for them and future generations. How might we train them up to be wise about tech?
> Matt McKee on what parents need to know to keep our kids safe online. Matt is the author of Parent Chat: The Technology Talk for Every Family.
> Dr. Joshua Straub shares parenting and family tips on his website http://www.joshuastraub.com/. Our kids’ identities get established and wrapped up in technology in ways older generations may not automatically understand.
Research indicates that the more time we spend staring at our phones and the less we spend looking at another person, the more we are reducing our capacity to empathize with others.
> Tony Reinke wants us to consider how our technology is not just changing our lives but might be changing us on a spiritual level. He is the author of 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You. In this connected age, what we can find on our phones will never satisfy us the way on God can.
No discussion of technology is complete without addressing this topic. The internet has made porn immediately accessible to anyone with a smartphone. For a long time, many thought porn was victimless, but we know now its devastating consequences.
>Denny Burk, Professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College, discussed how a generation of men has grown up not knowing how to be men anymore. This is a spiritual crisis affecting both men and women and pervasive not just in the culture but also in the pews.
Artificial intelligence and virtual reality
Is every technological advancement good? Just because we can do something, should we?
As Christians, we serve our society by leading these conversations about the “should” questions, rather than just mindlessly adopting the next best thing. People are concerned about AI and human advancement technologies, but without a moral or ethical framework, it will be difficult to evaluate them.
We need to be asking ourselves this simple question: Does the technology promote a Genesis 1:26-28 vision of human flourishing (and by corollary is God-glorifying)?
What will become of man when he renders himself useless through robotics and artificial intelligence? The scenario presented may seem like a sci-fi story, but these realities are knocking on our door.
The Christian worldview answers the question about the meaning of human life with reference to the reality and glory of God. The Westminster catechism’s very first question and answer are: What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.