Monday, September 04, 2006

Lord of Technology

I've been thinking about technology over the past several months (more like year) in terms of how the Christian faith impacts and interacts with it. Two articles in the PCA's magazine caught my eye: Technology and Worship and Technology and the Church. I especially recommend the second, and perhaps I will write some thoughts on it in the future.

At present though, I've throught about this as a Christian engineer. Is engineering independent of my faith? I mean, concrete crushes under a certain amount of pressure, whether you're a Christian or athiest. Looking at my work, is Work Action Analysis a morally neutral systems modeling tool?

My rudimentary thoughts on this have been profoundly impacted by one book I read a while back:

Responsible Technology, edited by Stephen Monsma (Yes, I'm an Amazon Associate)

I'll (hopefully) be writing about the first few chapters of this book and how it has shaped my thinking. Honestly, this book has changed my thinking more than any other I have read in several years. It is written by six authors and edited by one of them. They examine the issue from a Reformed perspective, and are very influenced by the thinking of Abraham Kuyper (of whom I am relatively ignorant).

First, a few notes from the preface. The authors claim that while technology is a crucial part of our lives, Christians pay little attention to it. For my part, I think we Christians look at it either as a neutral tool or in terms of the bad things it can bring into our lives (bad movies, the Internet, etc.). The authors' also claim that "doing technology" is not a neutral activity - rather it involves assigning values to different aspects of technology and is therefore moral. My conclusion is that engineering is therefore an essentially moral activity. Having finished the book, I agree with their claim. The authors also claim
"that technology, as one form of human cultural activity, must be done under the Lordship of Jesus Christ" (p. ix)

That is a bold claim, and I believe they back it up in the rest of the book. Come back in a few days and hopefully I will post more.

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