How Computer Nerds Describe God
You are currently writing a new book, what is it about?
A major theme is that technology is not some lesser evil that we just have to put up with, nor is it a neutral tool that can be used for good or bad. Instead, I suggest that technology is actually a divine phenomenon that is a reflection of God.
Technology expands life's possibilities. It also brings other views of God. I think that the human intellect alone simply can't come close to apprehending God. It will require all the intellects in the universe, including any artificial intellects we make, if we are to approach even the slightest glimmer of who God is.
The reason why we want more technology is that every individual human has a certain God-given set of talents that require things like technology in order to be expressed.
Imagine Beethoven being born 2,000 years ago when there was no orchestra or piano. What a loss that would have been. He of course would have made the best music he could have with whatever he found, but we would not have the glorious work that he did. Same with George Lucas and film.
There are people born today that will never really be able to develop their full set of talents God has given them because technology does not exist yet. We have a moral obligation to increase the amount of technology in the world.
What can computer nerds or sci-fi writers teach theologians about God?
One of the great things about C. S. Lewis was that he was both. That is one of his strengths and why people are attracted to his work. He was basically a science-fiction theologian.
Someone once said that Earth is either the only intelligent life in the universe or it is just one of millions. Either statement is an astounding, amazing fact. Let's say the second is correct and there are a lot of other civilizations all around the universe. The question is, do they have a Jesus?
That's a question most theologians are not addressing. But it is certainly the kind of question science-fiction writers will address. I think by addressing it, they quickly come to grappling some pretty interesting and powerful things. I think science fiction can get you to that point a lot sooner than traditional theology studies.
Todd Hertz is assistant online editor for Christianity Today.
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