In our October issue cover story, “AI Will Shape Your Soul,” I wrote about how generative artificial-intelligence advances—especially chatbots—force us to think deeply about personhood and what it means to “love thy neighbor.” For some readers, this exploration of how robot interactions will shape our human souls was “timely and thought-provoking.” Others wanted more critical analysis—not just of our engagement with AI bots but of how those bots are created in the first place.
“Many of us are concerned that companies pushing this technology are ignoring their ethical obligations to develop their programs without violating privacy and copyright,” wrote Sam George in Mundelein, Illinois. “By talking about this technology as inevitable and only addressing the most fanciful objections around AI, Christians can fail to pursue justice in the short, realistic term.”
I agree: There are many more pressing ethical questions around AI than my article could address, and I’m grateful CT will continue the discussion in the months ahead. If you’d like to read more now, check out an op-ed by Kaitlyn Schiess arguing that AI fuels a much older desire to see the Bible as data points. And our own art director Jared Boggess proposes a theology of art-making that prioritizes humanity’s reflection of its creator.
senior editor, audience engagement
In the academic realm, teaching—like pastoral care—generally requires human interaction that cannot be automated. The cost of human interaction has risen so rapidly because it cannot be automated. Think of the innovation of online teaching. One professor can lecture to the entire universe of students and automate testing so that teaching assistants can be kept to a minimum. What if every church were a megachurch—how many people would actually get pastoral care from the pastor? I do not fear AI, but I see where the game of musical chairs created by it could lower living standards for the majority of people. The alienation created makes it imperative that the church continue to be the church.
Stephen W. Hiemstra
I very much appreciated the article by Adam MacInnis. I wish all “Christian” and “Holy Land” tour planners and leaders would read the article and take it seriously. We miss a great opportunity if we do not connect to our Palestinian brothers and sisters, get to know them, and hear their stories. Visiting Bethlehem Bible College might be a good place to start.
I began reading Christianity Today back in 1963, and this is my first letter to the editor. I am passionate about Christian higher education. I am grateful for the recent article on Alliance University/Nyack and The King’s College. As senior class president of Nyack (’67) and former pastor to president Rajan Mathews, I too mourn this loss. A personal loss, but a greater loss to the urban population and this next generation. I do hope that going forward, CT can “strengthen what remains.”
Jen Wilkin’s opening caught my attention, and I hope the attention of many, as she described an unpaid man working full time for a church. Then she said, “Except he’s not a he—but a she.” It reminded me of John Grisham’s closing in A Time to Kill. The jury couldn’t see the injustice done to a little black girl who’d been brutally raped and left to die. “Now imagine she’s white.” Suddenly they saw. May it be.
Moore vaguely hints that spiritual warfare is an internal affair, not an external battle. But his timid dancing around the question is unfortunate because many readers will miss this essential point. If the kingdom of God lies within, then its critical battles must also take place within.
I am a witness to the goodness of God in Hector’s life and my own. He and I traveled parts of this journey together, and God has indeed been merciful and his resurrection power is evident in our lives. Reading this brought tears to my eyes because I know the challenge it takes to watch God move. It’s like Hector said: You must submit, and many times God uses prison to prepare many of his best servants. Love you, Hec. Keep going. Grateful to God for you and proud of you every day.
Behind the Scenes: New York City
I’ve lived in New York City for 11 years. I’ve met a lot of graduates of The King’s College and Nyack, both of which closed this year. Journalism students from both schools have worked with me as interns and freelancers over the years. In my story, I mention pastor Gil Monrose, a Nyack graduate I met in the course of reporting on crime in Brooklyn. We were at the site of a shooting where a man had been killed. There on the street, he prayed with family members of the victim. The loss of such graduates in a city like New York is intangible, but I know we in the city will feel it for years to come.
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