Some people love new technologies and can’t wait to get their hands on the latest new gadget or gizmo. I am not one of them, but I appreciate their enthusiasm. When I think about all the new technologies that are currently being developed, I grow a little concerned and a little worn out. I believe we were made for a slower pace of life—a calmer, quieter, simpler, and more settled life in a community of people with whom we work, worship, and communicate, primarily face-to-face. I think that we are often at our best when we maintain routines and establish boundaries that allow us to devote ourselves to the priorities that God has established for us.
Technology, in one form or another, is inevitable. It is a tool, and tools can help us work more efficiently and effectively. Yet it is crucial that we use technology without letting it use us. We know that in this brave new world, people often allow themselves to be dominated and distracted by their devices. The developers of new technologies have often created them without any regard for the ethics that our Creator has established for man made in His image. Nevertheless, this does not make new technologies evil in themselves. The church has always made use of certain technologies for the spread the gospel, including new modes of transportation, the printing press, radio, the internet, and so on.
As we strive to take dominion over all that God has entrusted to us, we must be good stewards of His creation. Thus, we must be disciplined in discerning which technologies to use and how frequently to use them without allowing ourselves to become subservient to them. This question of the proper use of technology is perennial, but in our day it has particular relevance to ongoing advances in artificial intelligence (AI). As a demonstration of the capabilities of this new technology, this issue of Tabletalk features art that we created in house using an AI art generator.
Whether or not we love technology or every new technological gadget that appears on the market, the reality is that new technologies are often unavoidable. Therefore, we must wisely apply the principles and ethics of Scripture as we strive to harness technology and carefully discern how, when, and where to use it for the good of our families, the spread of the gospel, the discipleship of the nations, and the glory of God as we worship Him before His face, coram Deo, now and forever.