WeeklyTech #38

What does the Bible say about technology?

Technology is a tool that helps us live out our God-given callings. This is one of the most important things for us to learn as we engage the topic of technology and artificial intelligence. Because we often see the tremendous power that technology has over our lives, we are tempted to treat technology as more than a tool, as something with a value similar to our own if it is powerful enough or does enough work on its own. Technology will be misused and abused by broken people just like you and me.

Nowhere in Scripture is a tool or a technology condemned for being evil. Scripture shows that technology and tools can be used for both good and evil. Even if a tool was designed for evil, the tool itself isn’t evil. What is sinful isn’t the sword but how people choose to use it. It can be used for righteous purposes like standing up for justice against those who are evil, but it can also be used to hurt or kill the innocent. While the technology isn’t moral in that sense, it does carry with it the effects of sin and brokenness. Technology is not morally neutral, because it influences and changes us each time we use it.

Technology expands what is possible for humans to do. It can be best thought of as a catalyst or an accelerant for change because it opens new opportunities for humans to live in this world. Broken, sinful, and evil humans are the ones given the abilities to create these tools and the ones who can choose how we use them. Paul reminds us that each of us has fallen short and needs to repent (Rom. 3:23). The world itself did not sin. Our tools did not rebel. We did.

Interesting technology stories

Facebook introduces new livestreaming features as demand skyrocketsEngadget

Facebook is working on new features that make it easier for people to access live streams — even if they don’t have a Facebook account — as it tries to meet the rise in demand for live video.

As Coronavirus Surveillance Escalates, Personal Privacy PlummetsThe New York Times

Tracking entire populations to combat the pandemic now could open the doors to more invasive forms of government snooping later.

D.C. start-up Collective Liberty uses technology and data to help police stop human traffickingThe Washington Post

Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, Collective Liberty’s systems find connections among people, bank accounts and past prosecutions, building rough sketches of criminal networks involved in trafficking.

YouTube Slashes Video Quality to Save BandwidthWired

Tech companies are aiming to prevent internet congestion during the  Covid-19 pandemic by limiting bandwidth for applications like consumer video and game downloads.

Should We Take Communion Virtually?For the Church

The nature of the Lord’s Supper is a covenant meal of covenant renewal, realities which virtual communion fail to signify appropriately.