University of Pittsburgh
Western societies expect technological solutions for increasingly difficult and expansive problems. Some of the problems arise from natural causes, but others are consequences of technology itself; and solutions can create ethical dilemmas as complex as the problems we are attempting to resolve. Some malevolent applications may be averted; but unintended consequences may not be recognized before the associated technologies are irreversibly disseminated into culture. Technotopians believe technology can lead to utopia; but for postmoderns technology contains the seeds of destruction. From a biblical perspective technology has multiplied our ability to respond to respond to the biblical mandates—first the culture mandate and later worship, stewardship, community, ministry, and mission. But the Church needs to learn how to live in a culture where ubiquitous technology can hinder our pursuit of God. We must learn to critique both technology and culture from a biblical perspective. The attempt to forecast emergent properties and manage the pace of technology insertion is called technology assessment (TA). Biblical TA would help us discern the “arrow” of technological progress and develop means to steer that progress toward the biblical norms of spiritual, social-cultural, aesthetic, and environmental sustainability.
Washington State University
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