Saturday, 11 November 2017

A.I. God and religion in the works...

 In the age of ultra technology, humanity still prefers to create our own gods rather than worship the God who created us.  Here's an article about a former Google engineer who is developing an artificial intelligence god and religion.

Isaiah 44:9-20 is about a man who goes into the forest, cuts down a tree, uses some of it for firewood to cook dinner and keep warm, and carves part of it into an idol to bow down to and worship, praying to it and asking it for deliverance.  How is that different from a man who makes a microchip and microprocessor, a tiny camera and touch-screen, a voice recognition device, and a wireless connection to the world wide web, and with part of this he fashions a smart phone which he uses to email, text, trade stocks and watch YouTube, and with part of it he fashions a god, prays to it, and hopes it will deliver him?

                                                        (Above image is from the final sequence of 2001 A Space Odyssey)

Monday, 6 November 2017

The Suffering Sovereign and Sutherland Springs

Tonight, before bed, our family prayed for the families affected by the mass murder in a church at Sutherland Springs, Texas, yesterday.  What do you tell your children when something like this happens (or the running down of people in NYC the other day)...when they ask the 'why' questions, or when they express fear that this might happen again, or in our church or neighbourhood?  Pious platitudes or mini-theology lectures will likely ring hollow in the imaginations of children, who have a huge capacity for putting themselves in another's situation.  Plus, it is not bare truth that questioning children need, or questioning adults for that matter, so hard on the heels of an event like this.  It is something more existential, more experiential, more relational that they, and we, need.  They don't need to be reminded of the nature of the sovereignty of God so much as the nature of the God who is sovereign.  I think it might be best to simply remind them that our hope, and the only real hope for a sinful and broken world, is in Jesus Christ, the 'suffering sovereign.' 

John Piper reminds us of what kind of saviour we have placed our hope in here.  I pray that those in Sutherland Springs experience Jesus' presence among them right now. 

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Creator and Redeemer

“Indeed, we shall not say that, properly speaking, God is known where there is no religion or piety…. In this ruin of mankind no one now experiences God either as Father or as Author of salvation, or favourable in any way, until Christ the Mediator comes forward to reconcile him to us.  Nevertheless, it is one thing to feel that God as our Maker supports us by his power, governs us by his providence, nourishes us by his goodness, and attends us with all sorts of blessings—and another thing to embrace the grace of reconciliation offered to us in Christ.  First, as much in the fashioning of the universe as in the general teaching of Scripture the Lord shows himself to be simply the Creator. Then in the face of Christ [cf. II Cor. 4:6] he shows himself the Redeemer.” 

                - John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, I.ii.1