Russell and Duenes

Technology Changes Nothing That Is Fundamental To Human Existence

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In his sermon, God Glorified in Man’s Dependence, Jonathan Edwards writes:

The redeemed have all their objective good in God. God himself is the great good which they are brought to the possession and enjoyment of by redemption. he is the highest good, and the sum of all that good which Christ purchased. God is the inheritance of the saints; he is the portion of their souls. God is their wealth and treasure, their food, their life, their dwelling place, their ornament and diadem, and their everlasting honour and glory . . . The redeemed will indeed enjoy other things; they will enjoy angles, and will enjoy one another; but that which they shall enjoy in angels, or each other, or in any thing else whatsoever that will yield them delight and happiness, will be what shall be seen of God in them.

This is vintage Edwards, and it lays bare all of my religiosity for what it is: useless chaff blown away by the wind. If I read the Bible, have “quiet times,” offer up flare prayers, talk a lot about God, go to church, act moral and attend Sunday School, it’s all for naught if the Triune God, and true communion with Him and enjoyment of Him, is not my aim and pursuit. Something stirs in redeemed people when they contemplate and worship the God of Jonathan Edwards.

The modern technological advances that we enjoy are a cause for praising and thanking God. God has been good to us in gracing people with the know-how and creative ability to devise so many things we enjoy, which include but are not limited to: Antibiotics, Refrigeration, Indoor plumbing, air conditioning, vaccinations, computers, phones, airplanes, movies, mechanical farming, telescopes and microscopes, MRI machines, ultrasound, washers and dryers, genetic crossbreeding of food (think: Norman Borlaug), stereo systems, grocery stores, cameras, and much more which we cannot even begin to imagine living without. The Scripture says that “everything God created is good and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.” (1 Tim.4:4)

Yet, no technology and nothing about technology changes anything that is fundamental to human existence. That is, God created us; we have rebelled against him by preferring other things instead of him; the penalty for this rebellion is bondage to sin, death, and hell; Christ came to set sinners free from the power of sin and death, and he alone can do this; and we come to know and experience eternal life by giving the controls of our life (and our technology) over to Christ. No technology can nullify, circumvent, change, overrule, or alter any of these facts about human existence, as much as we try. This is most important. Jesus said, “Humans…live upon every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Hebrews says we are to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.”

Further, we must beware of the over-promises that come with technology. Our culture tells us that technology will change the fundamental nature of what it means to be human, will give us a way to get around the problems we face, will make our lives better in every way. Technology promises to fulfill us, satisfy our heart’s desires, and give us more efficient, trouble-free lives. But the realities remain the same. There’s no getting away from ourselves. The apostle John tells us: “Do not love the world, neither the things in the world; for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life, is not of the Father but of the world. Now the world is passing away, and also its desires, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

God is very generous, as we see in Genesis 1:28-29, with His providence for Adam and Eve. God richly prospered Abraham, Joseph, David and Solomon. God told His people that they were to “eat the tithe” of their produce and livestock. God gave a good land, “flowing with milk and honey,” to His people. Jesus told us to “seek first His kingdom,” and all other good things would be added to us. Jesus also said: “How much more will your Heavenly Father give good things to those who ask Him?” Paul writes: “My God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19). We also have a God “who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1 Tim. 6).

-D

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Written by Michael Duenes

March 16, 2015 at 7:17 pm

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