How artificial intelligence is changing the world and the church. That is the topic we'll discuss today right here on the Christian Worldview Radio Program, where the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. I'm David Wheaton, the host.
In this video ministry, you can connect with us by visiting our website, thechristianworldview.org, calling our toll-free number, 1-888-646-2233, or writing to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. No doubt you've heard about artificial intelligence, also known as AI. Simply put, artificial intelligence is when a computer program designed by humans collects vast amounts of data on a given subject, then sorts through and learns trends from that data far faster than any human mind could, and then makes recommendations or even takes action based on analysis of that data. You likely are already using AI, even if you don't know it. For example, when you go online, AI programs are tracking the websites you visit, the products you research, the content you search for. Once the AI program collects this data about you and compares it with the patterns of others, product ads or content recommendations start appearing on the internet pages you visit, because artificial intelligence has concluded that you want or need something, and so it takes action to meet that want or need.
This is why when you do a search for, let's say, new car tires, all of a sudden ads for car tires start appearing on every website you visit. Of course, there are some positive uses for artificial intelligence. If you were to get cancer, AI can analyze everyone in the world who has the same cancer. If their doctor has inputted the data into a database, it can narrow the field to those around the world with similar biological makeup to you, and then recommend treatments that were successful in others similar to you. No doctor could possibly process all the health data of millions of people and offer such a quick data-based recommendation. So AI is powerful because of its ability to collect, process and learn from vast amounts of data and then provide recommendations or solutions that it deems best.
But best according to whom? What happens when the government or the CIA uses AI to identify those who oppose the leaders and policies of those in power, and then takes away your ability to buy, to sell, to speak or to travel? What happens when the military uses artificial intelligence to conduct war, allowing computer programs instead of commanders on the ground to make decisions? These and countless other scenarios have the potential for leading the world right into authoritarian rule, actually right where scripture states it will go, under the Antichrist. Speaking of the Antichrist, there's a man that we've played audio from on the program previously named Yuval Noah Harari. He's not the Antichrist, but he's certainly anti-Christ.
He's an intellectual, he's a World Economic Forum influencer, he's a best-selling author, he's from Israel, he's also a homosexual, and he says this on Piers Morgan's program about artificial intelligence. How worried should we be about artificial intelligence actually taking control? We should be very worried because what we need to understand about AI, artificial intelligence, it is the first tool that can make decisions by itself. All previous inventions in human history always empowered us. They always gave us more power because the decisions were always made by humans. If you invent a knife, the knife cannot decide whether to use it to cut salad or to murder somebody or to save their life in surgery. If you invent an atom bomb, similarly, the atom bomb cannot decide who to attack and when and where. AI is the first technology that can actually make decisions by itself.
It can make decisions about its own usage and development. Nukes cannot make better nukes, but AI can make better an eye. Also, AI can make and does make decisions about us. Increasingly, when you apply to a bank to get a loan, you apply to get a job, it's an AI making crucial decisions about your life. We haven't seen anything yet. AI is just making its first tiny baby steps.
It's something like 10 years old. To really think about it, think about it as like this is the beginning of organic life four billion years ago. This is the first amoeba crawling out of the organic soup. Can you imagine how Tyrannosaurus Rex would look like or how Homo sapiens would look like and what we'll be able to do?
Well, you get a clear picture into Yuval Noah Harari's worldview in that clip that he thinks there is no God. We descended from a pond of goo and this is how artificial intelligence is. We're in the early stages of development.
And then Piers Morgan asked him the obvious follow up question. How do we save ourselves from the T-Rex of AI? First of all, it can also, of course, be used for good.
And so far we are still in control, but we don't know for how many years. And therefore, we need to first of all understand the capabilities of AI and slow down its deployment to make sure that we use it wisely and safely. You know, the same way that a drug company cannot just release a new medicine to the public without going through a very rigorous safety checks.
It should be the same with AI. How ironic that he would use the example of the pharmaceutical companies not releasing a drug until it has thorough testing. Well, that certainly isn't what took place during the covid pandemic when they released a experimental use vaccine that they had no idea of for the efficacy or the safety for human beings.
Yet it was forced on hundreds of millions of people around the world. Do we really think we, whoever we is that controls artificial intelligence, is going to hold back and have a moral compass that can only be used in good and godly ways? In the hands of the wrong people, AI could be the end of democracy. AI could also be the basis for the worst totalitarian regimes in human history because, you know, dictators always dreamt about following everybody and monitoring everybody all the time. But they could never do it because, you know, even the Soviet Union, you have 200 million Soviet citizens. Stalin didn't have 200 million KGB officers to follow everybody around all the time. And then to analyze all you need millions of analysts to analyze all the data you collect.
Now it is becoming possible. You don't need human agents to follow us around. One thing about Yuval Noah Harari, even though he has a diametrically opposed worldview to the Christian worldview, is that he's very transparent about his humanistic worldview. He says things out loud that others of his same ilk who believe in the same anti-god perspectives that he has try to hide. But he's correct in his estimation of the power of artificial intelligence. AI is and will greatly impact the world, but it also is going to greatly impact the church. From using language artificial intelligence programs like ChatGPT to generate newsletters, worship service formats, and even create the sermon, it doesn't take much squinting how data-driven computer programs will drive the church rather than spirit-filled qualified men. Which, of course, Noah Harari recognizes, and he had this to say how AI could write a new Bible. You know, the printing press, radio, television, they broadcast, they spread the ideas created by the human brain, by the human mind. They cannot create a new idea. You know, Gutenberg printed the Bible in the middle of the 15th century. The printing press printed as many copies of the Bible as Gutenberg instructed it, but it did not create a single new page. It had no ideas of its own about the Bible. Is it good?
Is it bad? How to interpret this? How to interpret that? AI can create new ideas, can even write a new Bible. Of course, a Christian's jaw should drop when someone proposes writing a new Bible based on artificial intelligence, but such is the humanistic worldview of Noah Harari. The Bible is inspired, the canons closed, don't add or take away from the words of scripture, lest you be accursed by God. But this is the worldview where man determines our own destiny apart from the accountability to God. Throughout history, religions dreamt about having a book written by a superhuman intelligence, by a non-human entity. Every religion claims our book, all the books of the other religions, humans wrote them.
But our book, no, no, no, no, it came from some superhuman intelligence. In a few years, there might be religions that are actually correct. Just think about a religion whose holy book is written by an AI.
That could be a reality in a few years. You can see how much he's looking forward to this day, where artificial intelligence can create a new Bible. The fallen world is going to love artificial intelligence because it's human intelligence multiplied exponentially. It's like having millions of minds working together, but not coming to different conclusions, which is divisive, but coming to the same conclusion. The division that occurred at Babel will be lessened by AI.
Mankind always wants to get back to Babel, where God came down and saw the city and tower that man had united to build and said, Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language, and this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Artificial intelligence gets man one step closer to that unified globalistic rule by man apart from God. James Spencer is our guest today in the program to talk about how artificial intelligence is changing the world and the church. He has written a guide for the Moody Center entitled 20 Questions—Christian Resistance, Technology, and Artificial Intelligence. James, welcome to the program.
Before we get into artificial intelligence, tell us about the D.L. Moody Center. We manage a 280-acre property out in Northfield, Massachusetts, where D.L. Moody, a 19th-century evangelist, was born and then did a lot of ministry after the Chicago fire. Dwight Moody was a worldwide evangelist. He did a lot with discipleship. He started several schools. And so our mission is really to promote and preserve his legacy, to echo that legacy in today's world as we engage with issues pertinent to the church and contemporary society.
Thank you for sharing that background with us. James Spencer is our guest today. He and the Moody Center have released a guide titled 20 Questions—Christian Resistance, Technology, and Artificial Intelligence. And that's what we're going to talk about today, the issue of artificial intelligence. In the guide, you write, Christians should be aware of technologies such as artificial intelligence, or A.I., and be informed before adopting A.I.
models—the metaverse, social media, and other digital technologies. Technology is not essentially evil. Still, technology is not neutral either. We need to take care that we do not diminish our capacity to testify to Christ by utilizing technology as the contexts in which we exist adopt new ideologies and ways of seeing God, humanity, and creation. We must be aware that artificial intelligence models are not necessarily neutral tools.
They may well be reinforcing an understanding of the world that will hinder us from conforming to the image of Christ. The concepts of artificial intelligence, A.I., and one of its subsets called CHAT-GPT, which stands for CHAT Generative Pretrained Transformer. That is, according to one website, is an artificial intelligence chatbot that is designed to provide human-like conversational interactions. So let's just inform all of us about what we're talking about today. What is A.I.?
What is CHAT-GPT? Artificial intelligence really is a set of models and a way of designing computer systems that mimic human thought. And I say mimic because really what these artificial intelligence engines are doing is not thinking. It's not truly intelligence in the way that humans have intelligence. It's based largely on probability and statistics, pattern recognition, and the development of an ongoing sort of broad algorithm that allows these machines to be very good guessers.
That's sort of the way I think of it. They are able to fill in blanks that previously machines were not able to fill in. They are essentially guessing, based on large amounts of data and high processing speeds, what exactly what word needs to come next, what sentence needs to come next, what paragraph needs to come next, so that they seem as though they're conversational. CHAT-GPT specifically is what's usually referred to as a large language learning model, and these deal more exclusively with language. These artificial intelligence models work largely the same way, just from a layman's perspective.
They are reading essentially patterns within large amounts of data and then reconstructing those patterns in images or video. Yes, some of the other things I've seen, how let's say CHAT-GPT, this more conversational A.I. where you can ask it a question and it immediately gives you an answer, is in you mentioned, I think, writing content to write a let's say an organization wants to write a marketing message to their followers. And they can just say write a six paragraph message to our followers about a new product we're releasing in March and have some humor in it and so forth and make the last paragraph rhyme or something. And within 20 seconds, they will have this six paragraph message ready for their followers. So it's actually quite incredible what the potential is here from a convenience and efficiency standpoint.
But as with any technology, there's always some downsides as well, which we'll get into today. James Spencer of the DL Moody Center is our guest today. We're talking about how artificial intelligence is changing the world and the church. We'll take a brief pause for some ministry announcements. You are listening to the Christian Real View Radio program.
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Our guest today is James Spencer, president of the DL Moody Center. He's written a guide titled 20 Questions, Christian Resistance, Technology, and Artificial Intelligence. James, in the guide you say, according to technology expert Chirac Shah at the University of Washington, he's quoted as saying in an MIT technology review, language models are not really knowledgeable beyond their ability to capture patterns of strings of words and spit them out in a probabilistic manner. It gives a false sense of intelligence. Now you've touched on this already, but really whether it's AI or chat GPT, they're supercomputing, they're capable of gathering tons of data, processing it really quickly, faster than the human brain could possibly compute all these things, and then giving out a result or content based on that. So many Christians are going to compare the use of AI and chat GPT to just basically using the internet, like a search engine or something, or like using a cell phone. It's quote, just a tool that can be used for good or bad. I've already seen ads on the internet from Christian organizations saying you got to be up with AI, where it's going, use it.
Don't get left behind. You're seeing these ads all the time. We can use this in redemptive ways. Are AI and chat GPT, are they different than these previous or current technologies, just like the internet itself or Google search engines or cell phones? Are they different than those technologies, and if so, how?
So they are different than those technologies, and I think the way that they're different is what I'll call the intensity with which they work. So artificial intelligence has the capacity to truly replace human interaction if we let it. Google, the internet previous to this, I think has made important steps toward us replacing human interactions or replacing particularly physical interactions.
So for instance, when I was a kid, you know, instead of Googling something, we would often pull an encyclopedia off the shelf and look it up. Well, that's a physical interaction, and it has certain benefits. It has certain upsides to having an actual physical interaction, but Google makes that largely unnecessary.
We can basically search Google and find whatever we're looking for. AI sort of begins to ramp that up or intensify this problem. And as it becomes more and more conversational, what I see is that, yes, there are going to be certain efficiencies and conveniences.
But if we're thinking that we need so many efficiencies and so many conveniences that people no longer matter, I think that's where we're going to step across lines. And so what I would caution Christian organizations and Christian people of is, yes, right now, AI is another tool. But we have a sort of we could think of a typology of tools. For instance, we don't think that artificial intelligence is the same as a hammer. You know, a hammer has a different sort of influence over our life than artificial intelligence might. And so we have to think of these tools even in the way that they influence our lives, the way they influence our thinking and the way they change our behaviors. And so, yes, it's still a tool. I think there is human agency behind it. AI does not have agency in the sense that it determines what it does and where it goes. But at the same time, it's a tool that is extremely influential.
It's a tool that can be extremely deceptive in a lot of ways, not only in the information it provides, but in the potential that it suggests. And so my encouragement would just be, let's make sure that as we're encouraging Christians to use artificial intelligence and not be left behind, that we're also saying, look, we are a people who are called to love God and love neighbor. And we don't love neighbor if we completely disconnect from neighbor. We have to still have human to human interactions, even if AI makes life so efficient that we don't actually have to. James Spencer is our guest today here on the Christian worldview radio program, the president of the DL Moody Center. We're talking about how artificial intelligence is changing the world and the church. And I want to get into how it's changing the church, because the things we've been discussing, you know, creating newsletters just efficiently in 15 seconds to go out to church members. You think about the possibilities, the realities, not possibilities, the realities of students, let's say in school, being able to ask chat GPT, can you please write me a three page paper on some country in Europe?
And it spits it out in 30 seconds. Well, you can see how that would quickly turn into a pastor or someone at church developing a sermon based on content generated by artificial intelligence or chat GPT, which in fact is plagiarism because they're not developing that sermon. But who would ever know? How do you see AI being used right now in the church? And what are some of the problems that where you see it overstepping the lines of what God would intend for how church would operate or how pastors should prepare deliver sermons?
I think a couple of ways. Number one, just sermon research, you know, forget whether a pastor is going to ask AI to write a particular sermon, but just using chat GPT to do some research. At this point, I would say that trusting chat GPT to give you exactly what you're wanting for a lesson plan or a sermon outline or any sort of resources and information is going to require as much time as if you used any other sort of digital tool that's out there, stuck with Google, looked at an academic database, something like that. Basically, chat GPT is not providing at this point unadulterated truth. It's producing answers. And anything that produces answers generally means that we need to check it. So there is such a thing as an AI hallucination is usually what it's referred to. Basically, AI is so excited, let's say, to provide you with the information that you've asked for that will make up an answer that fits your question. But a lot of the references, a lot of citations, a lot of the answers that it provides aren't actually true.
They're not real. And I think it's important to understand that chat GPT just from a sermon research perspective, going to chat GPT for answers regarding the Bible and theology is not an automatic honest answer. It's not automatically true. You're not actually leveraging all of the data that everybody would say when they talk about the positives of AI that are actually there.
I've gotten wrong answers from chat GPT. And so we need to approach these tools, approach AI models in a similar way as we would anything else and be a little bit suspicious and make sure that what it's telling us is actually correct. So that's one way, researching biblical and theological sort of answers. The other way, I think, is the sermon preparation. I do not believe that artificial intelligence is the right place for us to be going for sermons on God's word.
And the reason I don't think that has nothing to do with the honesty of the machine or anything like that. But I do think that there is something that we need to be supporting as a Christian community that a human person has so studied God's word and constructed a sermon that not only are we hearing from God's word, but we're also recognizing that there is a formational element in the crafting of that sermon that should be important to us. And I think that when we lose that element with the artificial intelligence side, I think we're losing more than we think we are. James Spencer with us today here on the Christian worldview talking about artificial intelligence. In this guide, it's interesting because you give some of the interaction that you've had with chat GPT. Well, you'll ask it a question and one of the questions you asked it was, how will AI, artificial intelligence, impact the human brain? Here's what chat GPT told you. So this is beyond like going to Google and Google will bring up some article that someone's written about how it will impact the human brain.
Well, how this is different is that you go and now chat GPT is going to tell you itself. It's writing an article for you in some ways how it's going to impact the human brain or any other question you're asking of it. And chat GPT's response to your question of how it will impact the human brain gave you five ways. It said addiction, negatively impacting the brain's reward system and overall well-being because it's so immersive. Attention, number two, it contributes to decreased attention spans and distractibility. Number three, socialization.
There's an over-reliance on AI technologies. It may lead to decreased social skills and emotional intelligence. Number four, the way it will impact the human brain. It may exacerbate existing societal biases, which can negatively impact individuals and communities. And number five, it can impact the human brain negatively based on dependence. There's an over-reliance on it.
And people don't develop good decision making and problem solving because they just go to chat GPT. What should I do? It reminds me of the old Wile E. Coyote cartoon when he's trying to get Bugs Bunny. He's got the supercomputer genius trying to tell him, you know, he inputs and says, Rabbit is in the hole.
What should I do? And it spits out a little piece of paper and says, you know, try setting up a little catapult system which launches a rock at him or something. That's what this seems like, you know, except much, much beyond this question is how will the use of artificial intelligence negatively impact not only the human brain?
I think chat GPT probably gave a pretty good answer on that one. But how is it going to impact humans having jobs because lots of jobs will just be put out of existence by this? How will it be able to spread, let's say, false information or what's called the deep fake where they can project the image of a person who may or not even be in existence and have them talking so realistically that you actually look at this video and think it's a real person? Or another way it could be used negatively is just the amount of data and computing power governments have to be licking their chops at the way this could be a perfect tool for controlling populations. I think it's really interesting, you know, when I say AI is a tool, but it's it's not neutral. I think part of the reason it's not neutral is because the human agents who are utilizing it are always going to use it in nefarious ways. And so anything that we look at any any technology that's come out where we can say, well, there's a benefit to it.
There's also a really deep negative dark side to it. And that isn't me saying we should never implement a new technology. That's me saying that we should be really realistic about this and that my big concern with artificial intelligence is that we are running down the same path we've run down with the Internet and with social media without really considering any of these negative social consequences. So you reference jobs. I think the the job market, everybody sort of points to history and says, well, we've gone through these sort of technological innovations before. And so there will likely be jobs created that will just allow people to shift jobs as opposed to lose jobs.
Well, that's a good idea. I suppose it's it's a possible outcome. But the other possible outcome is that a lot of people just lose their job. And I think the real challenge for me on that, I think my worst case scenario in that scenario is that usually when people run into financial and economic trouble, the government just does sort of a bailout. And so what we end up with is a lot of people who are dependent on government subsistence in order to live. And I think that's a really bad place for humanity to be. I think humans are built to be productive.
And so when we come to be just dependent, sort of get our checks in the mail and live our lives, I think that's a detrimental state for humanity. And so no one knows what's going to happen with the job market. This is part of the problem is that A.I.
comes out. Nobody's really regulating it, looking at it, considering these angles. There's just a lot of unknowns. And you either get positive people on one side or negative people on the other. And I have a feeling that if we just sort of paced ourselves a little bit more on artificial intelligence and the release of these different models, we could probably figure out how this is going to affect jobs to a much more reasonable degree. Now, the other aspect of this, you know, when we think about negative side effects, the American Psychological Association, they just recently put out a advisory on social media. Social media has been with us for well more than a decade now. We've had likes and shares and retweets and all those kind of fun interactive tools for more than a decade.
Instagram launched just under a decade ago. And 10 years later, the American Psychological Association is now recognizing the detrimental mental health impacts that social media may have on certain populations within our society. I don't think we should wait that long with artificial intelligence. I don't think we should let these five addiction, attention, socialization, bias and dependence that Chad GPT fed back to me as potentially negative side effects of artificial intelligence. I don't think we want to wait another 10 years to decide we do have all these problems. And so I just think there's a lot about artificial intelligence that is being pushed out really fast right now.
And it does not have the public good in mind. And so to me, that's where we need to, as the public, really think about what it is that we're adopting, what it is that we're playing with and recognizing that we've suffered negative side effects to these things in the past. Whether it be the Internet or social media or any other technology, really, there's always a downside. And if we can't calculate what that downside is to some reasonably accurate extent, I think we should take a step back and say maybe I shouldn't use the tool as much as I'm using. James Spencer of the DL Moody Center joins us today in the program.
Call me a skeptic, but I don't see those who stand to gain financially or to gain control will be willing to hold back on the growth of artificial intelligence. We'll take a brief pause for some ministry announcements. You are listening to the Christian worldview radio program.
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James Spencer, president of the DL Moody's Center, joins us today in the program. He has written a guide on artificial intelligence, which we have linked at our website. And James, in the guide, you quote a man named Bostrom, and he has this hypothesis called the vulnerable world hypothesis, which is, quote, If technological development continues, then a set of capabilities will at some point be attained that make the devastation of civilization extremely likely, unless civilization sufficiently exits the self-anarchic default condition.
He goes on to describe the self-anarchy default condition as having limited capacity for preventive policing, limited capacity for global governance, and diverse motivations of human agents, which would likely include those motivated by perceived self-interest. In other words, that's sort of a doomsday scenario, and you can see how artificial intelligence will be used in the military. You've seen these drones flying in the air. Well, they'll get 250 drones in the air flying in perfect symmetry.
They're all communicating with each other. It's something to behold. And you just think, whoa, as this becomes more advanced into warfare and they will take the decision making away from actual human beings, because artificial intelligence can compute and take in the data and information, make decisions so much more quickly. This hypothesis of a vulnerable world hypothesis seems like an end time scenario, like we're moving toward the end times. And this will be used by I don't know your eschatology, James, but it seems like this is going to be used by the Antichrist to be able to consolidate power in the world. Well, what I find interesting about the vulnerable world hypothesis is that Bostrom defines civilizational devastation. So the destruction of all civilization is any event that is at least as bad as the death of 15 percent of the world population or a reduction of global GDP by 50 percent. He also says there are other ways to define what the devastation of civilization looks like. And so from a Christian perspective, what I would say is that the devastation of civilization really does look like people being led away from a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
It means that there is such a strong, deceptive and distorted influence on the stories that we're telling ourselves and the technologies that support our own independence from God that we no longer feel that we need him. I would liken what Bostrom is saying here in the vulnerable world hypothesis to something like what happened at the Tower of Babel, where it's just the unrestrained capacity of humanity that creates a problem that God has to step in and solve. And so as we think about this, yes, I agree. I think there are end time scenarios here that we need to be cognizant of. But what I would say is that this pattern is repeating itself over and over again, and that's sort of how I think the Bughu-esque eschatology works. We see these sort of wars and problems and greed and all these different difficulties that sort of make the world into the image of humanity as opposed to allowing people to reflect the image of God. And so as I look at Bostrom, what I see is someone from a secular perspective recognizing the dangers of technology and setting the bar too low on what it means to destroy a civilization.
Because at the end of the day, I really do believe that what artificial intelligence will contribute most to is leading people away from a dependence on Jesus Christ. Yeah, that is really well thought out and said, because you can even feel it the last several years with COVID, with the whole movement after the death of George Floyd here in Minneapolis. It just seems like it's very difficult, and I know that people have told me this, it's very difficult to know where to get truthful news and reporting analysis and what's going on. There's the uptick in control of information.
Propagandizing has been so strong that people are left, they can't trust anything in society where to get the news. And so you're right about that. It's not just the way the Antichrist will likely use one of these technologies in the future. It's the fact that since it's human-based and man has fallen, it will be used as such an overwhelming information control to lead people away from the only gospel that can save them, the gospel of Jesus Christ.
So I want to end here with one more question. In that framework, you say in the guide that AI has a downside does not mean there is no upside. Think of the internet. The internet has many downsides. There's lots of terrible information and pictures and pornography and everything else on the internet. But at the same rate, the gospel and sermons and videos have gone out all over the world, as no one could have done before the internet.
So there's that. You talk about societal changes and trends to which Christians will likely need to adapt to this. Yet adaptation is different than adoption. We should consider whether using AI, artificial intelligence, will help us deepen our faith or simply make it more convenient for us to fit God into our lives rather than give our whole lives to Him. What would be your final word of exhortation to listeners today about this coming AI technology? Christians are not responsible for fixing the broken world.
We are responsible for being faithful in a world so broken that only God can fix it. And so as we evaluate artificial intelligence, we cannot become consumed by the efficiencies that it provides. We're not here to be particularly efficient. Efficiency is sort of a convenient thing that we get to do, you know, we get to take advantage of on occasion and it makes our lives a little bit easier, allows us to share the gospel a little bit more effectively. But at the end of the day, we are here to be faithful agents of the gospel and we need to start there. To the extent that artificial intelligence draws us away from things like I mentioned earlier, we are to love God and neighbor. If artificial intelligence so separates us from our neighbors that we are no longer really able to engage with other human beings in specific ways that would show the love of Jesus Christ, AI is getting in the way of our Christian mission. And so we've got to start thinking of this not as, oh boy, this will make our lives that much more efficient and then I could because often, you know, the and then I could never actually happens.
We almost always get distracted by something else. And so we've got to be careful about how we think about artificial intelligence and really rooted pretty deeply and being and making disciples, which is our primary Christian vocation, just being and making disciples. To the extent that artificial intelligence can help us be and make disciples, I think it can be a great tool.
But to the extent that it distracts us from being and making disciples, I think we need to set it aside and allow ourselves the opportunity to be inefficient as we're faithful to the calling that Christ has given us. Yeah, I think that's very, very good advice, James. And we appreciate the deep thought put into this and putting together this guide as part of the DL Moody Center. We have that linked at our website, theChristianrealview.org. Thank you for coming on the Christian Real View radio program today. All of God's best to you and your family.
Thanks very much. Thanks for having me. Again, our guest today has been James Spencer, the president of the DL Moody Center, and we have that guide that he wrote linked on our website, theChristianrealview.org. Well, I have a little bonus content from our recent guest, Pastor Travis Allen. During the interview I had with him, I asked about artificial intelligence and what he thought the impact might be on the church.
Travis, the organization or company that promoted the He Gets Us campaign, you remember that from last year and a hundred million dollars into it, and just reinterpreting Jesus as some social justice warrior and so forth. Well, the marketing company that promoted that called GLOO, G-L-O-O, I've been seeing some of their ads on the topic of artificial intelligence, that it needs to be used within the church. Use it or you're going to be left behind. How AI is going to be something that's revolutionary for the church.
I'm wondering if you could help us understand how artificial intelligence or chat GPT, which is a subset of artificial intelligence which generates language content. I'm sure you probably use the internet as you prepare for sermons and you do online study tools. What are your thoughts on this emerging technology as it relates to the church? I do use technology.
I do my sermons on a computer and I use a Bible software in order to get me into the language and use language tools and things like that. There are aids to speeding up my study and things like that, but I'm not anti-technology. I see its place and its role, but when you're talking about entering into chat GPT, give me a twenty minute sermon with three jokes, three points and a poem and an altar call, and it churns out something in forty five to fifty seconds. I just see this as just yet another way that the world is going to disciple its own. It's still very early to tell what good and bad is going to come out of it. You need to back off and give it some time to see what it's going to be useful for and not useful for. I can tell you what it's not going to be useful for is for a lazy pastor to input a couple things that they want in there and have it generate sermons for them.
I am concerned that that's what's going to happen. I can say no true pastor is ever going to do that because they understand the ministry of the gospel. They understand the pastoral ministry. The ministry to the church is something that is done on a spiritual level by somebody who is a pastor who is indwelt by the Spirit of God, actually has the gifting and the calling by God to preach to the people of God in his own local church situation. Nobody who's inputting into ChatGPT is, as far as I know, qualified by 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 as elders, as pastors.
They're not qualified. If they're not qualified, they shouldn't be churning out sermons. Paul says in 1 Timothy chapter 2 as he's describing his own ministry and really the ministry of all gospel preachers, elders, pastors, he says, Now we have received not the Spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. Why is it important for Paul and his fellow apostolic ministers and his fellow missionaries that he works with, why is it important that they understand the things freely given to him by God? Because we impart this, he says, not in words, not taught by human wisdom, but words taught by the Spirit. And then there's this phrase, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
The language there in the Greek is talking about joining or wedding together, knitting together spiritual truths to spiritual people. So things that are taught by the Spirit come through the pastor, through the preacher, in that pulpit ministry, in the local church. And they're joined to spiritual people, regenerate church members, and they're received by them so that they can learn spiritual wisdom. It says in chapter 2, verse 14 of 1 Corinthians, the natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they're folly to him. He's not able to understand them because they're spiritually discerned. But the spiritual person judges all things he himself is judged by no one who has understood the mind of the Lord, so it is to instruct him, but we have the mind of Christ. Chat GPT, AI does not have the mind of Christ.
It does not capture the Spirit of God and channel the Spirit of God to God's people. Only the Scripture does that and only through his prescribed means of preaching and teaching in and through the ministry of the local church. Very wisely put, Travis, you read an article about how AI is already being used at a church in Europe. Some researcher in England who was working with some, I think it was a liberal seminary, but he went and set up this experiment in Germany, I believe it was a congregation, a Lutheran congregation in Munich. And they conducted the whole service, the sermon and everything through Chat GPT. It was a Chat GPT, AI sermon, and there was an AI image, like an avatar, preaching the sermon to a bunch of people sitting there listening to this. So it's already being done and they talked about how much benefit was there, how identified they were, how encouraged, so I do agree with you that this is only the tip of the iceberg and we've got more of those to come.
That was Travis Allen of Grace Church in Greeley, Colorado. Artificial intelligence is about more than convenience and efficiency. People will like some of the benefits for sure, but ultimately it's about elevating the limited minds of men to be more like God, who is of infinite intelligence. And this is the description of Satan who wanted to be like God. It says in Isaiah chapter 14, Satan says, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds.
I will make myself like the most high God. But intelligence is not the same as wisdom. Wisdom is the skill of thinking and living as God intends. And wisdom can be developed by only the true believer who's been born again and then sanctified by the Holy Spirit. It's very easy to see how it will be tempting for a church to design their service based on artificial intelligence.
You collect data from all the other churches out there as to what format and programs attract the most numbers, which songs and what types of sermons drive engagement, attendance and giving. But if artificial intelligence is not overseen by spirit-filled believers, it will just be more human reasoning applied to the church. Somehow, Jesus Christ spread the faith around the world without artificial intelligence.
We don't need artificial intelligence. We need godly wisdom. And that kind of wisdom comes from above when we come to saving faith in Christ and follow Him. Thank you for joining us today on the Christian worldview radio program. In just a moment, there'll be all kinds of information about this nonprofit radio ministry. Let's remember that Jesus Christ and His word are the same yesterday and today and forever. So until next time, think biblically, live accordingly, and stand firm.
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