Hi, this is Bernie Dake. Welcome to the Salvation Army's Words of Life. Love doesn't discriminate.
It doesn't pick and choose. When there's so much to fight against, love fights for. When others flee, love runs to ward. And when darkness prevails, love remembers its strength.
For 156 years, the Salvation Army has loved all who feel lost. With your help, we'll never stop. Welcome back to Words of Life. I'm Bernie Dake. And I'm Cheryl Gillum. Welcome back, Cheryl. Hey, welcome back, Bernie. And welcome back to all of our listeners.
We are glad that you are with us. As we continue this series, Discipled by Algorithms, with our guest author, professor, podcaster, Christ follower, Jason Thacker, today we discuss a very powerful question that's at the heart of most of Jason's work. What does it mean to be created in the image of God? I think having a strong grasp on how you view this as a key for the church to, for one, not be frightened by technology, but also to understand the limits of it. It reminds us that we aren't dependent upon technology, but we're dependent on God.
I think, too, the entire world, of course, was affected by COVID. We were all shut in or having to, you know, either learn to be in fellowship remotely via technology or find other ways to communicate. And this was a great way, a wake-up call, for the church to embrace technology.
How is it that we can be present in each other's lives without actually being in front of each other? Right. It's a great tool, and it has its place. But it's also a good time to just remember our dependency isn't on the technology itself, right?
But it is on God. You and I have a mutual friend, Jeremy, and Jeremy's a voracious reader. He loves to just read all things church growth. And he's very passionate about embracing the idea that a website or a social media page of your church and the activities of your church is the new front door of your church. People are looking for opportunities. They're looking for ways that they can either stream a service or catch some teaching remotely because they've gotten comfortable with the idea of using the technology.
Right. Well, if you want to learn more about Jason or to listen to any of the episodes you might have missed, visit Salvation Army Soundcast.org. We have links to his website as well as his books and his podcast. And please let us know if you have any questions for us or Jason.
Send us an email, radio at uss.salvationarmy.org. These moments, just passing steps inside a journey. Now moving always toward your glory. Oh, I trust your faithful hand more than what I understand.
Who am I? That your favor would rest upon me. That your glory would come and meet me. That your light would come to overwhelm the dark. Every word you say, every step of faith could never be replaced.
They are treasure in my heart. Welcome back to Words of Life. I'm Bernie Dake, and this is Jason Thacker. Jason's an author of a book called The Age of AI, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity.
And I must admit, this is not something I would have picked up for some light reading. But in fact, it has really been inspirational. I'm grateful to our producers for identifying this. And we welcome you back, Jason. I'm glad to be here. Now, for those of you that are just catching up, Jason's part of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
I'm sure there's an acronym in there somewhere. A few. But we welcome you. Well, I'm glad to be here. Today we're talking about technology and specifically artificial intelligence and how it may or may not be able to define our worth. When you hear that statement, what do you think of? Yeah, there's a lot of, especially in terms of artificial intelligence, it causes us to ask some really unique questions about what it means to be human, partially because we've often long assumed that what it meant to be human was that we could reason and think. Well, when you have these tools that can process information and, you know, quote unquote, think similarly or in very narrow ways like a human does, maybe not the full breadth of the way we do as humans, it starts to say, well, are we just a machine? Is that really what we are, some kind of like supercomputer type of machine? Or is there something more unique about humanity?
And I think that's really it. As we've said on previous episodes, I think what does it mean to be human is actually one of the most important questions we can ask of humanity, period of all of the issues we deal with, whether it's marriage and sexuality to issues of justice, issues of religious freedom, international issues, even technology questions is what does it mean to be human? The core of our identity is really key to so many of the cultural conversations we're having. And that thing about A.I. is I think it uniquely causes us to stop and kind of question. It's like, well, what does it actually mean? Because if I'm just a thinking machine, then maybe we can create something that's just like me, that has the same worth and value that I do.
Or is there something different? And I think a lot of listeners would say, oh, no, we can't create like God creates. We don't create humans like God creates humans.
Well, why? What's unique and what's different about it? And that really gets back to this fundamental question within Christian ethics is what does it mean to be made in the image of God? And I think that's one of the most important questions we can be asking today. Imago Dei.
Imago Dei, yeah. So what does it mean to be created in the image of God? Yeah, and that's one of the really interesting questions in kind of Christian theology and ethics that there's been a lot of debate on throughout church history. Not just in various traditions, but really in kind of the large swath of Christian history is what is the image of God?
What does it mean to be made in the image of God? And if you go back to the scriptures, I mean, Genesis 1 and 2 is the creation account. And I think most listeners would be familiar with that is that God created all of these things. He created the land and the sea. He created the animals, the birds of the air, the fish of the waters, and all of these things were good. And he continues to go all the way until he creates man. He creates humanity.
And he says, this is very good. And then Genesis 1 26 through 28 says, and God let us create man in our image after our likeness. And this is the unique nature of humanity.
There was something different and unique. And a lot of the ways that the church has historically thought about the image of God kind of fall into three main camps. So you can think of one that's going to be more we're thinking creatures, we're rational. There's some element or substance in us that makes us unique in the sense that we have a higher level of consciousness, or we have the capacity for reason and a deep thought that you don't see exhibited in animals and the rest of the kind of kingdom order. Another way is that we can have a relationship with not only with God, but also relationship with one another that makes us unique and distinct from the rest of creation. And lastly, there's another way that we can think about the image in the sense that it's something about us that we reflect God like a little mirror. We reflect God that we can function like gods in the sense that God gave us dominion. This text says dominion over the fish of the seas, dominion over the world that we're called to create.
Like God creates, but not exactly. But we're also called to steward and to take care of the things that God has given us and to act and kind of in his stead as his representative. And all of these ways of thinking about the image of God can be really helpful. But one of the things that I think that it does is it kind of naturally pushes us in to think that the image of God must be some part of us or some attribute, something that we have that we can lose.
And so some of the ways that people have pushed back over the years is, well, what about those who may be disabled or maybe not have the same cognitive capacities as other people? Does that make them less in the image of God? So I think the best way that we can kind of approach a lot of these questions is saying that as human beings, we are the image of God. We are made in the image of God. It's something that's a status. It's something that God has given to us.
He's made us unique. And while it can be seen in a lot of these other attributes, whether it's our minds, the relationships, or the ways that we represent God, all of those are aspects. But I think the best way to think about it is more of something that God has created us that it can't be taken away. And that's the beautiful thing is that we say from our specific Christian tradition is that no matter if it's the baby in the womb to the woman on her deathbed and to the end of natural life, that all human beings are created in God's image and have infinite value and worth. And that's really at the core of Christian ethics is that a driving force of all of ethical decisions is every single human being is valuable. Every single human being has dignity, value, and worth, not because of what they do, not because of what they contribute, but simply who they are. Technology causes us to say, well, maybe it's about your contribution, maybe it's your utility that makes you valuable.
No, it's not. It's actually who you are, who God made you as a human being with that infinite value, worth, and dignity. For me as a Christian person, I think we have an ethical and a moral responsibility to be more like Jesus. I want to believe that Jesus's time on this earth was so powerful that millions of people now know about his journey.
Of course, we live in a day and age where we're centuries removed from his time on this earth, and yet we're still talking about it. That must mean something. And I really am encouraged by this conversation because we're talking about technology and the influence that we have on the world and how we are being influenced by technology. I do not want to be made in the image of a product. I want to be made in the image of God.
I want to be seen as a disciple of Jesus Christ. And I'm so grateful for your point of view in this regard. We are grateful that you're here, Jason Thacker. And on behalf of our listeners, I will say again, we look forward to the next episode. And if you haven't read this book or don't have a copy of it, it's called The Age of AI, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity.
Check it out wherever you buy your books. And we hope that you'll come back and check us out for Words of Life next week. The Salvation Army's mission, Doing the Most Good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to The Salvation Army. Visit salvationarmyusa.org to offer your support.
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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-08 23:05:21 / 2023-04-08 23:11:02 / 6