PLYMOUTH – Our college Philosophy professor pointed at a picture of a horse drawn cart and asked: “What is the most important part?” For much of the class, students vigorously debated the question, landing on one side or the other as they shared their reasoning, while he just smiled.
Not a single student suggested the answer he offered - the idea was most important, for without it, a horse drawn cart would never have existed. It was an “ah-ha” moment for us. Ideas not only proceed reality, they shape it.
I am reminded of that lesson from time to time as I think about just how incredible the world is because of ideas from my childhood that are reality today. In the cartoon, “The Jetsons,” George and his family live in a world filled with robots, communicate with each other face to face on phones, and get around in flying cars. Shar and I don’t have the flying car, but a robot vacuums our home, and we regularly FaceTime with our grandchildren. Someday I hope to have a self-driving car. All my friends hope I get one too.
Ideas, that at one point seemed like the stuff of science fiction, are now reality and our lives are better for it.
But what would happen if…?
That’s the question that is being debated by some of the greatest technology leaders in the world today about Artificial Intelligence. Some have even raised concern that AI might ultimately turn against humanity. The discussion taking place is way beyond my capacity to grasp, or even to imagine, but it reminds me of something else. The ultimate story of created ones turning against their Creator is our story.
“In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. The woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it” (Genesis 3:5-6).
Everything changes in that instant, but God does the unfathomable. He works through prophets, priests, and kings, until that moment in the “fullness of time” that He sends forth His Son to be born of a woman. That Son, Jesus, dies for our sins on the cross, rises again, and redeems us. The old, old, story of the Gospel is so familiar that I sometimes wonder if we fail to grasp just how radical it is. I’m afraid we take it for granted and lose the full horror of creation turning against the Creator.
Compare what God did with my first thought about AI turning against us: pull the plug, kill it, and be done with it forever. God does just the opposite - He gives His Son who dies for us that we might have LIFE. He wins our affection, not by force or coercion, but by love so amazing that we willingly turn and surrender to Jesus as Lord. What a Savior!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Durbin is the State Evangelism Director for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before joining the state convention staff, Mike served as Church Planting Catalyst and Director of Missions in Metro Detroit since 2007. He also has served as a pastor and bi-vocational pastor in Michigan, as well as International Missionary to Brazil.