Togetherness and Technology: the Morality of Tech

Karl Barth had this way of using the idea of togetherness to make sense of hard things. T.F. Torrence explained the significance of togetherness for Barth’s theological development like this, “from first to last Barth’s main theme has been the turning of God in utter grace in incredible condescension to man to be man’s God, so that what we are concerned with in the Gospel is the sovereign togetherness of God with man and the exaltation of man to share in the divine life and love.” In other words, God loves us so much he did for us what we could not do on our own.

God used the fullest extent of his freedom and power and brought together everything about human being that made him say, “it was good,” in the creation era, into his being, through Jesus Christ. For example, He couldn’t save us before we were born because we didn’t exist before we were born, but Jesus could be chosen for us before our worst mistakes and so when the time was right Jesus was already in a place to be in our place. That’s how good God is. He thought of you before you were you, in Christ. He always has a good picture of you together in his mind.

Now, you may be asking what does this have to do with technology? Well, everything. You see, we live in a technologically saturated world. So much so you probably forget how much technology is a part of life across the board.

Think about it… Coral reefs, birds nests, cocoons, trails, bulldozers, iPhones, large hedron colliders, technology is everywhere. And God is hoping you’ll remember he’s given us resources, tools, grace, for more than uses and operations; he’s given us blessings for more than filling our bored little lives; he’s given us everything so we can be together. Together with each other. Together with beauty. Together and not broken. Together with Him!

We may control technology but if we’re together with him we’ll be responsible with it, he’ll be our Lord together with it, and we’ll learn how to manage it so it doesn’t rule us.

Does technology rule you?

Maybe you don’t think technological things have any moral significance? A phone is just a phone. It’s not a gateway into the world or a way of acting. It’s not an expression of who you are. It’s just a phone. Well you’re wrong! It’s an opportunity, a possibility, a piece of your world to bring you together with others.

Bull dozers can break down buildings and destroy developments. But after a natural disaster they can make a clearing for people to act. To come together. And from the ashes we can come together in Jesus name. Technology is a gift of Jesus’ resurrection. May he enlighten your heart to see that and change your mind to be made new to technology.

Here’s three ways you can notice technology as grace:

1. Ask can this thing be controlled? If so, then ask 3 “how cans.” How can you be responsible with it? How can Jesus be Lord of it? And how can you learn from it?
2. Ask can this thing have any value to it? If so, ask how it can bring hope to your life, or others?
3. Finally ask, can Jesus be in this thing in any way? If so, ask how can you control and value it so that if Jesus were you, it would make sense.

The universe is a technology to make people together with God forever. Be blessed and love the ride.

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