By Randy Alcorn
Eternal Perspectives Ministries, Sandy Oregon
Please visit his blog
We know that God isn’t against technology. After all, He gave us the creativity to make it, and technology helps us govern the earth as He commanded. I have always loved science (and science fiction) and artificial intelligence doesn’t scare me, it fascinates me.
Still, because of sin, technology can be used for bad as well as for good. With great potential for good comes great potential for evil. That’s why I encourage you to read this statement from the ERLC (Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention) on the emergent technology of artificial intelligence (AI). These are important things for Christians to be thinking through in advance.
Artificial Intelligence: An Evangelical Statement of Principles
As followers of Christ, we are called to engage the world around us with the unchanging gospel message of hope and reconciliation. Tools like technology are able to aid us in this pursuit. We know they can also be designed and used in ways that dishonor God and devalue our fellow image-bearers. Evangelical Christians hold fast to the inerrant and infallible Word of God, which states that every human being is made in God’s image and thus has infinite value and worth in the eyes of their Creator. This message dictates how we view God, ourselves, and the tools that God has given us the ability to create.
In light of existential questions posed anew by the emergent technology of artificial intelligence (AI), we affirm that God has given us wisdom to approach these issues in light of Scripture and the gospel message. Christians must not fear the future or any technological development because we know that God is, above all, sovereign over history, and that nothing will ever supplant the image of God in which human beings are created. We recognize that AI will allow us to achieve unprecendented possibilities, while acknowledging the potential risks posed by AI if used without wisdom and care.
We desire to equip the church to proactively engage the field of AI, rather than responding to these issues after they have already affected our communities. In light of this desire and hope, we offer the following affirmations and denials about the nature of humanity, the promise of technology, and the hope for the future.