“in antiquity it was the church that was the ‘backbone of technological innovation,’ to apply the words of Klaas Verbeken to a different subject. New technologies and systems were developed so that they could be used to glorify God.”
“And here we are all those years later. And who is one of the greatest users and innovators of all things techie? The porn industry. Think betamax vs. vhs, blueray vs. hd-dvd, etc.”
Did the Christian church once lead the world in innovation? Have the entertainment industry and other secular organizations, blown past the church in terms of innovation? Is that necessarily a bad thing? Here’s what I think…
In some ways it’s frustrating that the church is slow to adopt technology and Christians in general are not often seen as blazing trails in the arts either. Some of that can be attributed to flaws and shortcomings of Christians.
But I also think it’s important to look at what has happened around us in the last millennium. In the middle ages, the common world-view was one of mysticism, spirits running the world in unpredictable ways. In contrast, Christians believed God created a world that is governed by scientific principles. As a result, Christians led the way when it came to scientific research and discovery.
In some ways we have become victims of our own success. Scientific principles and technology have proven so effective that not only do most people accept them, but they worship them as lord of the universe and the solution to all problems.
So, while some Christians may resist innovation in technology, the rest of the world running towards it as if its their souls depended on it.
I’m all for innovation and using technology to glorify God and build his Kingdom – I wouldn’t write this blog if I wasn’t – but God is still my God and technology is secondary to that.
What do you think? Did the Christian church once lead the world in innovation? Have the entertainment industry and other secular organizations, blown past the church in terms of innovation? Is that necessarily a bad thing?