Faithfully facing technology's perils and promise

May 21st, 2015

This summer’s most anticipated new blockbuster, Avengers: Age of Ultron, is a variation on the old story of Frankenstein. Tony Stark — the brilliant billionaire industrialist who is also the armored superhero Iron Man — activates Ultron, the robotic prototype of a system Stark intended to be “a suit of armor around the world.” But when Ultron unexpectedly achieves self-awareness (as advanced technology so often does in such stories), it decides the only way to achieve world peace is to kill off the human race. The Avengers must again assemble to save the day.

Stark created Ultron with the best intentions but can’t keep his creation from becoming a terrible, seemingly unstoppable threat to civilization. The film is a cautionary tale, reminding us that technological progress brings with it potential peril. But the movie also showcases several instances of technology’s capacity, when used wisely, to protect people and enhance human life.

Serving tech-savvy teens

Today’s youth are tech-savvy and generally aren’t afraid of technology’s proliferating presence in their world. “I’d rather give up . . . a kidney than my [smart]phone,” quips one British teen. Many U.S. teens might say the same. Last month Pew Research reported that 92 percent of American teens go online daily, usually via a mobile device; 24 percent say they go online “almost constantly.”

Technology provides teens a variety of valuable opportunities to express themselves and interact with other people. It can also shape, in negative ways, both their sense of self and the world they’re inheriting.

Christian teens may be among today’s “digital natives,” but they also have been claimed by Christ. The church can serve young people by equipping them to evaluate technology, and their use of it, in light of the command to love God and our neighbors.

Question of the day: What's the most Christlike thing you do with technology?
Focal Scriptures: Isaiah 44:13-20; Luke 12:16-21; Micah 4:1-4

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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