What I Wish My Pastor Knew About: Responsible Engineering and Technology - from Ministry Theorem

The fruits of technology are everywhere. Explore Christian reflections in its development and use

Gayle Ermer

As an engineer, it strikes me as odd sometimes that many Christians I know will expend a great deal of energy and passion arguing about theories of science, while at the same time unquestionably accepting nearly every new technological development that comes along. Perhaps you know Christians to whom mentioning the age of the earth or evolution can trigger heated debates. On the other hand, for these same people, mentioning nuclear power or the need for sustainable energy technologies usually results in blank stares or shrugs. This seems interesting to me because, while scientific explanations of history can be fascinating (as other essays in this collection have no doubt demonstrated), they rarely impact our daily activities in the way that technology does. After all, technology shapes our lives from the moment we crawl out of bed in the morning (perhaps from our visco-elastic “memory foam” mattress, made from a material revised and adapted for this purpose only within the last 10 years) and step into the shower (where we enjoy an almost immediate flow of water obtained from a massive water treatment plant via a complicated piping system and heated by a water heater powered by natural gas). Consider the impact that ubiquitous electronics technology has each day on how we spend our time (think televisions, computers, digital music players, cell phones, ATM’s). So, as an engineer, I sometimes wish that my pastor would encourage people to better appreciate the substantial benefits technology (and therefore the exciting work of engineers) provides, while at the same time encouraging people to be more careful about the technologies they buy and use.

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