A farmer knows more than anyone that technology is God’s gift to push back the curse. Remember the curse God pronounced on Adam, which cursed agriculture and every farmer who would be born thereafter:
To Adam [God] said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.” (Gen. 3:17–19)
How do we deal with thorns and thistles? That’s part of the technology to come in the storyline of agriculture. New farming techniques help us coax a crop from the cursed crust.
In the garden, food was readily available for Adam and Eve. After the fall, food would be pulled from the ground with great sweat and labor. This is where we see the grace of God in teaching the farmer in Isaiah 28. Technology is a gift for us to push back the effects of the fall. Indeed, “the impulse of virtually all human activity is born from the urge to combat sin or its effects.”
This is the common grace of God in our human innovation. God placed this universe, and our own bodies, under a curse so that we would live in hope of the resurrection. By his grace, he also left us with innovative possibilities as a merciful gift to resist some of these effects, to heal some of the creation that is broken, and to give us new ways to manage the pain of life in a fallen universe.
Jesus reminded us that God “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45). All good things from creation are blessings from the hand of God. Can we spread this benevolence to the technologies we build from creation? If so, through all our very best technologies, God rains down blessing on the just and the unjust in the form of electricity, televisions, cars, jets, computers, Internet, air-conditioning, pain meds, espresso beans, and every international cuisine you can imagine. Our glut of blessings beautifully displays the goodness of God to sinners enduring this fallen existence.
About Tony Reinke
Tony Reinke (@TonyReinke) is a journalist who serves as a senior teacher at Desiring God (desiringGod.org) and hosts the popular Ask Pastor John podcast addressing questions of theology, ethics, and Christian living. He is the author of several books, including the newly released God, Technology, and the Christian Life.
Content taken from God, Technology, and the Christian Life by Tony Reinke, ©2022. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.