A Journal of Christian Perspective
vol III, issue 2, spring 2007
Can Technology Save Us?
A Journal of Christian Perspective
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Richard Lopez ‘09 EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joung Park ‘08 MANAGING EDITOR Li Deng ‘10 COPY EDITOR Chenxin Jiang ‘09 ADVISOR & EDITOR EMERITUS John Montague EDITORS EMERITI The Rev. David H. Kim Andrew Matthews ‘06 David Matthews ‘05 Matthew Nickoloff ‘04 ART & PHOTOGRAPHY Stephen Hsia ‘08 STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS Brian Brown ‘07, David Chen ‘05 Daniel Douglas ‘09, Nicole Fegeas ‘10 Karis Anne Kong ‘06, Jae Han ‘09 Felix Huang ‘07, Benjamin Kung ‘10, Esther Lee ‘08, Gregory Lee ‘00, Teng Kuan Ng ‘05, Melissa Plapp ‘09 Becker Polverini ‘10 Craig Schindewolf ‘09 Kenneth Tay ‘10, J.D. Walters ‘09 Opinions expressed in articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or of Manna Christian Fellowship. Manna is a 501(c)(3) corporation. Copyright, 2007. The printing of this journal is made possible by gifts from friends and alumni and by a grant from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Revisions, c/o Manna Christian Fellowship PO Box 577, Princeton, NJ 08542 firstname.lastname@example.org www.revisionsonline.com
From the Editors’ Perspective
Yet Another Savior?
Pod. iTunes. iPhone. iSave? At a time when technological devices often provide more intimacy than a human being, we must carefully reassess the scope of technology in our private lives and in society at large. Technology is a distinctively human enterprise, a creative activity in which we manipulate physical matter in order to meet a need or achieve a desired goal. In early human history, agriculture was the primary technology by which the basic need of hunger could be met. Currently, in our 21st entury American culture, our basic needs for survival have been more or less met. Yet, greater desires and “needs” have taken reign. Virtual networking tools like Facebook and YouTube are great examples of this psychosocial trend. Users on these websites tirelessly and continually re-define their cyber identities as they unabashedly showcase their interests, hobbies, and even themselves through countless photographs and videos. On top of that, people engineer their personalized soundtracks on their iPods and keenly lose themselves by watching complete seasons of their favorite sitcoms in one sitting. What is to come of all this? Paradoxically, by “social” networking the self has become individualized and enthroned more than ever before. It’s all about me, my space and shamelessly broadcasting myself to earn petty stars of approval from strangers. We are vainly trying to affirm our self worth and save ourselves, with modern technology making the process effortless and, yes, even enjoyable. While some technological innovations have made us impersonal and socially inept, other developments in medicine and biotechnology have saved millions of lives from physical afflictions. This leads us to a more profound question: what does technology’s dual nature look like in the eyes of God? First, technology in of itself proves to be an unparalleled opportunity to imitate God as creator. When we craft something, we translate our thoughts into meaningful creative behavior, leading to something new that never existed before. In this way we image God, who from His mind fashioned the fabric of the universe, everything from quarks to quasars. Oh, but how we fail to image God in the technological realm! Time and again we do not act as benevolent creators and responsible stewards of creation. We are supremely careless in what we create and how we use it. In this issue of Revisions, we explore the wideranging implications of technology for the individual and for society. Ultimately, we must not treat technology as our true end, but only as a means to reflect God’s glory and lead others to Him. In this way we cannot help but change the way we think about technology, reaffirming that Christ is Lord and sovereign over all of...