Under God, Technology Could Play a Significant Part in Redemption
It is easy but wrong to glamorise the Bible's view of work. Human beings, "in the image of God", and given dominion over the earth, are made to fulfil themselves in creative activity. This belongs to their high destiny. But there is no sentimentality here. Human work is tainted through the Fall. The consequences are reflected in working conditions. Some find their work stressful; others are concerned about the value or morality of what they are doing. Some find their work dull, or exhausting - not healthily so but just debilitating. There are many whose problem is that of no work and their number is increasing.
Human work belongs in the realm of God's redemption. The Church must take more seriously its place within the divine purpose; clergy and laity together must share in uplifting all who labour, seeking to renew the economic order and holding before all the promise of a brighter future. One contemporary work is of special import: the word "technology". For some it raises fears of unemployment as machines take over from people. For others it spells excitement and the chance to overcome our many problems. Could it be that the scientists and technologists of our age have been raised up by God for the redemption of his people, even if many of them know him not? Used according to the divine will, the new instruments they have produced may liberate from drudgery, end dehumanisation and save our threatened environment. Under God, technology could play a significant part in enabling us to be a real community, freed for the creative work of caring for each other and the planet.
(Adapted from sermon notes produced by the Industrial Society, 1978)