The commercials used to say, “Go Greyhound and leave the driving to us.” Soon we may be seeing the commercial that says, “Buy Toyota and leave the driving to your car.” The company just announced plans to invest $1 billion dollars in artificial intelligence and robotics at a research plant in Silicon Valley. The purpose: developing a car that will drive itself. I’m going to buy one! I recently celebrated another birthday that reminded me I’m not getting any younger. If I live to be 100, will I still be able to drive my Toyota?
I used to watch The Jetsons and think that things like ovens that cooked food in minutes and telephones that enabled a person to see who they were talking to were imaginary. George Jetson used to tell his space car where he wanted to go and it would go there. Now those things that were only imaginary are realities. Will Toyota make cars that fly someday?
What is the power of the human brain and will we ever reach the end of human imagination or knowledge? We have been created in the image of God. What does that truth mean about the capacity a human being has to create? When Satan was tempting Adam and Eve the temptation was this: “God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate” (Genesis 3:5-6). How “wise” did that fruit make Adam and Eve?
God’s judgment, and provision, for that sin was death. If human beings were able to live forever, what would their brains be capable of creating after 400 or 500 years? Over time, each generation has been able to increase in knowledge because we benefit from the knowledge of those that lived before us. God created adults but people create babies. God didn’t want to give us too many years to function at the full capacity of our intelligence. What would we create if we did?
Every generation has more knowledge than the last, but will we have more wisdom? Alexander Pope, an 18th century poet, said, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot.” If that was true 300 years ago, imagine what Pope would think today! Albert Einstein said, “It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.” What kinds of questions should we be asking today?
Couples can become parents because we have learned how to create a baby in a plastic dish. I know couples that have been blessed because of that science and are able to raise the children they could have created if no medical problems existed. I’m also aware of same-sex couples today that create children they can call their own, but whom they never would have been able to create on their own. Are we asking the right questions of science today and, as Einstein would suggest, are we staying with those questions long enough? Is “artificial intelligence” capable of wisdom?
James 3:17 gives one of my favorite definitions for wisdom. The verse says, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” If that verse was the standard by which we measured our inventions, our discoveries, our priorities and most importantly our morals, how different would this world be?
When Jesus told his disciples that their job was to reach the world with his love and truth, it was not just because a person’s eternal life was at stake. We are called to be disciples on this earth because Jesus knew that without God’s wisdom, men would become capable of creating all kinds of evil. Christianity is about so much more than we realize.
We all need God’s wisdom to guide our human intelligence. We only think we know. Unless we have prayed and submitted our ideas to God, we don’t know the wise thing to do. God created each of us with an amazing mind. We are “fearfully and wonderfully” made. But God gave us his Holy Spirit so that our abilities would be led by his wisdom.
Whom do you know that needs to be controlled by God’s Spirit today? Some people don’t know God. Others know God, but don’t submit to his authority. Men are going to create cars that drive independently. I hope by the time those cars are on the road, Christians will have convinced the people inside to use their free time in traffic to pray and seek God’s face. Then we will have created something that is truly a “smart car.”
Join us at www.christianparenting.org and chime in on this week’s discussion question: Whom does your child consider a hero, and why?