Articles and Reviews



by Denis Alexander, Cambridge Papers vol 12, no.4, December 2003.

The ethical use of technology is not just about things like the Internet, GM crops, and therapeutic cloning, but relates directly to architecture.

It clearly touches upon the energy used in heating, lighting and air conditioning buildings, but also concerns materials science and structural engineering.

The summary of the paper shows that we worship God in our use of technology, just as we worship Him in our use of the arts. Technology is a 19th century word, but it has been practised by man since prehistoric times in making tools, lighting fires and building shelters. However the idea of using science for the benefit of mankind was a specifically Christian vision first mapped out in the 17th century by Francis Bacon.

The author then sets out the biblical mandate for technology, shown in such projects as the ark, the tabernacle, and the temple, built in obedience to God for worship. In the New Testament Paul used the current technology in making tents, and encouraged all to work with their hands.

Technology today is then discussed as a shaper of society, as a healer and destroyer, and as humanising and dehumanising, for we live between the tower of Babel and the New Jerusalem. We have choices in how we use technology, and can create beautiful technologies that work well. The example cited is London's sewerage system designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette, which incorporated several new technologies, helped save the city from cholera, and has such beautiful pumping stations.

Cambridge Papers are available from the Jubilee Centre,



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