Billy Graham on Technology and Faith – Lunch w/ TED

Lunch with TED — By on August 12, 2010 at 12:00 am

Technology has enabled us to accomplish astounding things and solve many problems.  Instantaneous world-wide communication, prolonged life, flight, space travel, deep sea exploration, and more.  Yet with all that technology has changed, with all the problems it has solved, man is left to wrestle with this: the problem of evil.


I await with eager anticipation the arrival of my iPhone 4.  I imagine that owning one will be a life changing experience.  I’ve not yet owned a smart phone with internet capabilities and I anticipate that access to the web as well as millions of apps from my phone will alter the way I live my life.  For example, I’ll be able to check e-mail anytime I want, not simply when I’m near a computer with internet access.  If I’m out with friends, I’ll be able to quickly identify nearby places to eat.  I’ll even be able to squeeze some Scrabble play into free time throughout the day.   The iPhone will change my life by changing the way that I live it, by changing my habits and expectations.

Technology has the power to shape us.  It is shaping us.  Yet its formative power pales in comparison to the power of evil – the problem of evil.

Two weeks ago, I featured a talk by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com.  Mr. Bezos exhorted his audience to be kind, not clever.  Yet, as I pointed out in my post, Mr. Bezos did not give his audience a way to identify or know kindness.  Mr. Bezos clearly recognizes the problem of evil but all of his technological and entrepreneurial wisdom cannot help him put words to, or make truth claims about, kindness or what kindness is.

Sadly for Mr. Bezos, even if he identified it, kindness alone cannot solve the problem of evil.

The difference between Mr. Bezos’ talk and Mr. Graham’s is striking.  Both acknowledge the cleverness of man, especially the technological cleverness.  Mr. Graham, being of much greater age and experience as a man who has spoken with a number of scientists, politicians, and persons of power, is able to expound on man’s cleverness in greater detail from a variety of perspectives not limited to the founding a technology company.  However, it is only Mr. Graham who dares to define an answer to the problem of evil.

As a Christian, it is hard for me not to feel like the problem of evil is merely a religious or Christian concern.  Worse, it’s hard for me not to ignore the problem of evil, desiring instead to focus on the promise of goods – such as the iPhone.  But the Mr. Graham, confident in the truth of Christ, fearlessly throws down the gauntlet: “Even the most sophisticated among us seem powerless to break this [the problem of evil and suffering].  I would like to see Oracle take up that.  Or some other technological geniuses work on this.”

He invites the challenge because he knows that there is only one true answer and its not found in technology or cleverness.

Knowledge is power.  The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge.  Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, the means by which we come into relationship with God.  The problem of evil was solved by Christ.  We have the promise of eternal life because Christ solved the problem of evil.

This is the answer to Mr. Graham’s challenge.

Here’s my challenge: both Christ and the iPhone have solved problems.  Which are we more eager to share with our friends?  Which one is changing our lives?’


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  • 1nds

    Hey god, do you need some lottery winnings. I know you’ve been a little short on cash lately. PEOPLE What ever you do don’t give god cash, he will only spend it on DRUGS! If you want to give god something to help him through these trying times, buy him some clothes, food & a motel room for a month so he can get back on his feet! Andrew your a delusional! Im sure you know god since you hang out with him all the time. We all forgot, you are the chosen ONE. God opens a magic window for you. So you definitely know there is ONE! Since you’ve physically seen and spoke with him, Oh I forgot again, you know, you have FAITH. That is proof… That”s a joke. You don’t know anything.

    People, If you happen to win DO NOT give any money to the money grubbing churches, they are just money making scams. Yeah, so your priest, pastor or rabbi can make your church bigger. Then they can acquire bigger flock of sheep and get a bigger cut. Religions are all cults made to brain wash and control societies, since the beginning of time.

    If you win and want to be charitable, then simple use it to help people in need where you see fit. Don’t be fooled into letting any money filter through the hands of people who don’t have any powers that you don’t have. Such as the ability to know that they is a god or not, but use that belief that their fable is the “true one” to swindle money from their brain washed community. I bet the pastor has a nice car, thank all for going to work, see you sunday my wife needs her hair and nails done. Can you put in some over time this week my flock of sheep?

    It is the year 2010 and it time for society to wake up and realize all we have learned from science and technology. It’s time to do way will the mythology. There is no solid proof that there is a god. No proof at all, just a man made fairy tale designed to keep you in check and under powers of church and state.

    Lets just live our lives and be descent, I don’t think that you need to go to church to know the difference between wrong and right. Your conscience is your god. He isn’t floating monitoring everyone. Just like santa Claus isn’t flying around the entire planet, with deer, in one night delivering present through anyone’s chimney. Nice christians, get the kids while they’re young. You can never start brain washing children to early. Remember they’re worth 10% later.

    Please people, humanity would be so much greater if religion and the egos of people knowing there is “god”, was no longer there. God is a man made fair tale. Never provable either way! Designed perfectly. Why do people fall for this so gullibly? In these days of time?

    PS: Their is no easter bunny either children, just jesus, the pastor & their 10%.