Man and machine; God and nature
Man, the pinnacle of God’s creation they say. Charged with the responsibility to dominate and subdue a world that is now fallen. Now he devotes all of his mental faculties and creative abilities to engineer clever crafts that would make the earth more habitable and ultimately continue his reign. Interesting!
One thing I’ve observed with most, if not all of man’s craft is, that it almost always reflect a characteristic of human nature, just in a more mechanical and yes, efficient manner. (The scale at which it carries it out is of little importance in this discourse.) Whether it’s a robotic arm, or a facial recognition camera; a pneumatic drill or a 4X4 off road vehicle, it’s always an enhancement of our abilities. We can see that more directly in the field called Artificial Intelligence. The basic principle of a human creative process — as I’ve heard quite a number of inventors and artists confess — is that we always create from what we know. As a little kid, I always thought motor vehicles looked like people’s faces and side mirrors were the ears and I guess a more vivid description of my somewhat ‘wild’ imagination is portrayed in the Disney animation, Cars. Machines reflect man’s creative abilities.
This second segment would be built upon two main scriptures as foundation:
‘By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.’
~ Hebrews 11:3 (ESV)
‘Ever since God created the world, his invisible qualities, both his eternal power and his divine nature, have been clearly seen; they are perceived in the things that God has made. So that people have no excuse at all!’
~ Romans 1:20 (GNB)
While I find machines to mirror man, I find nature to mirror God. Everything God created is a reflection of His creative capacities. The things He created aren’t accidental, they were totally intentional. You’ll find that even in scriptures, certain attributes of God are described using the elements of nature, such as: He came like a rushing wind in the upper room, He’s the Lion of the tribe of Judah, He’s the Lamb that was slain, He’s a consuming fire etc. Natural things always speak of God’s divinity. Their tangible nature makes it easier for the natural man to capture in his mind the ‘intangible’ attributes of the divine. Little wonder Jesus constantly used parables to describe the kingdom.
The ultimate reflection I’ve come to see, no matter how much of a fallen state it currently is, is in the nature of man, God’s ultimate ‘machine’. Man by design reflects the personality of God; not just in the things He does, but in the person that He is. In the beginning, God created man in His image and in His likeness. Although the breed is fallen, Christ restores us to our original state. Being the perfect example that we are constantly becoming as believers, He represents the full nature of our destiny, to be God personified; fulfilling our call to be God-men.
Yours with a quill,
Image from http://thirdmill.org