This century is widely known as ‘the Bio-tech Century’, with advances in all the emerging technologies (bio, info/digital, nano, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and robotics). This has deep implications for the Church and for mission, particularly in relation to the biblical truth of what it means to be human. We need to promote authentically Christian responses and practical action in the arena of public policies, to ensure that technology is used not to manipulate, distort and destroy, but to preserve and better fulfil our humanness, as those whom God has created in his own image. We call on:
A) Local church leaders to (i) encourage, support and ask questions of church members who are professionally engaged in science, technology, healthcare and public policy, and (ii) to present to theologically thoughtful students the need for Christians to enter these arenas.
B) Seminaries to engage with these fields in their curricula, so future Church leaders and theological educators develop an informed Christian critique of the new technologies.
C) Theologians, and Christians in government, business, academia and technical fields, to form national or regional ‘think tanks’ or partnerships to engage with new technologies, and to speak into the shaping of public policy with a voice that is biblical and relevant.
D) All local Christian communities to demonstrate respect for the unique dignity and sanctity of human life, by practical and holistic caring which integrates the physical, emotional, relational and spiritual aspects of our created humanity.
From the Cape Town Commitment - Part 2, Section IIA, 6