In another post of mine, Resurrection as Evolutionary Process, I stated that I have developed a theory that everything that we experience in the “natural” world is actually a form of divine technology. The word technology comes from Greek τεχνολογία (technología); from τέχνη (téchnē), meaning “art, skill, craft”, and -λογία (-logía), meaning “study of-”. In modern terms technology is the “branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science.”
In theological terms these definitions provide a basis of understanding the concept often referred to as “co-creation” –where humankind is invited to create alongside God. To roughly illustrate the concept let us use Michelangelo’s famous statue of David. God provides the marble rock (or the origins by which the rock is created) and then the artist Michelangelo, by God’s grace, co-creates with God insofar as he chisels the unrevealed form of David from the stone. Such a process could thus apply to any human scientific or technological development.
Co-creatorship is often a misleading designation as many assume the “co” part of the word to indicate equality with God. This is not the case though. The basic theological assumption is that human beings are enabled via God’s grace to create things out of what God has already provided for us. In this way our “own” creations are actually provisions of God insofar as everything that “is” is the material by which we co-create additional objects.
The acknowledgement that people typically fail to make though is that if technology is “knowledge that deals with creation”, then God is inherently technological insofar as God is omniscient (all-knowing) in being.
Such observation of course then leads one to read the Biblical Narrative with a different lens. Instead of being mystified that Jesus can walk on water, physically heal human beings, raise people from the dead, turn water into wine etc. we can formulate that, at some level of being, (that we would designate in human terminology as scientific and/or technological) Jesus – being God incarnate – has utilized “a knowledge that deals with creation” in order to change the water’s or human body’s composition/state, at some level, in a way that alters the way that it was behaving prior to his interaction with it. Our lack of understanding of such an event, by definition, is what makes the event miraculous.
According to the Biblical text though, just because an event seems miraculous to us is not to say that God prohibits us from obtaining such ability, power, or even knowledge about the event in question. Biblically, we read that the disciples of Jesus are also able to heal people in Jesus’ name (and power). To push the point a bit further, in Mark 5:21-34 a woman is healed simply by touching Jesus’ garment and Jesus attributes her healing not to his action but to her faith.
While we can still attribute the action as a product of God’s grace, we must acknowledge that via the Biblical account Jesus doesn’t seem to know who it is who has touched him. Such action may be akin to someone using a computer, a power-tool, or some other form of technology. Just because one might not know exactly how the inner-workings of the computer, tool, or technology operates doesn’t mean that a person couldn’t operate the instrument or benefit from using the device. If the Spirit of God yields power and it is power to be used, then logically one just needs to know how to use the technology, not how the technology actually works.
This also infers that if God is omnipotent (all powerful) and omniscient then God is also omnitechnical insofar as God is able to use God’s power and knowledge to create anything that God wishes. While it may certainly seem abstract to some to think of God using God’s-self as an instrument of technology it really shouldn’t. We think this way simply because we haven’t yet experienced the large-scale integration of technology into our bodies in ways that help us to co-create. But that day is coming… and it is coming sooner than most think.
4 thoughts on “Miracles, the Christian Concept of Co-Creation, and an Omnitechnical God”
Interesting. We need to be careful with this line of reasoning that no one conclude that God is a “part of” the universe.
Norm – I would contend that God IS part of the Universe. I think what you are contesting is the Stephen Hawking line of thinking that the Universe IS God. The difference being that personhood is not attributed. In identifying Jesus Christ specifically this post steers clear of that line of thinking.
(Or Jesus did know who touched him, but wanted her to choose to come forward. Much as when the two disciples on the road to Emmaus asked him, “Are you the only one in Jerusalem who doesn’t know what’s happened?”, he replies, “What things?” Or when Adam and Eve hid from God and God called out, “Where are you?” as if God were not omniscient.)
Norm – While it is possible that Jesus knew who the woman was who touched his garment – typically when he encounter someone he knows he calls them by name. Mark 5:30 says: At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” – So he wasn’t looking at her – when she did it – we know that. If Jesus really is both fully human and fully God then we must assume that to some degree he must be self-limiting or else the fully-human part would not be a possibility.
Also the Emmaus conversation could have simply been a clarification to see if the two were talking about the events of Christ of something else (again a possibility of self-limitation). It should be noted though, that for whatever reason, Jesus was concealing himself from the two whereas in the Mark 5:30 is is openly walking around.
In the Garden we are dealing with the God the Father part of the Trinity so I think that it is fair to say that that was pretty much a rhetorical question.
Comments are closed.