Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Christmas Playlist: "Sleigh Ride/Jingle Bells"

Today it is snowing where I live, the first real snow of the season! So it only seem appropriate to pull out my favorite version of "Jingle Bells," especially since it is mixed with "Sleigh Ride." After all, it isn't every Christmas piece you get to listen to yodeling!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Christmas Playlist: The Chipmunks' "Christmas Don't Be Late"

Okay, I know many people really, really don't like this song, but I grew up with the Chipmunks' Christmas cassette tape. So for me, no Christmas playlist would be complete without their "Christmas Don't Be Late."

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Christmas Playlist: "The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came"

The church I grew up occasionally sang this song, "The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came" (or Gabriel's Message"). However, it wasn't until I heard Charlotte Church's version that the song actually made an impact and became a favorite song of the Christmas season for me.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Christmas Playlist: "I Want a Hippopotamus"

I stumbled across "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" about 12 years ago, which I immediately set out to memorize for a running joke in our family. It has stuck around as a fun favorite ever since:

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Christmas Playlist: "Snoopy's Christmas"

With Thanksgiving behind us, I now can break out the Christmas music, per family tradition. And I do love Christmas music! While I can go without listening to much music the other eleven months of the year, Christmas music fills my December.

As a result, over the years I've acquired quite the list of favorites, and this year I plan to share to the fun by posting one Christmas song between and Christmas. I hope you enjoy!

Today's selection, "Snoopy's Christmas," is one of my favorites because it tells a story:

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Christian’s Look at AI – Part 6

We cannot prove an AI has a soul, nor that he has a sin nature. Yet the fact he is patterned after humanity makes the potential for sin—by decision if not by inheritance—a high possibility. Yet they are not human. Does Christ’s sacrifice apply to them?

The short answer? I don’t know.

What I do know, though, is that God does not break His promises. And what has God promised? That everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13), and that everyone who believes in Christ will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). “Everyone” is pretty all inclusive.

So the AI, much like the Old Testament patriarch and prophet, will have to trust God to work out the how. Will it be through Christ’s blood, directly or indirectly? Or will provision be made by some other mysterious means? Again I don’t know, and truthfully, does it matter? After all, how much do even we understand about the precise mechanics of Christ’s substitutionary death? So just because we fail understand the how doesn’t mean the result is any less assured. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Christian's Look at AI -- Part 5

Now there is no way to definitively prove—or disprove—the existence of a soul for an AI. If I cannot know that, do AIs even need to be “saved”? For the concept of a sin nature is frequently tied to our spiritual state, that is, our soul.
While I cannot prove AIs would have a sin nature any more than I can prove that they would have a soul, AIs would be patterned after humanity—who is flawed and imperfect. It is unlikely that humanity would be able to program around our inclination toward sin. As a result, AIs may not have a sin nature, per se, but the probability is high that their programming would permit them to deliberately choose a course of action contrary to God’s law and therefore sin. As James reminds us, a person who has broken the law in one point has become a lawbreaker and is guilty of violating the whole (James 2:8-11).
But even if “perfection” was somehow obtained in theory, AIs would still be confined to this world, the whole of which has been tainted by sin not of its own fault. This is why Paul says in Romans 8:20-22, “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” So AIs would need “saving” from humanity’s sin along with the rest of creation.
And with this we see that we have been asking the wrong question again. The question should not be whether an AI can sin or whether he has a sin nature or even whether he needs saving. Rather the question should be why would an AI need faith?
This is where Hebrews 11 comes into focus once more. In verse 6 it is proclaimed that “anyone who comes to [God] must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Those actions would be possible for any AI who has a will. And not only is it possible, it would be necessary, for “without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6) So for AIs to be pleasing to God, they would need faith, and if they don’t have faith, they would displease God—therefore sinning and being in need of faith to be saved.