15 July 2011

When Slave Becomes Master

Once upon a time we were told, on very good authority (Genesis 11:6), that there's no limit to what we human creatures can accomplish when we are of a unified mind and purpose. Neither have we been exactly wanting in diligence since then, in the seeking out, as Ecclesiastes 7:29 puts it, of many inventions. What is unclear to me is the cumulative moral result of all these myriad inventions. Has their net effect so far been such as to make us more pleasing to our Maker, less pleasing, or about the same as when we started? And so, as is nearly always the case with me, I have a question for the present Age.

When, from out of our various automations and automatons, we succeed in creating gods of our own, gods eventually so vast, that we mere men shall be able neither to encompass them, nor to enter into every part of them, nor to heal nor judge nor save them - when we invent gods so greatly superior to and superseding of ourselves, and yet bearing so much the imprint of our fallen selves in everything they think and do, that there'll be hardly a sentence we start that they won't be eager to finish (and rolling their eyes as they do so) - in that event I can't help but wonder: Will these gods, who came from us, be anything like the one we came from? Will these gods we make be anywhere near as merciful and patient, as tender and humble and exquisitely self-identifying with our poor human clay, as the God who made us?

Do you suppose it was mere rhetoric, when our Lord warned His servants that not one of them could ever be greater than his Master? Or did He - just possibly - have in mind another, wholly unexpected meaning than the one we most commonly assign to the word "greatness"?

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