When you think of the Church and its missions, you probably don’t think of awareness of virtual reality as being among them. But virtual reality and the ethical quandaries it brings with it could cause the Church to be caught off guard when it comes to responding to those related issues. In this video, Trevin Wax breaks down how the Church has been hit from behind before and what the Church needs to do with this new wave of technology on the horizon.
Trevin Wax is Director for Bibles and Reference at LifeWay Christian Resources and a visiting professor at Wheaton College. He is the general editor of The Gospel Project, and serves as a teaching pastor in Middle Tennessee. He is also the author of many resources, including Gospel-Centered Teaching, Eschatological Discipleship, and This is Our Time.
The entire video is above, and the complete transcript is below.
One of the cultural trends on the horizon that I believe the Church may be unaware is coming and needs to already begin considering is the influence and the impact of technology, particularly virtual technology.
I think there are some ethical questions and some things that are going to be before us before we really even know what’s hit us.
So to give an example of how just unaware we can be caught. You may know there were a lot of Christians that were really up in arms and were really trying to do a lot of good in pushing back sort of this flood of pornography and the pornographic culture of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Just that onslaught of pornographic magazines and things like that.
So there was this push against that. There was actually some bipartisan agreement. People on both sides of the political aisle were involved in trying to really stem the tide of what they saw as being some very damaging things that were coming into society. And there were a lot of people in the Church that were cognizant of that. They saw that coming and they sought to respond to that.
But what they didn’t realize was actually coming that was even stronger was the onslaught of pornography through the internet was on the way. The accessibility of porn was going to be such a massive, culture-changing thing that hit. And so while you’re kinda fighting against the magazine, but over here you have this onslaught coming in of pornography online and through digital forms.
I think something similar to that may be taking place even now. There are a lot of Christians, a lot of churches, a lot of people that realize that there’s this sort of flood and epidemic of pornography that’s happening on the internet. And there’s a lot of good steps that are being taken to push back against that.
But this new wave that’s coming is going to lead to all sorts of different kinds of questions, different kinds of quandaries, ethical dilemmas. I mean, I don’t want to get into great detail here, but already with the kind of virtual reality technology that’s out there and questions about sex robots and sex dolls and things like that in certain parts of the world. This is going to be here before we know it and it’s going to hit the Church.
And the fact that the culture tends to be so nonchalant toward anything related to sexuality as long as it doesn’t seem to “harm” anyone or seems to be not “problematic” from that standpoint, is really going to leave the Church– It’s going to be something that’s going to need to lead to the Church responding in wise and faithful and biblical ways.
I think this is one of the cultural trends that’s coming that a lot of people don’t know is right around the corner.
Want to see more from Trevin? Check out his other LifeWay Voices posts: