Inventions That Shook the World

Shook the WorldThis week the Talon will be featuring inventions that shook the world. From the printing press to “Google” and the “Google Drive” we use for our humble little publication, we’ll be mentioning a few creations which revolutionized the way we interact and communicate with one another and hopefully come away with a bit more of an appreciation for God’s sovereignty over the affairs of men and their machines.

Where to begin?

How about at the beginning?

Indeed. “In the beginning,” Scripture tells us, “God created the heavens and the earth.” And because man is part of that creation, created in God’s “image” or “likeness,” we too have an incessantly creative and inventive aspect to our being.

“Of the making of books there is no end,” Solomon tells us in the twelfth chapter of Ecclesiastes. And it would seem this likewise applies to inventions. Transportation, the sciences, industry, communication, information, medicine; the inventive advances in these respective fields, just in the last century, is mind-boggling and seemingly endless. Just consider –

A telescope in earth orbit.

A rocket which took men to the moon.

Remote-controlled Martian rovers.

Computers.

Cellular telephones.

Television.

The automobile.

The atomic bomb.

The airplane.

The stories behind these inventions fill volumes of books. There is intrigue, mystery, drama, war, betrayal, heartache, patent rights, danger, unexplored and uninhabited worlds, romance, money, government, espionage, and not a little bit of human sin, glory, pride and ingenuity behind each of them. How does God work out all things for good through all of man’s sometimes idolatrous and evil intentions when it comes to inventions? What does God have to do with technology?

Consider what Philo T. Farnsworth, one of the chief inventors behind the development of the modern television, once said about that question.

“I know that God exists. I know that I have never invented anything. I have been a medium by which these things were given to the culture as fast as the culture could earn them. I give all the credit to God.”

Hopefully we here at the Talon will give you some food for thought regarding the history of some of the more well-known inventions which have literally changed the ways in which we view and interact with the world around us and some Scripture to go along with it to better inform your thinking. No, we’re not claiming to have all the answers, of course, but we do hope these articles are thought-provoking tidbits which will further encourage you to seek out the treasures of wisdom and knowledge found in the Lord Jesus Christ as you interact with technology today.

Perhaps our aim in our “invention” theme this week can best be summed up by native Kentuckian Wendell Berry, a poet & farmer.

“The incarnate Word is with us,
is still speaking, is present
always, yet leaves no sign
but everything that is.”

In short, Jesus is Lord of all. We just have to pay more close attention to His word and the creation by which we are surrounded. In essence, there are “two” books Christians read, the Bible and creation.

God is the Author of both. “The heavens declare the glory of God,” David writes in Psalm 19, “and the firmament proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech…”

Are we listening?

We hope our articles encourage you to think more deeply about how Jesus is Lord not only of the telegraph, telephone and ticker tape, but of iPhones, iPads and Apple. How one begins to think about Jesus as Lord is to see how the creation, including man’s inventions, bespeak of His invisible attributes (Romans 1:19-20).

Jesus upholds the universe by the Word of His power, Hebrews 1 tells us. John says that “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” And Paul proclaims in Colossians that “by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

Enjoy! And perhaps God will use an article or two to inspire you to create the next invention that will shake things up a bit for His glory.

As Mr. Farnsworth says, “I give all the credit to God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Amen.