Our theology of technology says that technology exists to help us temporarily fight against the immediate effects of the Curse. Everyday people struggle with poor health or medical issues, environmental calamities that make living and growing food difficult, and life-threatening emergencies. These are all effects of the Curse on creation that was brought about by sin. Our best efforts can temporarily fight these effects but they can never fully cure them. This helps us realize God has provided the only permanent solution to the Curse through Jesus Christ.
Health care technology is an excellent example. As a type 2 diabetic, using an insulin pump and having used a glucose monitor, I like to use my diabetes to help our campers see how we fight against the Curse. Some technology for diabetics includes continuous glucose monitoring to track sugar levels and an insulin pump to automatically supply insulin, rather than through daily injections. This technology is quite amazing and allows diabetic patients who utilize this technology to not have to think about their diabetes—the technology does it all for them!
Technology giants Medtronic and IBM are working together to develop even more advanced technologies to help treat diabetes. They hope to someday create a sort-of artificial pancreas that functions without input from the user. Current glucose monitors and insulin pumps need their users to input information about what and when they ate and they also need them to respond to glucose level alerts. But new technology could run seamlessly in the background, allowing diabetics to better manage their diabetes (to learn more about the development of these new technologies, read this article).
When you have diabetes, you are keenly aware of what a blessing insulin is and how well it was designed to do what it does. Being without something, or it not working as it was designed to do, is usually a good reminder of how well things are supposed to operate! Insulin is a hormone, made in the pancreas, which allows your body to use glucose (sugar). It regulates blood sugar levels, allows you to use sugars as energy, or stores the sugars away for future use. Insulin is vital to a healthy body because your cells need sugar and yet they cannot absorb this sugar on their own. When you eat, beta cells in the pancreas are triggered to release insulin which attaches to the sugars and allows cells to absorb the sugar for use. Without insulin, your body can’t use sugars or regulate your blood sugar levels, which is dangerous and sometimes even deadly. And all of this happens without you ever having to think about it (unless, of course, you’re a diabetic like me). The incredible design of insulin, and how it works together with the rest of the body, points to our Creator, the Lord Jesus, who made us fearfully and wonderfully (Psalm 139:14).
Diabetes is an effect of the Curse and the technology that has been developed allows us to fight against it. But it’s not a permanent solution. Technology can extend our lives and help us live happier and healthier, but it can’t give us everlasting life. Only Jesus Christ can do that through His death and Resurrection from the grave. And that is the message about technology that young people need to hear!