I decided to do a little experiment to get a handle on the state of contemporary AI. Since I’m preaching on the call of Abram in Genesis 12:1-9 this Sunday, I thought I’d ask ChatGPT to generate some sermons on this biblical text in the style of several prominent preachers and theologians. See if you can guess who ChatGPT thinks it is imitating in the following sermons. Feel free to leave your comments in the chat and share with others you think might be interested. I’ll reveal the pseudo-identities of the “preachers” in upcoming posts, as well as share a few observations about where ChatGPT goes wrong.Continue reading Some Fun with ChatGPT
One of the delights of moving to Manitoba was the discovery that pelicans are annual summer residents on the drainage pond behind our house. Pelicans have long been one of my favorite birds, even before I learned of their Christological significance some years back. Continue reading Pelicans!
I’ve just ordered Jonathan Tran’s new book, Asian Americans and the Spirit of Racial Capitalism after listening to a conversation between him and the guys at the Crackers and Grape Juice podcast. I’ve appreciated Tran’s past work (particularly The Vietnam War and Theologies of Memory) and there is an essay co-authored by Tran and Hauerwas in Minding the Web, but I was especially struck in this conversation by how Tran is providing a much needed theological voice of sanity in the midst of contemporary struggles surrounding race. Continue reading A Voice of Sanity
Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt offers an insightful diagnosis of the divisions and stunted intellectual discourse that have characterized American public life in recent years in his essay “Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid” appearing in The Atlantic. It is a longer read, but it does reward those who put in the time. (For that matter, there is also an audible version of the article available on The Atlantic’s website. I was able to listen to the essay while driving today.) Haidt compares the fallout of developments such as the “share” and “like” buttons in Facebook and Twitter to the splintering of the ancient peoples into different language groups at the Tower of Babel. There is much to ponder here for those of us who reside in Canada, who face similar, but not identical social dynamics. Russell Moore, the former SBC ethicist, reflects upon Haidt’s piece in a column, “Fragmentation is Not What’s Killing Us.” Moore agrees that there is much to learn from Haidt’s analysis, but suggests that a theological reading of the Tower of Babel story might suggest a different framing of the problem and understanding of the solution than Haidt proposes. For my part I could not help but think of Stanley Hauerwas’s important essay “The Church as God’s New Language,” which juxtaposes Babel with the Spirit’s animating of the Church at Pentecost.
I was pleased to get my COVID vaccination a couple of weeks ago. I view getting vaccinated as part of my missional calling as a Christian to love my neighbour. Unfortunately, many Christians do not see things in the way I do, with the potential risk that we do not reach herd immunity as a society. Southern Manitoba, where I currently reside, is often considered to be one of the Bible-belts of Canada, yet it has the lowest vaccination rate in the province. Continue reading Vaccine Hesitancy among Christians
In the midst of the final stretch of the semester, with Holy Week approaching next week, posts have been few and far between. In the midst of the busyness, I wanted to share a couple of timely articles that have come on to my radar in the past few days. Continue reading Some Short Lenten Reading