April 20, 2008

Kevin Hiebert - “Mennonite Sci-fi”

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Kevin Hiebert 

Kevin Hiebert spoke on the fascinating theme of "Mennonite Sc-Fi". Kevin has been reading science fiction for most of his life, appreciating the ways this genre of literature looks at how technology might possibly affect our society, our world and even the galaxy. This speculative type of fiction at times also considers how technology might affect personal morality. As for looking ahead, when Stephen was stoned (Acts 7), he 'saw' (foresaw) heaven opening, and speculated on what lay ahead for him personally. Romans 12.18 asks that 'insofar as it is possible, be at peace with everybody'. One Mennonite Sc-Fi author, Karl Schroeder, recently published a work in which he imagined how this might be possible, and what problems might be encountered. Naturally, we no longer assume that technology will inevitably make life better for everyone, but technology certainly has helped us, touching even aspects of our faith world. We can now track people down almost instantly by cell phone, or communicate rapidly by computer. We can archive enormous quantities of information with minimal effort (sharing it even more easily), rank amateurs can blog on all sorts of topics, and talks given Sunday mornings to our small fellowship can now be heard the same day by Kevin in Virginia or by friends in Europe. Technology also has its inevitable downside, such as e-mail chaining individuals to their desks without breaks. In this regard, Jesus often retreated from the crowds in order to find peace and quiet, but do we ever declare a day or even an evening as being computer-free? Interestingly, before an Amish community adopts any new technology, it first asks how this might affect their community and possibly their faith. The bible starts in a garden and ends in a city, an interesting metaphor for our increasingly complicated lives. [JEK]


Passage: Romans 12:18
Communion: No
Ecumenical or Event:
Potluck Lunch: No
Congregational Meeting: No


Speaker: Kevin Hiebert
Worship Leader: Janice Kreider
Song Leader: Rosie Perera
Pianist: J Evan Kreider
Usher: Henry Neufeld
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