Billy Graham: Technology, faith and human shortcomings | Summary and Q&A

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July 16, 2008
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TED
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Billy Graham: Technology, faith and human shortcomings

TL;DR

Billy Graham reflects on the enduring problems of human evil, suffering, and death, and offers faith as the solution.

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Key Insights

  • 👤: Billy Graham, a clergyman, feels out of place among CEOs and leaders in the Silicon Valley, but is fascinated by their talk about the future of technology and science.
  • 🛠️: David introduced the Iron Age to Israel, revolutionizing their society by providing them with advanced tools and military weaponry.
  • 💡: Technological advancements cannot solve the problem of human evil, as seen in wars, corruption, fraud, and selfish behavior.
  • 💔: Technology has not been able to solve the problem of human suffering, as poverty, betrayal, and psychological pressures still exist.
  • 💀: Death is a universal problem that technology cannot conquer, and people often live as if they will never die, even though it is inevitable.
  • ❓: Many people, including influential figures like Blaise Pascal and Wernher von Braun, believe in the existence of a higher power beyond our understanding.
  • 🙏: King David turned to God to find answers to the dilemmas of evil, suffering, and death, and placed his faith in God to bring restoration and hope.
  • ✝️: Billy Graham's personal experience with Christ transformed his life and gave him the assurance that he will go into the presence of God when he dies.

Transcript

As a clergyman, you can imagine how out of place I feel. I feel like a fish out of water, or maybe an owl out of the air. (Laughter) I was preaching in San Jose some time ago, and my friend Mark Kvamme, who helped introduce me to this conference, brought several CEOs and leaders of some of the companies here in the Silicon Valley to have breakfast ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How did Billy Graham feel when surrounded by CEOs and leaders discussing technology and science?

Billy Graham felt out of place but also stimulated and intrigued by the talk about the future possibilities through technology and science.

Q: How does Billy Graham describe the impact of the Iron Age on Israel?

Billy Graham compares the introduction of iron in Israel to the impact of the microchip in modern society, claiming it brought significant changes to their lives.

Q: What were the three problems David, King of Israel, realized technology couldn't solve?

The three problems David recognized were human evil, human suffering, and death.

Q: According to Billy Graham, where does human evil come from?

Billy Graham believes that human evil comes from a separation from God, and he asserts that only God can restore the human soul and address this problem.

Q: How does Billy Graham view the relationship between science and religion?

Billy Graham, along with scientists like Wernher von Braun, believes that science and religion are not antagonistic but rather complementary, and that the life and resurrection of Jesus is the focus of our efforts and inspiration.

Billy Graham recognizes the brevity of life as one of the greatest surprises and urges people to consider their beliefs and actions before they face death. He shares his personal faith experience with Jesus Christ and encourages others to seek God's love and find hope for the future in Him.

Summary

In this video, Billy Graham, a clergyman, discusses the three problems that King David faced and how they are still relevant today. He talks about the problem of human evil and the need for our souls to be restored by God. He also addresses the issue of human suffering and the inevitability of death. Graham emphasizes the importance of faith and the belief in Jesus Christ as the way to find hope and answers to these dilemmas.

Questions & Answers

Q: Why does Billy Graham feel out of place at the conference?

As a clergyman, Graham feels out of place at the conference because he is surrounded by CEOs and leaders discussing technology and science, which are not typically associated with religion or religious figures. However, he acknowledges the stimulating conversations he had with them and the eye-opening experiences he gained.

Q: What problems did King David introduce to Israel through the discovery of iron?

King David introduced the Iron Age to Israel, which revolutionized their society. With the discovery and utilization of iron, Israel had access to more advanced tools, agricultural equipment, and military weapons. This transformation took place within one generation and had a similar impact to the microchip in our generation.

Q: What are the three problems that David realized technology couldn't solve?

The three problems that David realized technology couldn't solve were human evil, human suffering, and death. Despite the advancements in technology, these problems still persist and remain unsolved. Graham emphasizes that these problems go beyond what technology can address and require a deeper understanding and solution.

Q: What does David say about human evil in the Psalms?

In the Psalms, David describes the evils of the human race and acknowledges the presence of human evil. He also emphasizes that God can restore our souls and bring about a change in us. David recognizes that the problem lies within our hearts and souls and that only God can heal and restore them.

Q: Why do wars, revolutions, and personal conflicts occur in every generation?

Graham reflects on the fact that throughout history, wars, revolutions, and personal conflicts have been prevalent in every generation and part of the world. He questions the root cause of these conflicts and suggests that the problem lies within human nature. Our separation from our Creator and the brokenness within us lead to these destructive behaviors and conflicts.

Q: How can man be changed to eliminate lying, cheating, and fraud?

According to Graham, the Bible teaches that the problem lies within our hearts and souls. He believes that our separation from God is the root cause of these negative behaviors. Graham suggests that only God can bring about the change needed in our hearts and souls to eliminate lying, cheating, and fraud. He emphasizes the need for our souls to be restored by God.

Q: How does human suffering relate to technological advances?

Graham acknowledges that while technology has advanced and helped to alleviate certain types of human suffering, it hasn't solved the problem completely. Even with all the advancements, poverty, family issues, and psychological pressures still exist. Graham points out that science and technology can only address some aspects of human suffering, but faith and a deeper understanding of God's love and grace are needed to find true comfort and relief from suffering.

Q: Why is death considered the forbidden subject of our generation?

Graham suggests that death is often seen as the forbidden subject of our generation. Many people live as if they will never die and technology sometimes gives us the illusion of control over our mortality. People can see deceased individuals on screens looking just as they did in life, which can create the perception that they are somehow still alive. However, death remains an inevitable reality that society often avoids or struggles to come to terms with.

Q: How did Blaise Pascal approach the human dilemmas of evil, suffering, and death?

Blaise Pascal, a 17th-century mathematician and philosopher, delved into the human dilemmas of evil, suffering, and death. He believed that humans have extraordinary potential for greatness and achievements but are also capable of evil and self-deception. Pascal's profound religious experience led him to submit himself to Jesus Christ and he saw the knowledge of God as surpassing any scientific knowledge. He presented Pascal's Wager, which states that it is prudent to bet on God's existence and open oneself to His love, as one loses nothing if wrong but risks losing everything if they bet that there is no God.

Q: How did Billy Graham personally come to faith?

At the age of 17, Graham had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ that transformed his life. He was born and raised on a farm in North Carolina and had a humble upbringing. However, his encounter with Christ changed his perspective and he made a decision to believe in Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life. This faith in Jesus became the foundation of his life and work as a clergyman.

Takeaways

Billy Graham highlights the enduring problems of human evil, suffering, and death. He emphasizes the need for our souls to be restored by God and the importance of faith in finding meaning and hope in life. Graham acknowledges that technology and science have their place, but they cannot fully solve these fundamental issues. He encourages individuals to seek God and allow Him to bring about a change in their lives, addressing these dilemmas in a deeper and more profound way.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Billy Graham discusses feeling out of place as a clergyman in the world of technology and science, but recognizes the importance of these advancements.

  • He draws parallels between the Iron Age introduction by King David and the impact of the microchip on modern society.

  • Graham highlights the three enduring problems of human evil, suffering, and death, proposing that only faith in God can provide meaning and answers.

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