Sunday Edition: A Geek and His Faith

If you’ve read my little bio over on the right sidebar, you might have picked up on my claim to be a Christian.  I’m not a particularly good one, mind you.  But that’s what grace is about, isn’t it?

One of the reasons I might not be a particularly good one probably has something to do with my other claim: that I’m a Geek.

As a Geek, I absolutely love my “tech toys”.  Give me a new gizmo to tinker with and I’m in Geek Heaven.  As a Christian, I am able to identify those impulses as a form of materialism.  The temptation to spend money I don’t have on gizmos I want is pretty darn strong, but I know I have to be responsible with my money so I (mostly) resist.

As a Geek, I love books.  Tech books and Science Fiction books, mostly.  Yet another materialistic impulse rears it’s head.  But I also enjoy SciFi in many different forms, including movies.  The problem with a lot of SciFi is that it’s not complimentary to a Christian worldview.  In a way, being a Christian makes me a bit of a SciFi Heretic — Aliens are simply allegories, miracles are not just “sufficiently advanced technology” or statistically improbable events, and I see Creation at work where some see only entropy.  But to my mind, better that than to be the other kind of heretic!

Being a Christian Geek isn’t totally contradictory, though.

As a Geek, I have a peculiar way of looking at the world.  As a Christian, I have a peculiar way of looking at the world.  It is possible for me to reconcile the two, through faith.  As a Geek, my view of the world is colored by scientific observation.  As a Christian, my view of the world is informed by an honest observation of human nature.  Both worldviews would insist that things happen for a reason, that cause and consequences go hand-in-hand.  Both worldviews look for wonder in the universe in which we live, and both are not afraid to ask hard questions.  Both worldviews find value in knowledge.

Being a geek could be a weakness, but it can also be a strength.  There is nothing “blind” about my faith.  I know why I believe what I believe.  Likewise, being a Christian helps to balance me and keep me grounded when my geek imagination tries to run away with me.

Geeks have a reputation for being strange.  Christians often have a reputation for being strange.  It means we have a different way of looking at things than so-called “normal” people.  And I kinda like being strange.

Sundays I’m going to try to explore what it means to be a “Christian Geek”, as often as I can.  You’re welcome to join me in that journey, whether you’re a geek, a Christian, or both.

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