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The Parallel Between AI & Creation

As a pastor, theologian, and co-founder of a non-profit organization whose mission is to cultivate a new vision of work, the rapid adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) raises a growing number of existential questions. From actors to lawyers, an increasing number of professionals feel threatened by the growing applications of AI. How can the ancient text of the Bible provide any insight to guide us in responding to this quickly developing technology? There is an interesting parallel between the development of AI and the stewardship of creation which may not be obvious but could significantly shape how we approach AI.

The Christian Bible begins with God calling upon humanity to steward creation: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Gen 2:15, NIV). A closer reading of the opening two chapters reveals how humanity is called to be caretaker of the natural order, nurturing it to the point where it and humanity flourish together. This command to cultivate and steward the world is often called the Cultural Mandate. As we turn to the New Testament, we additionally infer that creation is a loving expression of a God who is defined as love (1 John 4:7). Artist Makoto Fujimura in his book Art and Faith 1 writes, “God created out of love. God created because it is in God’s nature to make and create.” God imagines that we would lovingly care for creation, stewarding it on behalf of One who desires to see a world filled with abounding vitality.

AI, like the natural world around us, is latent with unforeseen possibilities, and therefore, it too, must be lovingly stewarded and tended to. It is necessary that we understand how it can grow unwieldy without proper care and oversight. The 2021 movie Finch 2, starring Tom Hanks, portrays the story of the main character, Finch Weinberg, who nurtures and cares for a humanoid robot to the point where it learns to take on his likeness, caring for Finch’s dog when he is gone. In other words, technology reflects our own nature back to us.

The movie Finch helps us understand that our response to AI is shaped by the question of humanity’s calling. Do we learn from the Cultural Mandate that humanity’s call is to steward and care for this world in the likeness of a loving God and learn to apply it to all that we create? Will we see AI as the ultimate mirror, reflecting our deeper motives that can lead to loving sacrifice or self-aggrandizing evil? Can we rally around this technology in these early stages to consider and amplify the human potential for love, compassion, and justice?

As we look at the reality of rising global temperatures and the ensuing damage being done to cities worldwide, our stewardship over creation, or lack thereof, does not bode well for how humans will steward AI. With problems that range from bias to total human annihilation, there is no shortage of examples of how AI could be used in nefarious and destructive ways. Yet, embedded in the creation narrative is the Christian gospel of unrelenting hope: “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Rom 5:5, NIV84). Despite much cause for despair, hope remains central to the Christian ethos. Books like Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark 3 remind us of how light can shine even in the darkest situations. The opening words of creation, “Let there be light” (Gen 1:3, NIV) teach us that darkness was the precursor to unimaginable life and vitality.

It is in this hope that we must reframe our approach to AI, mindful of humanity’s calling to lovingly steward creation. As God gave humanity agency to steward the natural world, we must confidently employ that same agency to nurture positive uses of this technology.

In the same way that we are actively discovering ways to nurture our environment through reforestation, conservation, renewable energies, green urban planning, and sustainable agriculture, creators of AI systems can carefully consider how algorithms, data sets, and objectives can build an AI whose behaviour begins to mimic the best of our humanity. We can actively strive to imbue AI with values that align with our aspirations toward a hopeful future. We must applaud, commend, and fund responsible uses of AI that empower people to create tools that enhance human potential and address societal challenges.

There are amazing historical examples of how humans have learned to nurture and steward creation with greater imagination and care. We are rewilding farms, restoring habitats, conserving endangered species, and advancing circular economy initiatives. We have learned stewarding creation requires patience, perseverance, and dedication to supporting the Earth’s inherent resilience and regenerative ability. We learn from organizations like the Biomimicry Institute how to bridge biology and design to create nature-inspired solutions. Researchers like Peter Wohlleben and Suzanne Simard have helped us reimagine forests and discovered how trees can communicate with one another and nurture the ecosystem 4.

Likewise, we need a growing number of organizations and researchers dedicated to nurturing and stewarding AI, like AI & Faith. We must consider developing new branches of AI research and engineering focused on AI algorithms, models, and feedback to influence this kind of positive development and responsible growth.

In conclusion, the development of AI and the stewardship of creation share important parallels that can guide us toward the responsible and ethical development of AI. Reflecting upon our role as stewards of the natural world can lead us to consider humanity’s calling to lovingly nurture the tremendous latent potential of AI. We must remain hopeful in our approach to AI as we imagine visions of a better future, even when that future vision seems to contradict the current reality. By doing so, we can transform AI from being a dark mirror of passive fatalism into a reflection of the best of our humanity, inspiring and enabling a future that realizes our hopeful possibility.

About the Author

A big thanks to AI&F Advisor Rev. Dr. David H. Kim for writing this article. Dr. Kim is currently the CEO of Goldenwood, and organization whose mission is to revive work with love. He counsels and consults individuals and organizations, providing curriculum development expertise, spiritual direction, and community organization. Prior to this new work, David served as VP of Faith and Work at Redeemer City to City and as the Executive Director of the Center for Faith & Work and as the Founder and Director of the Gotham Fellowship at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, developing and teaching its intensive curriculum.

Over the past decade, Dr. Kim has trained and counselled hundreds of leaders and organizations teaching courses at Fuller Theological Seminary and Regent College. As an international speaker, Dr. Kim has given talks at prominent institutions and churches around the world. His expertise as a key thought-leader in this faith and work space has been well established as he continues to pioneer effective means by which individuals and organizations can grow towards a lived spirituality.

Dr. Kim received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, his M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary, his Th.M. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and his D.Min. at Fuller Theological Seminary. Dr. Kim has a passion for making the gospel real to life, especially in the context of work. He’s written two devotional books: Glimpses of a Greater Glory and The Lord’s Prayer Devotional. He’s also the author of 20 and Something: Have the Time of Your Life (and Figure it All Out Too) and the general editor of the NIV Faith & Work Bible.


Fujimura, Makoto. Art and Faith: A Theology of Making. Yale University Press, 2021.

Sapochnik, Miguel, director. Finch. Apple TV+, 2021.

Solnit, Rebecca. Hope in the dark: Untold histories, wild possibilities. Haymarket Books, 2016.

Simard, Suzanne W., Peter Wohlleben, and Jane Billinghurst. “The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World.” (2015).

Rev. Dr. David H. Kim

Is the CEO and co-founder of Goldenwood and has spent the past several decades training, consulting, and counseling hundreds of leaders and organizations in developing a meaningful integration of faith and work. He previously served as VP of Faith and Work with Redeemer City to City, Executive Director of the Center for Faith & Work and Director of the Gotham Fellowship, all at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC. David is editor of the NIV Faith and Work Bible.

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