CCR 095: Christian Transhumanism with Reverend Doctor Benek

Play

ep095

IS CHRISTIANITY AND THE TECHNOLOGICAL SINGULARITY COMPATIBLE? When we started Canary Cry Radio back in 2012, we saw that the march toward a technological singularity, and the advent of transhumanism, was first, a secular enterprise, but second, an occult and esoteric endeavor, relating back to the earliest forms of spiritual practices, such as Kabbalah, Alchemy, and the ancient mystery schools. From our Christian worldview, the eschatological catalyst is the arrival of the Antichrist and his beast kingdom, which will eventually usher in the return of Jesus Christ to judge and restore the world with a new heavens and new earth. Included in the promise of His return, is an event known as the resurrection of the dead, where the dead in Christ rise first, and are given new, indestructible, immortal bodies. Contrary to this Biblical end times view, is the idea that humanity, through the progress of technology and science, will ultimately achieve immortality, and thus salvation. Or so we thought.

In this episode, we are joined by a man who is a pastor, husband, and father, and a graduate of the world’s first ever Doctor of Ministry program focusing specifically on Theology and Science from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Reverend Doctor Christopher Benek. He also has advanced degrees in Ministry/Theology (Ethics) from Princeton Theological Seminary and is currently working on a fourth in Technology and Theology at Durham University in England. He has been featured all over the place, from the NY Times, FOX News, RT, to Christianity Today, Motherboard, the Daily Show, and now, Canary Cry Radio. According to Reverend Doctor Benek, Christianity must lead the conversation in transhumanism and the technological singularity in order to shape it for the betterment of mankind, and ultimately to bring glory to Jesus Christ. He calls this “Christian Transhumanism.” While we share the notion of bringing glory to Jesus Christ and doing good works for the Kingdom, there are limitations and lessons from Biblical history, as well as projected events in Biblical eschatology, that seem to suggest that we ought to be very cautious about fully immersing ourselves in a transhuman, and ultimately post-human future. Do you believe that we can have Christian Transhumanism to glorify God in this world as Reverend Benek suggests? Or do you believe that one day, we will have to put the technology and science down, as it might ultimately be the catalyst to usher in the mark of the beast, the image of the beast, and the wrath of God?

LINKS

Christopher Benek’s Website (http://www.christopherbenek.com/)

LOFI File (Click HERE)

40 comments… add one
  1. Shehab

    Benek is a false teacher that will lead people astray , this conversation that shows he has no allegiance to the word of God , what he does is twist scripture to fit his idolized image of god in his mind. In these end times we must read the bible for what it says and not what we try to get it to tell us. We must pray to Jesus to ask him to open his eyes before he falls for the lies of satan

  2. cory

    im only halfway through the episode and im shouting at the screen in disagreement with this guy! i could write a 5 page essay on why his arguments are using unsound doctrine and theology at their core and as such are weak at best……. maybe this will all be addressed by the end of the episode but as of now its driving me crazy!!!!! lol and thats saying something coming from me as a canary cry radio enthusiast as im usually the one on the receiving end of criticism like that from mainline Christians so i try to be as open minded as possible but this i cannot for a second support….. maybe if he was basing it upon better doctrine but its so obviously a stretch in so many different ways to fit his chosen narrative i cant even consider his arguments…. nonetheless i love the show guys keep it up! god bless

  3. Tony F

    Basile, I want a ride in your pouch if you get kangaroo legs but only if you are hopping through the bush for God. I’m probably too big but maybe my kids could go for a hop around the block., woo hoo!

  4. Jerry

    Thanks Gonz and Basil… interesting interview. I am also only a little beyond half-way through the podcast and I really just felt the need to express my concern with this podcast guest’s prescription (as with Shebab and Cory above) that this isn’t sound doctrine. I’m eager to finish listening, but oh dear, my heart and mind are telling me that this idea of Christians becoming pro-Transhumanists is a trap. There are so many things I could say and examples to give as to why the logic he presents is unsound, but I also want to respect the time and space constraints. I just so much appreciate that you guys do such an awesome job of interviewing people that touch on these very poignant topics in such a direct way—and with such fairness. I’ll go finish listening now. Blessings.

  5. Nobunaga

    At least we know who untrustworthy in theology, the reason for the fall was a self interested will and not a will subjected to the will of God and this is what this man is promoting, do not wait for your glorified body when God in his own time and wisdom will give you what He promised but we can get it NOW !
    Soon as he mentioned NT Wright the gig was up NT Wright denies the imputed righteousness of Christ to believers, if you think you will stand in front of the Holy One of Israel in your own righteousness you have no clue about your own sin or His awefull Holiness. Isaiah 61.10.

  6. DB

    I’m in agreement with the other comments above. This guy is a wolf. For example, he discussed human/animal hybrids receiving the gospel and eluded to the possibility of being saved? This is one of the reasons for the flood in the time of Noah. This guy needs to be exposed and rebuked by the Christian community. He will lead his flock to damnation. This is the exact kind of “reverend” (only God is holy and reverend) will lead people straight into taking the mark of the beast just like John MacArthur.

  7. Esteban

    Great Interview and needed to bring this issue to light. But this “Movement” is another (or the same but repackaged) deception from Satan, Genesis 3:5 Lie “ye shall be as gods”. Also, we human beings, are a unique creation, in the image of GOD, and came to life when God breath Life into us, and so is our DNA unique, but has been corrupted due to Sin.

    How can imperfect man “create” something that is good (and I mean good by God’s standards not ours)?

    How can God’s Spirit (or God) indwell something he did not create or redeem it (our God Designed DNA )?

    Does God need puny Man’s Help to make us into his image? I say No!

    1. Daniel

      Right on man! Nailed it.

  8. FreekWhenSee

    C’mon! Really? Just posting this comment is a monumental waste of time. Oh look, the spiritual deck chairs on the Titanic are out of place. Most bands from the 70.90’s had a song or two on their “albums” called “fillers”. These songs are to make up the required time to record an “album”. This canarycryradio episode is that song. Time to let go of man merging with machine, it’s a ploy, a diversion. Although, you may be seeing it in underground venues, if it is even a possibility it will be mid to end trib. Rant over, deck chairs in place. breathe in, breathe out…. better.

  9. Daniel

    Our Father in heaven, give us eyes to see and ears to hear where the wolves in sheep’s clothing are. In the name of Yahshua HaMashiach, amen and amen. Peace

  10. icedamascus

    I think it was quite telling that Mr. Benek never really mentioned going to the scripture when regarding how Christians would decide on “limits”. “Gathering a bunch of ‘Christians’ together and pray about it” is a scary avenue to pursue when excluding the most important resource and guide to consent, which is the Bible. Also he kept referring to remaining within a “limit” as being that which benefits Christ’s kingdom on earth, which can be extremely subjective when not asked along with scripture. It’s about what brings glory to God. And mixing the image of God with the image of beasts is not something I’d think the Bible would considered pleasing to Him.

    1. DCW

      To icedamascus, I appreciate your thoughtful comments. Still, the standard approach to church problem solving is “Gathering a bunch of ‘Christians’ together and pray about it.” Technology has a way of working its way into church matters, and respectful discussion is a first step toward awareness of problems and their solutions. I have no doubt that Dr. Benek can argue is position from scripture; perhaps he will do just that in a future interview. However, based on most comments in this forum, I’m not sure that anyone will listen.

  11. sherry music

    when I was 16 …I had saved for almost 2 years to buy my first car..My daddy was a good back yard mechanic and I listened to him tell me what to look for and what to buy and he offered to go with me. I knew I could do this on my own so, off I went to town to get my wheels. I will never forget Mr .Smiley…He reminded me of a sweet ol grand pa or uncle ..so friendly,so nice, He kept telling me how proud He was of my ability to work and save ..and He listened to me quit intently tell him what I was looking for…showed me a couple cars and I had just about made up my mind on one …and then…There was one more He had in mind..I saw her..there she sat so beautiful,,so shiny and new looking…emerald green ( my favorite color).. A Mustang ! Surely there was not a more beautiful car made ! Mr Smiley must of seen the look in my eyes ..She was perfect.The more Mr Smiley talked the further my daddies words slipped from my mind.. but she looked so good and Mr. Smiley said all the right words..shes was made for me..she was in top notch shape..her motor was the finest made and man the miles she could go on a gallon of gas..and Just think young lady a beautiful woman like you in a car like this ..well just imagine how far you’ll go in life ,,Why I bet you’ll get a better job and just think of the kind of fella you’ll meet….I gladly handed over the money..of course we haggled and by a miracle of GOD or so I thought I had enough to buy her.. My mustang lasted 2 months…She had a cracked block and the muffler was held up by a coat hanger ,,My dad never did figure out what exactly was wrong with the carburetor even after he pulled about 5lbs of dirt and weeds out of the gas tank…I think I walked the 9 miles to work another year and a half before I had enough saved for better car…lol…

    Im in my fifties now and I had forgot about Mr.Smiley until today when I listened to your broad cast.

    Mr Beneks spoke all the right words and they sound great and He has lots of wonderful titles attached to his name so his words must be true and correct…In fact they almost seem to shine …almost…

    Great show Guys .. I Love you both and I always look forward to next broadcast..Thanks for the trip down memory lane…I think maybe this time I might have learned from my mistake…

    GOD bless you both ever so much with a happy day !

  12. David

    Been trying to leave a comment but its not working… Check up on this comment box… Maybe there is something not working.

    Thanks

  13. David

    For some reason the comment box isn’t working. Whats going on?

  14. Dave

    I was kind of surprised that the Rev.Dr. and Gonz had trouble defining limits to what is human or what comprises a human. Kind of brought to mind the recent debates concerning race and gender. I imagine the Rev. Dr. Supposes that as long as the chimera, cyborg, AI identifies as a human then all is fine in the kingdom.

  15. Dave

    … As a follow up (not a rant) Peter Goodgame put out some commentary a while back regarding a book he read titled “Sapiens” and can be read here: https://redmoonhawaii.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/sapiens/

    To his point, the market and state have created our current state through our willful compliance. We wouldn’t even have the discussion of transhumanism if the focus was on God and not the market. The market is brining this to fruition.The state is defending the market in place of the individual and the beast is is the abomination the partnership has bread.

    We know who we are ….at least we used to. Compromise has washed our collective memory.

  16. Paul

    …Won’t bother downloading this one.

    Reading the introduction told me all I needed to know.

    Next!

    1. admin

      Just curious what the point is of telling us you’re not going to download the episode. Are you afraid of being challenged with views you (and us) disagree with?

      1. Ron

        I happen to agree with Paul, and the point is just to offer you feedback on your program to help you move it in the right direction. You can take or leave it, it’s your program. I can’t speak for Paul, but my problem with giving this man and audience is that he is not your run of the mill conspiracy theorist that you can listen to and laugh when it gets too outlandish. This guy has the audience of many misguided believers and is at the very heart of the scripture that says to ” deceive even the elect” . I understand your position of needing to hear what he says because that’s your occupation to know what’s out there. But there is inherent danger in taking in garbage into your mind. I don’t have to watch porn to know it’s bad. And I am somewhat careful as to which of these programs I listen to, because my wife listens also, and she depends on me a lot for discernment. And also what you take in affects your spirit and how you behave, I can tell by listening to you that you get kind of paranoid on occasion and it’s understandable. But if you say there is no harm in listening or watching anything and everything just so you know about it, I tend to disagree.

        1. Thanks for your thoughts Ron. I personally think that it’s important for people who are professing to be believers, to hear out and understand opposing perspectives. While I deeply disagree with his conclusions about transhumanism, I do think he had some points that translate into our behavior and conduct in the times we are living in. And as you stated, “you can take it or leave it.” But to compare this man’s perspective to porn I think is a bit dishonest. It’s not “garbage” that he is stating.

          It’s great that you lead your family in spiritual issues. That’s pretty awesome. Bless you guys for that. But if you or your wife runs into someone who shares in Reverend Doctor Benek’s perspective about Transhumanism, don’t you think it would be wise to know why they would think what they think, and then be able to show, perhaps through your own perspective of biblical prophecy, why your view is more aligned with the bible?

          Remember Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves…” I believe a conversation like this one, is to learn about the subtle deceptions of the enemy. Ignoring it would be the same as putting your head in the sand.

          And it’s interesting that you said we get paranoid, because we don’t. Perhaps the sarcasm gets lost when you listen to us.

          Many blessings to you. God Bless!

          1. Zee

            I can’t seem to download this episode.

      2. Paul

        Just curious what the point is of telling us you’re not going to download the episode.

        Feedback, of course! You do ask for it on the show… 🙂

        If there’s something which sounds like its going to drive me up the wall, then I won’t bother downloading it. I’ve got to watch my blood pressure these days. …It’s 140 over 95, you know.

        Are you afraid of being challenged with views you (and uswe) disagree with?

        Afraid? I’m terrified.

        Anyway, I have a question.

        Can I like the show on Facebook without a Facebook account?

        Or review you on iTunes without an iTunes account?

        That was two questions. Sorry…

  17. Melissa Thompson

    Okay I have listened to this now 3x’s I am really trying to wrap my head around this and his point of view. I first off have to say that I am really grateful that you are both willing to have opposing views on your show that is greatly appreciated! I am also thankful he was willing to answer my question however I did not like the answer. I find it difficult to follow him (I could be very wrong in my understanding) as he seems to have different definitions for certain terms that seem to have pretty universal meaning to the rest of us. I am still very weary that this can have very detrimental ramifications if we chose as a body to embrace the movement, and place too much faith in ourselves. I can’t think of a scriptural argument off the top of my head but I just kept getting an icky feeling in my gut every time he talked about how he would, in order to make a critical decision suggest getting together in a group of Christians to pray. Unless it’s backed by scripture I think it can be dangerous to rely just on our “prayerful discernment” to much room for the flesh. And the whole thing about if Kangaroo legs would be used to glorify God thing that is scary to think he would possibly be willing to allow mixing of DNA. Was God not clear enough in the OT to not allow the mixing of species? Is that not why God’s people were told not to mix different textiles, so that we would have a constant symbol to remind us of that mixture that occurred in Genesis 6? Again it was nice to be able to hear more of his side and to allow him to explain his side of the matter, but I just can’t get behind him as I feel the scriptures are just far too clear. I don’t see too many arguing against hip replacements and pace makers but when it comes to crossing DNA and uploading consciousness’ this should be a red flag to any born again Bible believing Christian. I fear he just may be a tool for the enemy whether he is deliberating doing it or not. I just pray for the God of all wisdom to reveal to us more and more of His truth in His Scriptures and that we would all be humble enough for correction and rebuke when called for. Thanks and Basil & Gonz for all you do in the name of Truth & Love & Christ!!!

    1. admin

      Totally on board with you Melissa. I think a lot of his position is predicated on re-defining words, which is always dangerous and can put us on a wild semantics goose chase. As I stated, I can meet him about a quarter of the way, in terms of being responsible agents of technology. But I too vehemently disagree that this responsibility will extend into tampering with our DNA etc. Thanks for listening to us and being an encouragement to continue. God Bless!

      Gonz

  18. Dr. Barton

    I haven’t yet finished listening to this episode but I have to admit that I really liked it. Dr. Benek has, so far, made very good points about transhumanism, points that – especially judging by the comments here – are completely missed by many Christians. This is the way that Christians should be approaching transhumanism: asking what it means to be created in Yahoweh’s image and how that relates to any plans that Yahoweh might have for humanity.

    As I recently pointed out in the Canary Cry forums, we humans are so focused on our mortal lives that few of us truly consider what it means to be a transcendent, eternal being. If we accept the earliest judaic view that El, Yahoweh, the Elohim, and the Shaddin are a “step above” humanity, then creating man in Yahoweh’s image has a very real, physical meaning. If, on the other hand, we accept the later christo-judaic view that Yahoweh is a transcedent, eternal being, then “Yahoweh’s image” becomes a very nebulous concept.

    If we understand “Yahoweh’s image” to mean our physical forms, then we literally belittle Yahoweh by making him correspond to a mortal physical entity. This thinking is tied up in a lot of idolatry theology.

    If we understand “Yahoweh’s image” to mean our spiritual forms, then we do a similar thing but to a much smaller degree. I will note that there are still theological issues with this concept. A number of theologians have pointed out that “Revelation” 21:8 (I believe) could imply that people do not have eternal souls but granted eternal bodies by Jesus only after final judgement. It’s complicated and I won’t dwell on it further here.

    Anyway, transcendent and eternal have to be thought of completely differently than mortal. We know that matter and energy can be transformed and even transmuted. It isn’t easy and it’s mostly beyond our present technology and available energy. Thus, to Yahoweh – a transcendent and eternal being – differences between flesh and blood and wires and circuits (or nano-devices) are minimal at best. I would say that that can be biblically supported by gMatthew 3:9 where aMatthew claims that God can make living beings from stones. That being the case, then “Yahoweh’s image” has to mean something other than our physical bodies.

    Indeed, we know that Jesus has delayed the Second Coming for a reason. We know that our technology and science have advanced significantly since his First Coming. It is actually just as reasonable to speculate that God is using this technological change to “fulfill prophecy” as it is that the Devil and his minions are doing so. It is just as reasonable to speculate that angels can inhabit A.I.’s as it is that demons can. It is just as reasonable to speculate that transhumanism is part of God’s plan for humanity as it is that it is the Devil’s plan. In fact, if you argue that medical and agricultural advances are part of God’s plan for humanity, then it is actually more likely that transhumanism is part of God’s plan than the Devil’s (of course, it is all God’s plan but you know what I mean).

    The other part of the common christian misunderstanding of transhumanism is that it will create “gods” and immortality. No transhumanist who is worth listening to would ever suggest such a thing. We exist in an entropic universe. No matter how we transform ourselves, we remain mortal. And, under that understanding, what, really, is a god but a human with a bigger gun or more durable body. Anyone thinking that transhumanism would do anything more than expand what it means to be human is operating under a false understanding.

    I am glad that Dr. Benek was given an opportunity to speak on such matters, here. I only hope that more Christians concerned with such matters work to expand their understanding of what it means to be mortal before a transcendent being and not contract their understanding to literal interpretations of words that diminish God to a mortal being.

    1. Dr. Barton

      Finished the episode. Dr. Benek hung on strong until the end. Thanks for the interview!

  19. Paul

    Against my better judgement, I listened to it. …And soon wished I hadn’t bothered. The guy’s lost, as is the Scripture-twister praising him in the comment above. Anyone promoting the idea that Christians should embrace transhumanism is simply diverting believers away from what Christ actually told us to do. They’re just another species of wolf, as someone above pointed out.

    A waste of an hour (or whatever it was). Should’ve just stuck to my original decision…

  20. Jerimie West

    God bless you two, and thank you for what you do. I think Dr. Benek forgets that the whole idea of transhumanism is so that Satan can sculped us in his image. I’m all for prostitect limbs, but as soon as animal chimera comes in we are playing in the devils kitchen. Satan wants us to get comfortable with this idea. God made me in His image, and with the strength of Christ I’ve experienced, I’ll keep it that way.
    Praise God, amen. You two take care and may Gods blessings fall upon you.

  21. Ed Fenech

    This is one episode that I had skipped, up until today. Up until now I really didn’t want to listen to a so called “Christian” take on “transhumanism”, but given the accelerated adoption of genetic engineering and the ethical lines (if ethics defines the line) being blurred, I thought I would. Wow, I was almost floored at the heresy of Dr Benek’s argument. The peripheral issue (non issue) of using technology to replace a tooth or limb is not the problem. The problem is DNA manipulation. This is where Dr Benek crosses the theological line, and all I can say is I hope he sees his error and repents. As for you both, Gonz and Basil, you gave him a respectable amount of air time but most importantly gave him a calm and loving admonishment to boot 🙂

  22. Rudy

    I thought I was the only one who was disturbed by this man’s rhetoric. I, too, found myself yelling at him.

    His arguments were all based on humanity making the right choice about what to do with these technologies, but we are a fallen race and are incapable of doing so.

    That guy is a whackadoodle.

    Anyways, your show has become my favorite “fringe Christian” program. I thank ya’ll for the work you two are doing in edifying the body of Christ, and ya’ll make me laugh out loud! Keep it up!

  23. Chris

    Guys! This episode was great. Thanks for hearing this dudes opinion. I get tired of most mainline(taking the Bible literally) speakers cause it’s all we hear most of the time, and it’s refreshing to hear other views that still reflect the character and nature of God, but challenge us to “think outside the cage” 🙂 Loved what this dude had to say, and I think this comments section illustrates his point about Christians tearing each other apart, and I would hope we could all trust that the holy spirit is moving in all of us differently, but in the same way towards the teachings of Jesus and the Character of God. Much love dudes and thx again!

    1. DNA editing for the benefit of humanity is a calling entrusted to a very in the medical fraternity. This is because many are lovers of money more than they are lovers of God. Also many love seeking personal glory instead of the glory of God.

    2. DNA editing for the benefit of humanity is a calling entrusted to a very few in the medical fraternity. This is because many are lovers of money more than they are lovers of God. Also many love seeking personal glory instead of the glory of God.

    3. Many who are critical of DNA editing don’t realize that every form of technology can be used for good or for evil. To those who love God, every thing entrusted to them will be used for good and therefore bring glory to God.

  24. 144 Ky

    Is it just me or does this one doesn’t work?
    I got “File not found”

  25. Ephesians 4:8,12&13 read: When he ascended on high, he led captivity (TO SIN & DEATH) captive & gave gifts to men…….toprepareGod’s people for works of service (INCLUDING MEDICINE) so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith & in the knowledge of the Son of God & become mature, attaining to THE WHOLE MEASURE & AND STATURE OF THE FULNESS OF CHRIST -PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY, EMOTIONALLY & SPIRITUALLY(Emphasis added). Going by these verses, it is quite in place to believe in DNA editing (manipulation) as a means to achieving Christ -like maturity. While this technology can be misused by the ungodly for satanic ends, I personally believe that there are some in the medical fraternity who, with the authority of Jesus Christ & with their intellect guided & guarded by the Holy Spirit, can & will manipulate DNA for the good of humanity.

  26. These very special few could be used by God possibly to reverse congenital disorders such as blindness, lameness, mental disorders, etc.

  27. God bless you all who will venture into genetic engineering, allowing Him, the designer of all DNA (human, animal & plant) to reign in both your intellect & hearts. That way, satan will be kept from using your God given gift for his ends. Then all the glory will be to The Giver of all good gifts & perfect presents.

  28. Hector Arriaga

    It’s not there

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.