Christianity and Libraries: A “Conversation” with ChatGPT

Publication Date


Document Type



Library and Information Science


This essay appeared in Christ Animating Learning, a blog affiliated with the journal Christian Scholar’s Review.


This essay recounts the author’s interaction with the artificial intelligence tool known as ChatGPT. The subject of the exchange was the relationship between Christianity and libraries, on which the author has written and presented repeatedly. Topics of “conversation” included (a) Christian contributions to the development of libraries, (b) areas of overlap and conflict between Christian ethics and the ethics of the library profession, and (c) resources available for the integration of Christian faith and librarianship. The author’s engagement with ChatGPT induced both exhilaration and dismay. Positively, ChatGPT exhibited the capacity to interpret questions, synthesize information about a topic, and identify talking points, consistently producing well written prose. Negatively, the system presented false information, at times citing non-existent sources and fabricating summaries of them. The essay concludes with a call for discerning Christians to evaluate ChatGPT with both a critical eye and an open mind, recognizing that its capabilities and defects may not remain constant.