For part one in my sure-to-be-way-too-long series on science fiction and spiritulity see here.
Part two involes the story Article of Faith by Mike Resnick. You can listen for free here, either on computer or Mp3 player. It is a pretty good story and I really like the host of Escape Pod, Steve Eley, he's a very thoughtful guy. The story itself reminded me of Robot Dreams from Isaac Asimov where a robot has a dream in which it is a Moses figure freeing the enslaved robots. For this dream, the robot is destroyed.
In Article of Faith, a robot and preacher learn about faith and the resulting disaster. I say disaster because I believe when faith is real, when we say, as Phylis Tickle does, that is Jesus is God not guru, there will be a shake-up in life. The preacher has to make a decision about what a soul is and what a member of his church can be. It reads a little like a story of racial prejudice, a few years delayed. In fact it sounds alot like an experience that happened in Americus GA back in the 60s with Clarence Jordan and some of his friends from Koinonia Farms.
At its worst sci-fi is humanistic paternalism with technology as the savior. At its best sci-fi can give us new images to think about age-old human problems. Which, in my opinion is the definition of good theology: new images of thinking about the fundamental issues of human existence.