How Can Christians Think Hopefully about the Future at the Present Time of Crisis?

Tim Howles writes: The French, would you believe, have two words for “the future”. The first is “l’avenir”. This word describes the sort of situation that would likely pertain were things to progress along the trajectory that is currently established. It’s the word we might use, for example, to celebrate the prospects of a young couple whose commitment to one another right now surely presages a bright future ahead. By contrast, the second word, “le futur”, is more indeterminate. It encapsulates the sense that events might go one way or the other, for better or for worse. It speaks of a future that is hard to predict, a horizon that is difficult to discern, precisely because the present moment does not provide a ground from which to make confident predictions one way or the other.

Western society currently finds itself at a crucial juncture between these two conceptualizations of “the future”. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that we are in the process of transitioning from one to the other. And, if this is true, the challenge for Christians is as follows: how can we speak into this situation in a way that is truly hopeful?

Does theology help makes sense of Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already all-pervasive in our daily lives. From social media algorithms, to medical equipment detecting heart conditions. But the ‘robots’ in our lives look very different from the robots imagined in science fiction: they look like servers hidden away in secure buildings, and for most of us they look like our computer … Continue Reading

The death penalty and Christian moral teaching

Andrew Goddard writes: The announcement that Pope Francis has altered Roman Catholic moral teaching on the death penalty, and the fuller justification of this decision in the letter to bishops from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith open up a host of interesting and important ethical and ecclesiological questions. Although his action appears to … Continue Reading

What does Revelation tell us about the human condition?

I have contributed a chapter to a book appearing next year on Anthropology of the New Testament, exploring Revelation’s depiction of the human condition. I include here some paragraphs from my introduction, and the conclusion. Revelation’s anthropology (like much else about it!) is less straightforward and less predictable than commonly thought. Excavating the anthropology of the … Continue Reading