Hope according to Wright and Thiel

As some of you may have picked up from the Emerging Scholars Network Facebook WallWhat is the Hope for Humanity? A discussion of technology, politics, and theology (1:26:47) has been receiving my attention this weekend. What is the Hope for Humanity? is a Veritas Forum featuring theologian N.T. Wright and Peter Thiel (founder of PayPal). I offer their dialogue and our own interactions with it as a helpful tool in considering/reflecting upon the source of “our hope” (individually and corporately in our various communities) as we enter the fall term with our “eyes on the prize(s) set before us”. I encourage you to watch the video with some friends (e.g., hangout for an evening in person and/or share on-line to discuss over the course of several days).

What is the Hope for Humanity? A discussion of technology, politics, and theology. A Veritas Forum featuring theologian N.T. Wright and Peter Thiel (founder of PayPal). The moderator was Ross Douthat, a conservative American author, blogger, and New York Times columnist. Photo from the Veritas Forum's event page. Accessed on 8/24/2014.

What is the Hope for Humanity? A discussion of technology, politics, and theology. Veritas Forum featuring theologian N.T. Wright and Peter Thiel (founder of PayPal). The moderator was Ross Douthat, a conservative American author, blogger, and New York Times columnist. Photo from the Veritas Forum’s event page. Accessed on 8/24/2014.

Some questions I’ve asked myself (in the context of the larger question “In what manner does a Christian bring a unique perspective to the discussion?”) and pass along to you.

  • What is the difference between hope and optimism?
  • What is the fount (or is the image of a “deep well” more appropriate) from which we find our sense of hope springing/flowing?
  • How much have I/we been disappointed by the modernist narrative? Why?
  • Why have I/we been reluctant to engage the post-modernist “narratives”?
    • What do I/we truly have to offer in its place?
    • Is cynicism knocking on my/our door? With what do I/we resist cynicism?
  • Who do I /we consider an inspiring leaders (historical, current)? Why?
    • How do they shape my/our sense of hope?
  • What societal and/or technological change to I/we truly desire? And at what pace?
  • How do I/we care for my head, heart, and hands in a manner which truly expresses love for God, neighbor, and creation all the days of my life — whether shorter or longer than expected? How much should I/we strive to live longer “in this life”?
  • How do I/we envision the new heavens and the new earth? Is it a flashback to a previous era, similar to the current time, a futuristic vision, a unique blending together of times?

Feel free to post some responses (and additional questions). In addition, stay tuned not only for some of my reflections, but also more questions. Brainstorm: maybe I should ask some of our resource friends (e.g., interviewees to join the conversation.

Note: I came across this video while exploring the relevant blog page on the Christian Engineering Society’s website. Derek Schuurman, a computer science professor at Redeemer University College and author of the recent book Shaping a Digital World: Faith, Culture and Computer Technology (IVP, 2013), posted it on his blog. Yes, this book is in the “review queue” :)

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Tom Grosh IV

Enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa, four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he hosts the Christian Scholar Series), on campus as part of InterVarsity Graduate & Faculty Ministry (serving fellowships such as the Christian Medical Society/CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine), online as the Associate Director of the Emerging Scholars Network, in the culture at large, and in God's creation.

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