As some of you may have picked up from the Emerging Scholars Network Facebook Wall, What 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).
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” 🙂
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the South Central PA Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). The Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine is the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!