The Mind of a Futurist
“Putting out fires” is our default setting. There is always an email to send, a phone call to make, a buzzing, vibrating or beeping cell phone to distract and captivate us. The future is delivered to us second by second and it is easy to be the frog in the kettle of cultural change. The only way to get the big picture is by getting away, meditating, spending time looking up more, and escaping the daily noise; in short, living in the moment. But being in step enough with the timeless Spirit to be prepared for the approaching changes that will reshape our lives, ministries and relationships.
Who Defines God for Us?
There is a growing conversation around the idea that the universe is a hologram, or that we live in one of many parallel universes. Picture God as cosmic computer programmer or each of us in our own Truman show. It is important to understand the thought processes of scientists, philosophers, educators, entertainers, artists, and all those who shape culture. Who defines God for us? Does religion have the last say about human origins? Does it have any say at all? The Christian response is a simple one. Jesus is the manifestation of God, and the Way of Jesus is the Way of life: “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” Jesus first, Jesus now, Jesus last.
Are We Making Ourselves Sick?
“In 1800, only 3 percent of the world’s population lived in urban areas. By 1900, almost 14 percent were urbanites, although only 12 cities had 1 million or more inhabitants. In 1950, 30 percent of the world’s population resided in urban centers. The number of cities with over 1 million people had grown to 83.” As we cluster in cities, new mental illnesses are manifesting and new opportunities to serve as healers emerge as well. For example, a third of those who are homeless suffer (and suffer is the word) from schizophrenia. In the West, schizophrenics often hears terrifying, evil voices. But in less developed countries the voices are often perceived as helpful or friendly. There is no doubt our lifestyles can make us ill. Question: Are we sharing the life of Jesus in the midst of our consumer-driven, isolated lives, or the lifestyle of Jesus? Ideally, both.
Even Trees Sleep at Night
Your Life by the Numbers
Average world life expectancy in 1900 was 31. By 1950 it had risen to 48. By 2010, the number was 67.2. In the US, around 80. One of the ways to communicate both the brevity of time and the eternal significance of our daily lives is to reframe the storyline, help people measure their days, not years. Sermon starter: 25,915 days.
Technological vs. Social Progress: Why the Disconnect?
The Bible says: “In the last days, knowledge shall increase.” Moore’s Law as gospel. Technological advancement in medicine, AI research, transportation, automation and many other fields is astounding us. But as ISIS, gun violence and political graft remind us, “the heart of man is deceitful above all things. Who can know it?” These are interesting days to address the juxtaposition between human nature and human advancement; the Fall revisited.
Can Science Make Us Moral?
In the “pot stirring” category: Can science make us moral? Or was “being moral” the point at all?