What is the future? In the most simple sense, it is the time that lies ahead. For many of us, the future is something we look forward to. Thinking about the future may conjure up images of wondrous technological advances on the near horizon: flying cars, talking robots, and wonders-in-a-pill. These incredible technologies promise to make life easier, more enjoyable, and allow it to last longer. Eighty will be the new forty, one hundred the new eighty, and the world will be at our fingertips (virtually, at least).
Just think about all the awesome improvements to life in the last twenty years alone: Robotic vacuums. LED light bulbs. eBook readers. Functional MRI. Flat panel TVs. DNA ancestry testing. Bluetooth speakers. Portable defibrillators. GPS. Digital SLR cameras. Blu-ray discs. Internet news. Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. Digital video recorders. Satellite radio. Social media. 3D printers. Smartphones. Drones. Retinal implants. Fidget spinners.
All these and more in just twenty short years! Imagine what the next twenty years will bring! “The future’s so bright…” goes the old song. And it’s true enough. Where does this optimism about the future come from? Why, when we think of the future, do we have visions of tech-marvels dancing in our heads?
Three basic fears drive all science fiction narratives: fear of the dark, fear of the unknown, fear of the future. What future do humans fear? A future where they lose control of their lives on account of the technologies that they have created. What Douglas Estes offers us, in the face of this fear, is an angelic word: “Do not be afraid.” Even better, he offers us a theocentric word in this wonderful and timely book: that God will be with us in the future that our technologies create, however marvelous or terrifying they may be. It’s a word that all Christians, whether technophiles or technophobes, are wise to embrace.
Braving the Future is a seriously important book. As new technologies invade every space and hour of our shared lives, Estes argues that conscientious Christians must reject the temptations to embrace them uncritically or reject them outright. Instead, we must engage them with wisdom and discernment. Toward that end, each chapter of the book exposes Christians to future technologies, teaching us how to think about those technologies now rather than waiting until they have already invaded our personal space.
Douglas Estes is a rarity among Christian writers and thinkers. Not many can capably draw deeply from the well of Christian thought and engage with modern science. On top of that, he's a master writer. It's easy to become absorbed in his storytelling, and while reading for pleasure, you realize how relevant and thought-provoking it is as well. His work provides valuable cultural analysis on our use of tech, both now and into the future. His unique voice at this nexus is not one to ignore.
Douglas Estes does a masterful job decoding the upcoming technological revolution and reminding us what is good, true, and constant in a world that is changing all too quickly. He demonstrates how even the most astounding innovations will continue to point humanity toward God and reveal his love for us. Braving the Future is an essential guidebook for any person of faith—and will become ever more important in the coming years.
The contemporary church has too often either been blind to how technology is discipling us or has adopted a negative, even alarmist, attitude toward new technology. Braving the Future charts a course to help us navigate between these two extremes, guiding us to see how technology is simultaneously making the world better and offering new versions of old idols. Douglas Estes combines nuance with both scriptural fidelity and clear writing, making this the first-stop guide for faithfully navigating the rapidly changing technological world.
Tackling the issues surrounding transhumanism in our age of technology is no small task. So much about the transhumanist movement is unknown, and touches on several anxieties in our cultural discussions on the nature of humans. Entering these murky waters, Douglas Estes offers the Christian community a guide. Upon reading, the Christian is led to think about questions raised from transhumanism in a fresh way by showing us our need for the perfect being, namely, the God of Christian theism.
In Braving the Future, Douglas Estes takes us on a journey from today's pop culture into the exciting, alarming possibilities of tomorrow. This book calls for some hard new conversations about the theological implications of a future filled with artificial intelligence, drones, robots, virtual reality and more. Estes deftly weaves biblical insight and Christian theology together with a critical perspective on technology, and uses these future visions to ask big questions about what it means to be human today.
Douglas Estes’ Braving the Future is so greatly needed in Christianity because it provides a theological entryway into the technological world in which we live. The issues he addresses are no longer confined to the musings of Science Fiction but are now a very present reality. The thoughtful, innovative work presented in this volume, allow Christians to begin to reconsider what it might mean to participate fully in the redemptive purposes of Jesus. Braving the Future is a pioneering new step in humanity’s comprehension of what it means to be Stewards, Caretakers and CoCreators with God in our ever-transforming technological world.
If technology is changing the way we think, and how we live, is it not also changing our way of thinking about, and experiencing faith? A pastor, biblical scholar, and author, Douglas Estes’ Braving the Future is a must-read because through its pastoral and academic point of view he has confronted Christian Faith in a World of Limitless Tech. We desperately need to better understand the profound significance of technology today from a theological point of view, considering that it expresses human desire for a fullness that it always being superseded. In his book, Estes asks: is there an undeniable, profound, and radical connection between technology and spirituality? The answer to this question is crucial for our future.
What will the world be like for our children in 25 years? Robots, virtual reality, artificial intelligence - oh my! Instead of hiding out or blindly accepting every new technology, we must educate ourselves. Thankfully, Douglas Estes has written this excellent resource to help us understand our quickly advancing world of technology. Filled with solid research, Scripture, and thought provoking ideas, Braving the Future shows us how to evaluate new tech with a Christian perspective.
In Braving the Future, Douglas Estes develops a scaffold for theological reflection on our current but constantly changing technological landscape. Living at the intersection of a generational transition in technology and its use, many older digital-immigrants experience technology as both thrilling and baffling while younger digital-natives engage our technological world as a natural expression of human life even as changes continue to escalate. Both digital immigrants and natives benefit from Braving the Future as Estes provides us with meaningful theological signposts for recognizing the opportunities and challenges technology offers. But most profoundly, Estes reminds us that however our technological future emerges, God is present, God loves us, and God remains committed to our redemption even as we are reminded of our human limitations.
Douglas Estes has distinguished himself as not only a top-rate exegete of Scripture but also a cutting-edge exegete of culture.That’s why I can’t wait to get my hands on his new book—Braving the Future: Christian Faith in a Limitless World of Tech. We can count on Douglas to offer us penetrating insights into what Scripture has to say about work, creation and personhood as well as faithful analysis of our tech-saturated world. Better yet, we can rely on him to guide us toward Christian fidelity in the face of some unprecedented technological changes in the years ahead. I’m ordering more than one copy!
How should Christians live in a world of seemingly unceasing technological advances? If I’m honest, I’m not always excited about the impact that these technologies have on the home and the church. This is why I’m grateful for Braving the Future. Douglas Estes gives us an optimistic picture of how technology, while not without its challenges, could provide new opportunities for the advance of God’s kingdom and the enjoyment of his good gifts. Even if his predictions are not all right and if you don’t agree with all of his conclusions, this book is a helpful and clear conversation partner as we brave the future with confidence in God.