Braving the Future
Christian Faith in a World of Limitless Tech
Published by: MennoMedia
Imprint: Herald Press
256 Pages, 5.50 x 8.50 in
- Published: October 2018
- Published: November 2018
- Published: November 2018
Free downloadable study guide available here.
Humanity is nearing a technological tipping point. The blistering pace of technological, scientific, and social change is ushering in an era in which human bodies merge with devices, corporations know everything about us, and artificial intelligence develops human and even godlike potential. In possession of the most powerful tools history has ever seen, we will be faced with questions about wisdom, authority, faith, desire, and what it means to be human.
In Braving the Future, Douglas Estes equips Christians to thoughtfully and prayerfully prepare for a future of technological reign that is rapidly expanding. Drawing on Scripture, Christian tradition, and scientific literature, Estes offers a theology of work, creation, and personhood that is both prophetic and sturdy enough to keep pace with the technology of a future as yet unknown. He helps readers choose trust in God over fearful retreat and following Jesus over uncritical engagement with technology. The future may not look exactly like a science fiction movie, but are we ready to brave a future of limitless tech and boundless change?
“Douglas Estes has distinguished himself as not only a top-rate exegete of Scripture but also a cutting-edge exegete of culture. Braving the Future offers penetrating insights into what Scripture has to say about work, creation, and personhood as well as faithful analysis of our tech-saturated world. We can rely on Estes to guide us toward Christian fidelity in the face of unprecedented technological changes.” ~Todd A. Wilson, chair and co-founder of the Center for Pastor Theologians, Reviews
“Braving the Future is a seriously important book. As new technologies invade every space and hour of our shared lives, Douglas Estes argues that Christians must reject the temptations to embrace them uncritically or reject them outright. He teaches us how to think about those technologies now rather than waiting until they have already invaded our personal space.” ~Bruce Riley Ashford, provost and professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Reviews
“Douglas Estes is a rarity among Christian writers and thinkers. Not many can 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.” ~Rebecca Randall, science editor at Christianity Today, Reviews
“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 those technologies may be. It’s a word that all Christians, whether technophiles or technophobes, are wise to embrace.” ~W. David O. Taylor, assistant professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, Reviews
“In Braving the Future, Douglas Estes develops a scaffold for theological reflection on our current but constantly changing technological landscape. Both digital immigrants and digital natives will benefit from Braving the Future, as Estes provides us with meaningful theological signposts for recognizing the opportunities and challenges technology offers. Most profoundly, Estes reminds us that however our technological future emerges, God is present, God loves us, and God remains committed to our redemption.” ~Quentin Kinnison, program director of Christian ministry and leadership at Fresno Pacific Univ., Reviews
“What will the world be like for our children in twenty-five 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.” ~Arlene Pellicane, author of Calm, Cool, and Connected, Reviews
“Douglas Estes does a masterful job decoding the 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 God’s 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.” ~Dorcas Cheng-Tozun, author of Start, Love, Repeat, Reviews
“The contemporary church too often has 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.” ~Joshua Chatraw, resident theologian at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Reviews
“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? Douglas Estes’s Braving the Future is a must-read. We desperately need to better understand the profound significance of technology today from a theological point of view. 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.” ~Antonio Spadaro, SJ, editor of La Civiltà Cattolica and author of Cybertheology, Reviews
“In Braving the Future, Douglas Estes takes us on a journey from today’s pop culture and into the exciting, alarming possibilities of tomorrow. This book calls for new conversations about the theological implications of a future filled with artificial intelligence, drones, robots, virtual reality, and more. Estes deftly weaves together biblical insight and Christian theology with a critical perspective on technology, and he uses these future visions to ask big questions about what it means to be human today.” ~Tim Hutchings, assistant professor in religious ethics at University of Nottingham, Reviews
“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 and leads us to think about questions raised from transhumanism in a fresh way, showing us our need for the perfect being—namely, the God of Christian theism.” ~Joshua R. Farris, assistant professor of theology at Houston Baptist University, Reviews
“Douglas Estes’s Braving the Future is so greatly needed because it provides a theological entryway into the technological world in which we live. The issues Estes addresses are no longer confined to the musings of science fiction, and the thoughtful, innovative work presented in this volume allows Christians to consider what it means 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 co-creators with God in our ever-transforming technological world.” ~Christopher Benek, pastor and CEO of the CoCreators Network, Reviews
“How should Christians live in a world of seemingly unceasing technological advances? 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 advance God’s kingdom and the enjoyment of God’s good gifts. Even if you don’t agree with all his conclusions, this book is a helpful and clear conversation partner as we brave the future with confidence in God.” ~Chris Bruno, assistant professor of New Testament and Greek at Bethlehem College and Seminary, Reviews