The past is closed. It cannot be changed. The future, on the other hand, is open. It hasn’t been settled yet. In fact, there is no such thing as “the future.” There are only the futures (plural).


Most of us are used to thinking about the future in terms of the Eschaton. In the Eschaton, time will be no more, questions about absolute truth are settled once and for all and Jesus is known by all to be Lord. That’s Future with a capital “F”. This future is “post” time-and-space.

Before then, there are alternate futures, alternate paths towards tomorrow. (More about this in my new book, Making the World Human Again). These are what I call the alternate futures.

Apparently, there are some people who read the Bible and see a young earth, 10,000 years old or less, I think. (Don’t really know much about this or them). I think our cosmos extends millions and billions of years into the past.

How about when we look at the future?

Personally, I hold two contradictory points of view. On the one hand, I think humankind is destined to colonize the stars. We will evolve in unanticipated ways in order to do so. That will take a very, very long time. On the other hand, Jesus seems to suggest that our task here will approach its conclusion when the last of the unreached people groups on earth embraces the gospel. That will not take as long as star travel by a long shot.

Take and moment and let your imagination run free and unemcumbered by fear.

What do you think?


4 responses to “Discussion Forum: The Future”

  1. Alex Avatar

    Adam, Thanks for your comment. Yes, a lot of people think of the future as a progressive slide show of already taken photographs. We can’t change it so we sit around waiting until the next unchangeable photo shows up. But the future is open and we can change the course of our lives and of history by the choices we make. Thanks again.

  2. Adam Kolosik Avatar
    Adam Kolosik

    I’ve never really thought of these things in this way before, but they seem so right on. There does seem like so many ways to tomorrow, depending on our choices we make today.

  3. Lon Avatar

    I’m totally with you Alex… i think of this stuff all the time.

    – I’ve always wondered what the relationship between the big F and the small f to future is
    – Some days I’m giddy about the future and ‘colonizing the stars’ but other days when the stars will collide with us… i know we’ve lasted this long, but there are just so many variables out there, I’m highly doubtful of smooth sailing and constant progress… think humanity still has a lot of unforeseen challenges ahead
    – Many of our views of Jesus will need to evolve for these futures to happen… lucky for us i think the world is barely scratching the surface of who Jesus is… lots to be excited about in the journey ahead

  4. Alex Avatar

    Lon, thanks for the comment. There is no reason to anticipate smooth sailing, but if — and this is a big “if” — there is an energy (a “spirit”) that s working within history and the cosmos and whose essence is seen clearly in Christ, then we can expect a “punctuated equilibrium” style jerking and seizing, stopping and going in the direction of making the world human again.

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