RESOURCE | The Next One Thousand Years of Christianity

Kevin Kelly

The problem with Christianity is that for the past 1,000 years it has permitted itself only one scenario of the future: the end of the world in our lifetime. In fact, make that 2,000 years….By relying on a single scenario of the future for the last 2,000 years, in particular a single scenario that was constantly and decisively wrong, Christianity left the invention and control of the actual future to those outside the church. Relatively few scientists are Christians, and almost no futurists are. By retreating to this unwavering single wrong prediction Christianity has surrendered the future to non-believers…

The bounty of change we reap from science and technology has its roundabout roots in the Christian perspective. Unlike any other ancient book, the Bible aimed our attention from the past into a novel and non-cyclic future. Christianity invented the “Future” with its linear sense of history running from the alpha to the omega, from genesis to the end. If anyone takes a generational concern for the future of mankind, it should be Christians….It is written in Joel 1:3: “Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation.” The future always begins right now.

Kevin Kelly’s essay takes a rare (very) long-range look at what the future of Christianity may hold as a way of considering the Christianity of the present.

Kevin is co-founder and Senior Maverick at Wired Magazine, co-founder of the All Species Foundation (a non-profit aimed at cataloging and identifying every living species on earth), co-founder of the The Rosetta Project (building an archive of all documented human language), on the board of The Long Now Foundation (where he’s investigating how to revive and restore endangered or extinct species, including the wooly mammoth), author of the best-sellers What Technology Wants and The Inevitable, and has been called “the real-life Most Interesting Man in the World.”

Read the essay ➜

Apr 30, 2007