Author Skye Jethani says Christians need to reimagine tomorrow if they want to live effectively today.
Jethani has occupied numerous roles at Christianity Today International, a leading communications ministry launched by Billy Graham in 1956, including serving as Executive Editor of “Leadership Journal.” Now the author is challenging many Christians’ visions of the future in his new book “Futureville: Discover Your Purpose for Today by Reimagining Tomorrow.” Here, we discuss how he thinks many believers have gotten their views of the future wrong and how revisiting the idea could change their lives.
RNS: You’ve written an entire book arguing the importance of “our vision of the future.” But doesn’t the Bible tell us not to worry about tomorrow? How do you reconcile this message with the one in your book?
SJ: What may surprise readers is that “Futureville” isn’t really about the future; it’s about today and how our view of the future influences the way we live right now. We all make decisions today based on what we believe about the future. A law firm here in Chicago erected a billboard that says, “Life’s Short. Get a Divorce.” Behind that message is a vision of the future–death is final so maximize your pleasure while you can. My concern is that many Christians hold an un-Christian vision of the future, and it is negatively influencing their engagement in the world today as well as our culture’s perception of Christians.
We should also remember that there is a difference between living in light of tomorrow and worrying about tomorrow. In the same sermon where Jesus says, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow” he also tells the story of a foolish man who lacked the foresight to built his house upon solid ground. Jesus clearly wants his people to live wisely with the future in mind while also fully trusting him for their wellbeing both today and tomorrow.
RNS: There are a lot of visions about the future that Christians hold. Some believe in the destruction of the earth with giant fireballs, for example, while others believe that God’s going to restore the current earth. Can you talk in specifics about what you believe the Bible teaches about the future?