What will it mean to be Christian in light of rapid technological and societal change?

Week One: A Possible Singularity, the Future & Christianity?  

Discussion Questions:

  • What struck you from the video and the presenters’ insights? 
  • For those who have never heard or read about the concept of the Singularity – what is your initial response? Does this sound like more craziness from Silicon Valley or something that may actually happen?
  • Even if there is not a specific time in the future when humanity and technology become fused, in the year 2045 our technologies and our society will be undoubtedly very different from the way they are now.  What do you anticipate the year 2045 to be like? What do you think will be our ethical challenges as Christians?
  • The two most controversial topics of futurist studies are Human Life Extension and Human-like Artificial Intelligence. What do we as Christian have to offer from our tradition and theology, as our culture experiences drastic shifts on these fronts?
  • What should or could be the Christian community’s  plan-of-action with regard to either preparing for or engaging with the changes of the future?

Week Two: The Future of Science and Faith

Discussion Questions:

  • What struck you from the video and the panelists’ insights? 
  • The panelist mentioned a number of changes and advancements in the areas of medical sciences and computer sciences. Which of these do you think will most dramatically affect us? Which are you most concerned about?
  •  If we consider life expectancy in the United States, it is going up!  It is (as of in 2016) 76.1 for men and 81.1 for women.  In 1998 it was 73.8 for men and 79.5 for women.  There is currently a lot of funding/research for Geriatrics and anti-aging or Senolytic drugs/agents.  How do you think this will change our culture? How is it already changing our culture? What can the Church contribute?
  • There has been lots of news recently about rapid advances with infertility and reproductive technologies. With the fairly recent discovery and use of ‘gene editing’ technology, the possibility of curing fetal diseases has moved from the realm of science fiction into the realm of the probable.  This also brings the distinct possibility of time in the not too distant future where (at least in some respects) ‘designer babies’ will be possible.  What do you think are the ethical/moral issues of this, coming from a Christian tradition and perspective?

Week Three:  Raising Kids in a Strange World

Discussion Questions

  • What struck you from the video and the panelists’ insights? 
  • If you are a parent, how do you navigate screen time and restrictions on access to computers and phones? How can the church support you as you navigate conversations about the gifts and limits of technology in your families? 
  • Many futurists and scholars believe that this is the future and that traditional classrooms at the high school and college levels may soon be an historical relic. How will this affect Christian education and formation? How can we harness the power of technology to expand the reach of the gospel and the way we help children, teens, and adults deepen their faith?
  •  Today’s youth have available to them a multitude of ‘alternative realities’ (in movies, books, bingable TV series and video games – in addition to on-line special interest groups and podcasts).  Do you think that most of these will evolve into immersive Virtual Reality (VR) systems that individuals can spend their lives in? What might the church’s response to this be? Should we be considering the development of Bible Stories and Ethos in/with this type of media/presentations or should Christian writings and Spiritual Formation be kept ‘above the fray’, so to speak?
  • What is your biggest take away from this series as a whole? Have these conversations shaped your perspective on what it means to be a Christian in the future in any way?