While Jesus himself promises a Kingdom coming, an ultimate future where every tear will be wiped clean, Christianity is not alien to dystopian thinking, to a deep pessimism about where human beings are capable of steering the proverbial spaceship. On top of this, the Good News proclaimed in the Christian faith—of salvation, of a promised New Heaven and New Earth—can sound like nothing more than a murmur, all too often muted by the noise of the present. As Tolkien once put it, a Christian is not afraid to see history “as a long defeat, with small glimpses of final victory.”
This is the terrain we’re exploring in this, the Future Issue. A long history of bleak futures, and the one solid Future we’re promised to inherit. We have interviews with science fiction novelists and classical historians; essays on the future of church architecture, Amazon orders, and the human race itself; and amid all the grim prophecies and future job searches, we can tell you one thing: there is a difference between blind optimism and real, lasting hope. The Future won’t be so bad, dear reader; let us tell you why.