Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Futureville by Skye Jethani

What do you think about the future?

Your vision of tomorrow shapes your life today – your choices, your work, and your friends. “How we live today is defined by what we think about tomorrow,” Jethani writes.

Using the backdrop of the 1939 New York World's Fair, he looks at how modernity's belief in progress and evolution has influenced Christians' view of the future. Christians thought they could help the world progress but WW I brought a sense of reality. He then explores the influence of God's future judgment, especially the idea of a safe evacuation. The emphasis on the anticipated destruction of the present world had great impact on the types of occupations Christians chose. A kind of disengagement with the world resulted.

Jethani finds a way between evolution and its emphasis on human progress and evacuation and its focus on leaving everything up to God. He suggests resurrection – what we do today endures to the age to come. Our present work really does matter for now and eternity. He covers the role of beauty and artistic vocations. He looks at the role in God's plan of those in the marketplace as well.

Jethani has great insight into the trends and practices in Christianity. I understand much better now the influence world events and prophetic Scripture has had on our Christian practice. I thoroughly appreciated his section on beauty. Anyone who questions the role of art in Christianity needs to read that section. I also really liked his discussion on Christians in business and their role in God's kingdom. It gave me a new understanding of the parable of the talents.

Jethani writes, “Futureville captures my thoughts about how we are to relate to God's world.” (194) I am impressed with his insight. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to understand how their work relates to God's plan for today and the future.

Skye Jethani is an award-winning author and the executive editor of  Leadership Journal at Christianity Today. He has written numerous books, is an ordained pastor, and speaks globally on issues of faith and culture.

Nelson Books, 212 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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