Welcome to Theology+Now.
Think of this digital magazine as your new go-to resource for thoughtful writing on modern issues from a bible-soaked perspective. The aim, as implied by the name, is to marry theology — the study of God — with the “Now,” which needs God as much as ever.
Our world shrinks as we mature; the same is true of humanity. With the rise of geopolitics and geoeconomics and globalization, the world has become smaller — yet, exponentially more complex. We are still “souls on the highway” (tip of the hat to Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, The Christian Future), caught between Here and There, between Then and Now.
Thomas Friedman put his finger on the fundamental modern problem in a column for The New York Times when he described the “incoherence” of President Donald Trump’s worldview:
The world today is more interdependent than ever. The globalization of markets, the spread of cellphones, the accelerations in technology and biology, the new mass movements of migrants and the disruptions in the climate are all intertwined and impacting one another. As a result, we need a president who can connect all of these dots and navigate a path that gets the most out of them and cushions the worst.
Putting aside the question of whether Trump is a “dot exploiter, not connector,” Friedman raises an interesting point: We speak what we know, and if we don’t know our Brave New World, we won’t be able to speak to its problems.
Christians face two great temptations to incoherence: To believe in the immutability of the world or the mutability of Christianity. Political conservatives tend to make the first mistake, choosing to believe the Humpty Dumpty of traditional Christianity will be fine if we can only put him back together again. On the other end of the spectrum, people believe Humpty Dumpty — with all his rigid moral sensibilities — never should have been together in the first place.
My hopes is that Theology+Now will help us resurrect Humpty Dumpty, by which I mean that we put him back together better than before. This is the essence of the Christian doctrine of resurrection. Yes, the world is changing, and we along with it — but we don’t need a new Word or new Spirit. Borrowing Friedman’s language, we need to connect the fluid “dots” of our modern world with the eternal “dots” found in the Bible. Else we, like the people who believe there are no truths outstripping the “Now,” will lapse into incoherence.
And that is the mission of Theology+Now: To combine Theology with the Now so that Christianity may continue, as it always has been, to be changed from glory to glory.
Ryan Poe is editor of Theology+Now.