by Berry Friesen (July 31, 2015)
I have several answers to this question; each is true up to a point.
The most complete answer is that John and I are convinced our world is rapidly approaching an era of climate-driven crisis. A few with great wealth may continue lives of relative comfort and security, but much of humanity will experience severe deprivation and insecurity.
This is the future some of our children and all of our grandchildren will experience. In the words of Ian Welsh:
We’re going to hit the wall. We’re going to have to fight a dystopic, panopticon police state in which ordinary people are not allowed to own anything of real value, let alone keep any of the real value they create. We’re going to do this while the environment comes apart, while we get battered by “extreme weather events”, droughts, water shortages and hunger.
Welsh goes on to say that we might run into the wall “at a hundred miles an hour and go splat or hit it at ten miles an hour and get bruised and pick ourselves up.” That is still to be determined. But the collision itself has already been “baked into the cake.” We’ve already passed key decision points related to climate change and it can no longer be stopped.
For the harsh and extremely violent world to come, our children and those who come after them will need a faith/ideology that makes life worth living. The faith/ideology commonly on offer today won’t be up to the challenge.
Welsh puts it this way:
If you’re middle-aged or older, you’ll miss a lot of the worst of this. Your kids won’t. Your job, if you’re old, is ideological: to help create the ideas that are lying on the floor, the ideas that are used when people are desperate. When things change in crisis, they change fast, and the ideas that are used are the ones lying around. If all that’s lying around is neo-liberalism, that’s what will be used. Of course ideology isn’t enough, people can still choose the wrong ideology, the wrong ideas (and often have, don’t tell me otherwise), but if it isn’t there, all they can do is pick up what is there.
With our book, John and I are trying to make sure biblical ideas are there, lying on the floor when people shift into crisis mode.
The empire will still be in charge; it will be using its media control, 24/7 surveillance and robotic weaponry to maintain the system that has produced unrelenting disaster. But in contrast to now, many will recognize it as the agent of death. And so they will ask, “If not the empire, what? What is our alternative?”
We expect those who read the Bible carefully will find one.