It is no secret that the institutional forms of Christianity as we have known them are struggling to connect as meaningfully today as they have in the past. There are as many explanations as there are people willing to express their opinion – from “Go back to do it like the earliest church.” to “Throw it away” and every idea in-between.
As I am connecting with people around the world via social media it seems that there is a global change happening that begins with what some refer to as their “religious deconstruction” – meaning that what they have believed about God, worship, theology and grace is not working for them. Some times expressed as shifting to being “spiritual but not religious” and identifying as “Nones” or “Dones” when asked about their religious preferences.
As one young person recently stated, “If I have to leave my brain in my car to be acceptable in my church, I won’t find church meaningful to my life.”
It is true that our common understanding of the world has changed for younger people (slower for many of us who are older) from a 1st Century view of the Sun revolving around an earth centered universe to a Big Bang and expanding universe; from a mechanical clock-work-like universe of fixed laws to Quantum Physics and the interconnectedness of everything; from strict seven day creation to evolutionary views – including those that recognize God as the one guiding it.
The challenge for those of us who are on the journey to explore an expression as “Christ-followers” in the 21st (for ourselves, our family and all humanity) then becomes “What would reconstruction look like?” in the face of rapidly expanding Artificial Intelligence and discussions of what an emerging Posthuman world might look like.
Sound crazy? Or just nuts? Too geeky for you? Well, your children and grandchildren are or will be facing these questions so knowing more about them might be important – you decide.
For those interested in exploring this emerging search for what some are calling a “Planetary Christian Faith” I suggest reading some of the work of Ilia Delio (The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution and the Power of Being). She is a respected academic and theologian, and author of numerous books and articles on the intersection of Science and Religion, with particular interests in evolution, physics, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence.
Ilia is exploring what a 21st Century Christian faith would look like that takes in what we have discovered about reality as well as an openness to what we are on the verge of learning as well as the ethics to guide how we apply that knowledge consistent with being Christ-followers.
More than 200 of us from around the world recently attended the Omega Conference:Towards as Planetary Faith in Kansas City I wanted to share some of the ideas and thoughts discussed. You may agree with nothing or everything; you may be turned off or turned on by the views shared. Either way you will be better informed about the global shifts that are already happening.
Here is a to brief review by Ilia and some short video of one session.
Omega Conference: Towards a Planetary Faith