One of the hardest parts of Christian theology to reconcile with science is eschatology, or beliefs about final things. Whether it involves affirmations of the second coming of Christ or talk of “a new heaven and a new earth,” eschatology seems worlds apart (as it were) from the scientific method and cosmology’s predictions about the far-future universe. And yet some hope for a future in which God will be “all in all” seems intrinsic to the Christian faith.
I had the chance to struggle with these questions this fall. The following podcast gives you a sense of the difficulties and the kind of answer I’d like to give. It’s titled “Living toward an Open Future: What are the Theological Conditions for Hope in an Age of Science?” I offer my special thanks to my hosts, and to the audience members who asked probing questions, at the following institutions: the Humboldt-University in Berlin, Germany, and to the Guardini Foundation and the DFG, who sponsored the conference at which the talk was delivered; St. Andrews Presbyterian College, in Laurinburg, NC, and to the John Calvin McNair Annual Lectureship; McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; and Emmanuel College of Victoria University, the University of Toronto, Ontario.
These are difficult issues, and there is no simple, easy, and definitive answer. Christians in good conscience will come down in very different places. But I do believe that it is important to struggle with the questions. I hope that the podcast will encourage you to ask deeper questions and to begin to formulate your own responses.