Stephen Estes examines future tech thru lens of ancient faith in Braving the Future

October 31, 2018                                                        News Release

Should the Church embrace or be wary of technology?
Estes examines future tech thru lens of ancient faith in Braving the Future

HARRISONBURG, VA — Technology is changing around us at a blistering pace. We are entering an era in which human bodies merge with devices, corporations know everything about us, and artificial intelligence develops human and even godlike potential. Douglas Estes equips Christians to thoughtfully and prayerfully prepare for a future of rapidly changing technology with Braving the Future: Christian Faith in a World of Limitless Tech (Herald Press, October 2018).

“The future is coming so fast now that we can only imagine what it will bring,” Estes writes. “What happens when technology advances at such a speed that the average person can no longer keep up?” Estes has first-hand experience with this. His father, a former NASA engineer, could not learn how to use a computer with a mouse. “I shudder to think how technologically igno­rant I will be compared to my grandchildren,” Estes says.

In Braving the Future, Estes examines eight key technolo­gies that will shape our future: virtual reality, autonomous machines, gene editing, artificial intelligence, brain-computer interfaces, intelligent robots, nanotechnology and cybernetics.

Drawing on Scripture, Christian tradition, and scientific literature, Estes offers a theology of work, creation, and personhood that is both prophetic and sturdy enough to keep pace with the technology of a future as yet unknown. He helps readers choose trust in God over fearful retreat and following Jesus over uncritical engagement with technology. The future may not look exactly like a science fiction movie, but there will be limitless tech and boundless change.

Rebecca Randall, science editor at Christianity Today says of Braving the Future, “Douglas Estes is a master writer. His work provides valuable cultural analysis on our use of tech, now and into the future. His unique voice at this nexus is not one to ignore.”

Estes is assistant professor of New Testament and practical theology and director of the DMin program at South University—Columbia. Estes has pastored several churches and is the author of many books focusing on the intersection of text, church, and world. Estes’ work has been published in Christianity Today and other venues, and he has received two John Templeton Foundation grants for writing about science, faith, and technology. Connect with him at DouglasEstes.com.

Braving the Future is available from Herald Press for $16.99 (paperback) and $13.99 (ebook) via 800 245 7894 and at the Herald Press webstore, www.HeraldPress.com, Amazon, and other online sources. Canadian customers can order from CommonWord (877 846 1593), Parasource (800 263 2664), and elsewhere.

To schedule an interview with Douglas Estes, contact LeAnn Hamby at 540‑908‑3941 or LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.

 

 

A Christianity That Looks Nothing Like Christ

October 23, 2018
News Release

A dispatch from the wreckage of U.S. Christianity
Mattson urges moving towards a Jesus-centered faith in The Great Reckoning

HARRISONBURG, Va. — Disillusioned with an American Christianity that loves political power, promises prosperity, and feeds on fear, author Stephen Mattson offers a clear-eyed yet tender critique of where the church has gone wrong in The Great Reckoning: Surviving a Christianity That Looks Nothing like Christ (Herald Press, October 2018).

Tired of rationalizing how a loving God can be connected to unloving churches, institutions, and people, Mattson calls the church to critical self-examination through a “Jesus lens.” Instead of doomsaying or casting aspersions, Mattson offers hope for seekers looking to move away from the culture wars and toward a Jesus-centered faith.

“Similar to the Great Awakening, a series of revivals that permanently affected the Christian faith for years to come, I believe that we are living in what we could call the Great Reckoning: a time of soul-searching and truth-seeking and candid reflection on what we as Christians have allowed Christianity to become,” writes Mattson.

Mattson offers hope-filled examples of how Jesus followers can embody their faith in authentic ways.

“Decades from now, will the American Christianity of our day be known for a legacy of inspiration, or will its stance on racism, refugees, immigration policy, welfare, gender, and poverty leave a damning mark in history?” writes Mattson. “We must always be vigilant and aware of how Christianity is being co-opted.”

Stephen Mattson is a writer and activist whose work has been published in Relevant, Huffington Post, Sojourners, Red Letter Christians, and a variety of other venues. Mattson graduated from Moody Bible Institute, served as a youth pastor, and now works at University of Northwestern–St. Paul. He and his wife and children live near Saint Paul, Minnesota, and attend Woodland Hills Church.

The Great Reckoning is available from Herald Press for $16.99 (paperback) and $13.99 (ebook) via 800 245 7894 and at the Herald Press webstore, www.HeraldPress.com, Amazon, and other online sources. Canadian customers can order from CommonWord (877 846 1593), Parasource (800 263 2664), and elsewhere.

To schedule an interview with Stephen Mattson, contact LeAnn Hamby at 540‑908‑3941 or LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.

Resources for living out a countercultural faith      

News Release
October 17, 2018

Two new study books ready for congregations
Resources for living out a countercultural faith         

HARRISONBURG, Va.—Two new short study books for Christian education classes and small groups will help Christians looking for guidance on two urgent areas: parenting and prayer.

Herald Press launched the Upside-Down Living series in early 2017 to accompany the release of The Upside-Down Kingdom: Anniversary Edition by Donald B. Kraybill. The eight booklets in the Bible study series engage participants with questions about how to follow Jesus in ways that seem upside down in today’s culture. Each guide includes six sessions.

Upside-Down Living: Parenting authors Katherine and Peter Goerzen tackle the topic of parenting in the way of Christ. In addition to diapers and discipline, raising kids to heed Jesus’ upside-down call away from status and power and toward service and sharing can seem almost impossible. How can Christian parents model countercultural choices? What does success mean in raising your children? The study offers Scriptures and discussion starters geared to parents.

The Goerzens are graduates of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and are ordained ministers in Mennonite Church USA. Currently, Katherine is associate pastor at Tabor (Kans.) Mennonite Church, and Peter is Bethel (Kans.) College campus pastor and instructor of Bible and religion.

In the second booklet, Upside-Down Living: Prayer, writer Kelly Chripczuk looks at how to make prayer more than just a hasty sentence or laundry list of the things we want. What does it mean to pray that the kingdom would come here and now as it is in heaven? Prayer can be a time to find out what God wants for us—and for the world.

Chripczuk is associate pastor of Grantham (Pa.) Church and is licensed for ministry in the Brethren in Christ U.S. denomination. She received her MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary and received training in spiritual direction through Oasis Ministries. Chripczuk offers contemplative retreats and classes at local churches and retreat centers.

The books in the Upside-Down Living series are available for $9.99 USD from Herald Press at 800-245-7894 or online at www.HeraldPress.com (25 percent quantity discount when ordering five or more). Books are also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers. Canadian customers can order from CommonWord (877-846-1593), Parasource (800-263-2664), and other booksellers.