Monday, May 14, 2007

The Future According to Jesus

I will be presenting a paper this upcoming July at the International World Future Conference ( in Minneapolis during a panel presentation on the Future according to Jesus with Jay Gary and Tsvi Bisk.

Here is a copy of the advertisement in the conference program:

Futurists often encounter religionists who hold views that undercut future-oriented behavior, including determinism, fatalism, or millennial beliefs. But as a Palestinian Jew, what was Jesus’ real view of the future? And how does that view compare with that of futurists who focus on “this world,” rather than the next? Drawing on historical Jesus research, this session identifies three driving forces of the first century, and argues that Jesus rejected the conventional and counter-futures of his time to envision a creative future for his generation. This first-century foresight will then be compared and contrasted with 21st century global scenario frameworks to consider how visionary leadership might shift society's deeply ingrained attitudes toward impending conflicts and catastrophes.

Who should attend: Any futurist who has encountered resistance to futures thinking from religionists.
What you’ll learn: Participants will learn how to ground foresight in the historical world of Jesus, and relate religious concepts to futures thinking and contingency planning.
How this knowledge can be applied: Attendees will learn how to generate “third way” scenarios that seek to transcend the clash of mainstream and side stream futures.

Corné Bekker, associate professor of leadership studies, Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Tsvi Bisk, director, Center for Strategic Futurist Thinking; co-author, Futurizing the Jews: Alternative Futures for Meaningful Jewish Existence in the 21st Century and The Optimistic Jew: A Positive View of the Jewish Future (forthcoming), Jerusalem, Israel
Jay Gary, program director, M.A. in Strategic Foresight, School of Leadership Studies, Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia; foresight coach, PeakFutures, Colorado Springs, Colorado

key words: religion, futures methods, globalization, catastrophes