Lesson 6: Is Humanity Progressing?

evolution of manWhat seems to be the initial biblical scenario did not work out. Jesus did not raise the dead and then return with them to establish an eternal kingdom on earth. At first, believers were told to wait patiently. Some still do.

However, most modified this vision of the future. Believers supposedly enter some kind of blessedness immediately after death. A logos theology imagines humanity progressing toward a perfect community as the Church enlightens the world to the divine presence.

This picture of human progress changed over 2000 years. The early church supposedly won over the Roman Empire by caring for people. She eventually became the establishment by default when the empire went East, and she was left to civilize the German tribes. Then, the Church became partners with the State for the most part, building an increasingly more humane society. Although the USA prohibited the establishment of any religion, it presumed Christian churches provided the moral foundation for its society,

This assumption that humanity is progressing under church leadership has been challenged recently. On the one hand, an honest critique reveals the church has been much less than humane in some of its leadership; on the other, some Christians feel humanity is regressing.

Of course, there are diverse ways to evaluate whether humanity is progressing. However, if you ask the question from the standpoint of Jesus’ teachings, the separation of rich and poor, the continuous wars, the acceptance of genocide, the corruption of political speech, and so much more offer no reason for optimism.

I think we have laid enough foundation. Let’s turn to how faith provides hope, not expectation, for a future in which peace, justice, and love prevail.

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