Futureproof (ebook)

Futureproof ebook

How to Live for Jesus in a Culture That Keeps on Changing

from 13 reviews

Explores the increasingly secular direction that our western culture is heading and shows how the gospel equips Christians and churches to face the future with confidence.

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Description

We are living in a time of rapid cultural change, when Christian views are often seen as outdated and even dangerous. This can leave us feeling anxious about how to live out what we believe and uncertain about the future of the church.

Stephen McAlpine’s first book, Being the Bad Guys, sought to explain how our culture ended up so far away from biblical Christianity and how to reach out with the gospel wisely. In this book, he explores where things are heading and what we can do about that now, both as individuals and as a church.

Stephen examines secular narratives about purpose and authenticity, connectedness and progress, and compares them to the promises made by the Bible. He shows that the Bible offers a more satisfying, more realistic and more hopeful vision of the future.

He also examines the things that cause many Christians and non-Christians to be anxious about the future: technological change, political polarisation, clashes over climate and culture wars around gender and identity. He reminds readers that God is in control and helps them to think through how they can live wholeheartedly for Christ, facing the challenges of the future with confidence and leading the way in terms of citizenship, stewardship and community.

Formerly a pastor and church planter, Stephen McAlpine now writes and speaks on theology, church and culture. He also serves churches and Christian schools as a consultant, and blogs at stephenmcalpine.com.


Product details

Contents

  • Introduction

    1. The Church of Back to the Future
    2. Out-Purpose the Culture
    3. Out-Relate the Culture
    4. Outlast the Culture
    5. Polarisation: How to Flourish as a Community
    6. Technology: How to Flourish as a Participant
    7. Culture Wars: How to Flourish as a Citizen
    8. Ecology: How to Flourish as a Steward


    Afterword


Specification

Contributors Stephen McAlpine
ISBN 9781784989491
Format eBook
First published February 2024
Language English
Publisher The Good Book Company
Endorsements

Tim Chester

Crosslands Training; Author of Enjoying God

Are you pessimistic about the future of the church? Then Futureproof is for you. Not that Steve McAlpine is unrealistic about the challenges before us. But he gives us reasons for hope and ideas for action. Eschewing superficial or trendy solutions, Futureproof digs deep into Scripture to prepare us to live well in our changing context and offer true hope in an anxious world.

Jennie Pollock

Writer and editor

A positive, encouraging read for anyone wondering whether Christianity has a hope of surviving the decades to come. (Spoiler: it does, and has a great hope to offer the culture, too.)

Alistair Begg

Bible Teacher, Truth For Life; Senior Pastor, Parkside Church, Cleveland; Author, Pray Big and A Christian Manifesto

If, like me, Stephen McAlpine’s previous book caused you to ask, “Where do we go from here?”, here is the answer. It has the same clarity and punchy impact as before. A really good and profoundly helpful book.

Customer reviews


9 Apr 2024

“Great for Adults and Teens”

(Review written for 'Futureproof')

This book addresses a variety of timely topics related to how Christians can think about the church's role in a swiftly changing, secularizing society. Stephen McAlpine encourages his readers to consider ways that the church is uniquely poised to address issues like the loneliness epidemic, and he writes about ways that the church can be an embodied, communal witness to a different way of life. Over different chapters, he reflects on multiple social issues, political topics, and broader cultural problems, including ecological issues and the fast pace of new, developing technologies like AI.

McAlpine encourages Christians to take hope in the promises of God, even when they feel discouraged about the state of the world, and he also challenges Christians to maintain a distinctive worldview, instead of believing in self-focused ideologies that prioritize autonomy above all else. The book deals with some high-level concepts in very accessible ways, and in addition to explaining and defending his points with Scripture, McAlpine also shares story-driven examples. He uses research findings and anecdotes to illustrate and explain his points, and this will be highly readable for people in different walks of life.

This is a helpful book for people who want to think more deeply about the church's witness in our current society. McAlpine addresses a variety of issues without a harsh culture warrior tone, and since he is Australian, it was nice to read a book that addresses the West more generally, instead of primarily focusing on American culture. Overall, I enjoyed this, but because McAlpine addresses so many different topics in a relatively short book, he can't go especially deep with each one. This is a great primer for adults and teens, but if someone has already read and thought deeply about these issues, not much in this book will be new to them.

Note: I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


19 Mar 2024

“Refreshing!”

(Review written for 'Futureproof')

Futureproof by Stephen McAlpine was a quick but refreshing read on how we as Christians can live in a world that is constantly changing. He begins by showing us that Christianity is distinct from the world in many ways. While the world is constantly focused on themselves, the church is (or should be) a community where there is selflessness, forgiveness, and bearing of burdens. Christianity also offers a way for people from various backgrounds to come together in unity through their shared love for Jesus, going beyond surface-level interests. Lastly, God provides His people with a future that will last. Christians know Who ultimately reigns and that His kingdom will come! In the second part of the book, he discusses how we can flourish in our communities, online, and in politics by practicing self control and overcoming evil with good. He also discusses how we can steward the earth while keeping in mind that someday, there will be a new one!

“The gospel offers us a safety net above. It keeps us from trying by force to bend others to our vision of the future, as if this world is all that we have. The letter of Hebrews says that we are ‘receiving’ a kingdom (12 v 28)-offering a corrective to the many political ideologies that are intent on creating one…the heavenly kingdom we are receiving is to be our hope and the primary focus of our energies. If that's the case, we won't tend towards despair or cynicism when the electoral cycle goes against our desires. Nor will we tend towards triumphalism or mere cultural optimism when it goes the way we want it to.”

Thank you for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!


15 Mar 2024

“The Church will prevail!”

(Review written for 'Futureproof')

“It’s not simply the case that Christianity can outdo the secular culture, beating it at its own game; it’s also that we have better things to offer the world, grounded in a certain hope about what the future will look like.”

I really enjoy reading books about Christianity and the culture, so when I saw that this book was being published, I knew I wanted to read it.

In this book, Stephen McAlpine helps Christian readers understand why the gates of hell won’t prevail against the Church (Matt. 16:18).

In the first half of the book, he compares the Church to the culture, showing us how in Christ we have greater purpose, unity, and lasting power. The second half is dedicated to giving us a vision of what it looks like to flourish at as individuals and the body in several different areas that the culture has negatively dominated.

I enjoyed the author’s insights—especially on topics that I haven’t typically read about in books like these. He has a section on ecology and stewardship that I really enjoyed because I haven’t read about it much in Christian books.

This was a quick, insightful read and one I’d recommend if you want to feel more at ease about the place of the Church in a culture that seems to have so much animosity toward it. Solid 4-star read for me!


9 Mar 2024

“Engaging”

(Review written for 'Futureproof')

This book was good but I was left wanting more at the end. I think that McAlpine is able to walk a line between the engage readers from all different sides in a world that is polarized. However, this did leave me wanting more at times in terms of how to best engage the Bible and create a hermeneutical framework as times continue to change. I think this book is relevant to the world today and can allow for one to think deeper about Biblical truths and how that relates to the culture.
It is a an accessible read and could be helpful as a starting place to understand this topic.


7 Mar 2024

“New Thoughts on an Age Old Question”

(Review written for 'Futureproof')

Does the Bible speak into our culture? Yes! Of course it does! But McAlpine helps us to consider how we can helpfully apply what we know from scripture to things that we are now engaging with in our culture such as cancel culture, gender pronouns and social media. He begins by showing why the gospel will always be much better than any culture and then moves to discuss how the church can speak into culture today and in the future. A really helpful, entry-level book to think about contextualising the gospel.


7 Mar 2024

“Accessible resource for believers”

(Review written for 'Futureproof')

The book “Futureproof: How to Live for Jesus in a Culture That Keeps On Changing” is all about the coming changes of our world’s culture and how this may affect Christians and the Church.

Written by author and pastor Stephen McAlpine, “Futureproof” helps us apply God’s Word as it surveys the potential “twists and turns” culture might take and how to approach life and outreach in a world that is increasingly hostile to the message of Christ’s gospel.

McAlpine’s writing is accessible and this book is a practical resource for believers.

I highlighted a lot; it was difficult to pick only a few to share:

“…the future of the church is assured. Jesus himself made that claim when he stated that the gates of hell would not stand up to the advance of his church (Matthew 16:17-19).”

“Our aim is not to win every argument to soothe our anxieties. Nor is it to retreat from the public square, blocking our ears to the cries of our neighbours. Our aim is to become a non-alarmed community that trusts in God because he is in control.”

“Too often, God’s people snap, taking matters into their own hands if the cultural trend is not in their favour.”

“We cannot become too proud if we get to pull the levers of political power, and we cannot become too despairing if those same levers are taken from our hands.”

“A deep interest in and commitment to our eschatological hope is not defined by the end-times charts we embrace or the ‘prepper’ bunkers we own, but by godly lives of hope centred around the total victory that Jesus will bring to his people.”

“Cutting ourselves off from each other is not the pathway to authentic, flourishing humanity.”

Thank you to The Good Book Company for gifting me a copy of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily and was not required to leave a positive review. All opinions are my own.


2 Mar 2024

“Helpful book!”

(Review written for 'Futureproof')

“There is no guarantee that Jesus will return in our desired timeframe. Yet we have no reason to be anxious, because even if the timeframe is not guaranteed, the outcome is!”

In Futureproof , McAlpine explores how to live for Jesus in a culture that keeps on changing. The first half of the book looks at what the culture has to offer and explains why the gospel is so much better! The second half of the book looks at how the church can lead the way into the future.

I thought this was a helpful book. The chapters on discipleship and authority were especially good! And specifically relevant for me as I get ready to teach on the topic of authority from Romans 13 in a few weeks.

I liked that this book discusses Christianity and culture without diving deep into the background of how we got to the current state of culture. I have read so many books on that topic in the last year and was relieved that this wasn’t another one.

I received this book from The Good Book Company as a gift in exchange for a review.


16 Feb 2024

“Honest and Hopeful”

(Review written for 'Futureproof')

How can the church survive in an ever-increasingly secular society? In Futureproof, Stephen McAlpine shows how to live for Jesus in a culture that keeps on changing.

At just over 150 pages, this book is a quick read that explains our current Western culture and how the Church can face it with confidence. Part 1 presents many of our problems: the false promise that we belong to ourselves, the loneliness epidemic, and how secular politics have become their own god. McAlpine calls us to remember where our home is, be patient for Christ’s return, and continue to pursue holiness. McAlpine is accurate and insightful.


Honest and Hopeful

Part 2 presents the biblical solutions. First, McAlpine encourages us to embrace community. As the church community shines, we show the world the gospel. I was most interested to see McAlpine tackle digital technology. Surprisingly, parents are still at the forefront of protecting against the influencing culture. He writes about digital discipleship, and how church communities must be championed. But he doesn’t shy away from challenging churches (and influencers) to get creative and compelling for Christ. McAlpine stays honest and hopeful.

The book ends with the call to live courageously as dual citizens in our earthly lives and our heavenly home. We can use wisdom in politics, but we cannot forget that Jesus is King. We can stay content in Christ. And we will be prepared for and protected from whatever the future brings.


I received a media copy of Futureproof and this is my honest review.


7 Feb 2024

“Important”

(Review written for 'Futureproof')

I think this is a very important book for our current Christian climate and am always thankful for the authors willing and ready to take this hard subject on. This will be an important resource for our teens.


27 Jan 2024

“Great insight into how to navigate our changing world as Christians.”

(Review written for 'Futureproof')

really enjoyed this book. Stephen offers some great insights into how we can better navigate the issues of our days as Christians and as the church as a whole.
He addresses the rise of anxiety and loneliness and a lot of the things we are anxious regarding different things in the future. He challenges the church with many of his points. He explores how we can live for Jesus in such ever changing and tumultuous times and not just for our sakes only, but all for others who are looking for hope. He talks to many of the different issues of our days and gave some really great ways we can respond as Christians and reminds us of our hope in the Lord. Definitely a thought provoking read.

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Futureproof (ebook) | Stephen McAlpine |
£6.99