As human imagination conceives of the future, it tends to envisage either dreams or nightmares. The dreams live in the hearts of idealists who suppose that human ingenuity is sufficient to craft a perfect world. The nightmares torment the minds of realists, who express their fears in doomsday scenarios they think are inescapable. Christians, however, have been called by God to an infinitely higher future reality, a hope better than any dream — the new heavens and new earth — coupled with a bravery that acknowledges the journey to that perfect world will be bloody and terrifying.
Since the time that humanity was banished from the garden of Eden, we have longed to return to, or at least to craft, a perfect world of our own making. Human pride drove the building of the Tower of Babel, enabled by a technological breakthrough in engineering materials — the discovery that thoroughly baked ceramics were superior to carved stone in building lofty structures. God’s assessment of human potential is striking: “Nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them” (Gen. 11:6). But God interfered by confusing language and slowing down the process of social engineering.