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Keywords:

  • apocalyptic;
  • intelligence explosion;
  • Ray Kurzweil;
  • Hal Lindsey;
  • popular Christianity;
  • singularity

Abstract Religious views of the future often include detailed expectations of profound changes to nature and humanity. Popular American evangelical Christianity, especially writers like Hal Lindsey, Rick Warren, or Rob Bell, offer extended accounts that provide insight into the views of the future held by many people. In the case of Lindsey, detailed descriptions of future events are provided, along with the claim that forecasted events will occur within a generation. These views are summarized and compared to the secular idea of a coming “intelligence explosion” or technological singularity as advanced by Ray Kurzweil, which is described in terms of its history as an idea and in terms of its specific proposals for the coming transformation of the cosmos, which is also predicted to occur within a generation. While profoundly different in important ways, these two perspectives share many features with each other—for example, in their respective predictions of distinct stages in the unfolding of the future of the cosmos.