Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hope Vs. Optimism

I am in the middle of gathering books and other materials to continue researching various perspectives on bible interpretation, theological and spiritual matters, and expressions of the christian faith. I came across a book written by R. Kirby Godsey, former President of Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia, entitled, "When We Talk About God, Let's Be Honest." I read few excerpts, and found evidence of a promising read on humanity's relationship to God and each other. The vivid picture he paints of the many facets of hope and how hope translates into definite action deeply resonated with me.

Unlike naive optimism, hope faces the tragedy of all that is not right and fosters within us the courage and energy to work toward making things right. Hope rights the wrongs. Hope does not say, "Don't worry about it; God will take care of everything." Hope becomes the agent of God in making the world right. Hope searches for ways to overcome terrorism. Hope becomes a part of undoing the violence of abuse and abandonment that threatens us. Hope embraces the lonely. Hope carries coats to the elderly in winter. Hope takes the homeless home. Hope feeds the hungry and clothes the naked. Hope forgives the hurt. In very concrete, specific ways, hope is the eternity breaking into the time of our lives. God's presence changes the character of our time on earth. The Christian understanding of last things is not, then, chiefly about judgement day or heaven and hell. The Christian's last word is about hope. To be Christian means being present in time with the power of hope.

I'm looking forward to reading the book in its entirety! Thank God for the printing press, eh?



I have never heard of this book, but I definitely appreciate this quote.

tilly hester said...

Beautifully put. I'll have to check that book out.

Mike L. said...

Thanks for checking out my blog.

I have another recommendation for your research. If you are interested in biblical interpretation you have to read the book "Reading the bible again for the first time" by Marcus Borg. Even if you just read the first four chapters you will get a concise description of the central issue in Christianity today (how to approach the bible). It goes into more detail about how progressive christians like Godsey can hold the bible dear to their hearts without becoming a fundamentalist and literalist. It is a powerful book.

Tia Lynn said...

thanks for the recommendation, I will check it out