Thursday, December 07, 2006

David Wells on Christian hope in a postmodern world

Christian hope is not about wishing that all things will get better, that somehow emptiness will go away, meaning will return, and life will be stripped of its uncertainties, its psychological aches and anxieties. Nor does it have anything to do with techniques for improving fallen human life, be they therapeutic or even religious. Hope, instead, has to do, biblically speaking, with the knowledge that "the age to come" is already penetrating "this age", that the sin, death, and meaninglessness of the one is being transformed by the righteousness, life and meaning of the other, that what has emptied out life, what has scarred and blackened it, is being replaced by what is rejuvenating and transforming it. More than that, hope is hope because it knows it has become part of a realm, a kingdom, which endures, where evil is doomed and will be banished, that it has left behind the ship of "this age" which is sinking. And if this realm did not exist, Christians would be "of all men most to be pitied" (I Cor 15:19), because their hope would be groundless and they would have lived out an illusion (cf. Ps 73:4-14).
From Above All Earthly Powers: Christ in a Postmodern World,
(Eerdmans/IVP, 2005, p. 206)

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