Suprised By Hope://chapter one

“First, what is the ultimate Christian hope? Second, what hope is there for change, rescue, transformation, new possibilities within the world at the present?” (pg5)

Monday night at the Lompic, Chris and I started talking about the problem of suffering… which is really the problem of evil… which is really the problem of sin.

My issue is not that suffering exists. I can believe that, I can accept that… but I can’t do anything about it. That is my struggle.

If God is good, and he promises salvation to all who will believe, than why don’t I who believe have any power against evil in my own life, let alone the world at large? If I can’t bring good about in my life, how can I bring good into the world? Why has God not given us the power, strength, the knowledge, the ________ to overcome evil with good?

This struggle is why I believe NT Wright is correct in seeing the two questions of hope for my self and hope for the world as intertwined, rather than the two separate issues to be talked about.

If I don’t know my hope as a Christian, or if I have the wrong hope and call it the Christian hope, I can’t hope rightly for or rightly give hope to the world around me.

Chris and I talked about allot of things, and I’m still processing the conversation. I have a feeling I’ll be doing that for a while. As I break into “Surprised by Hope”, I do have a few things from that conversation on my mind:

  • -I can give shape to the Kingdom of God, but I can never totally embody the entirety of the Kingdom of God.
  • -The resurrection is God’s answer to suffering, evil, sin
  • -Since The resurrection is the solution, I don’t have to “do it all” (embody the entirety of the Kingdom of God). Rather, I can accept it as the solution in my life, place, and time… and truly, really, and actually stop trying to do enough to save my self, and let the resurrection be the answer.
  • -God’s doesn’t give us meaningless gifts. We are given gifts (graces) that can bring about the shape of the kingdom in the world around us as we do good.
  • -We should do good

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