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Friday, January 26, 2007

Hope

My posting is erratic to say the least. I want to at least try and be a little more disciplined. To that end I'll put out some thoughts here to see if I can spark some conversation or input to assist me in a small project that I have been thinking about.

I have had an idea that I have been pondering for a while now. One of my concerns is to do with the manner of the church's engagement with the world and. more particularly, the individual Christian's interaction with those outside of the church's system.

The standard method of "witnessing" involves the use of propositions; I share with you my logical/faith arguments to do with Jesus. If you give assent to my propositional arguments then you can become a Christian and enter the local church as a "believer". If you disagree with my propositional statements then I have to persist or else leave you to make your own journey through life until another Christian works at the art of persuasion.

I have been sharing my thoughts with a number of non-Christians and am struck by the lack of regard for church as an institution and the "gospel" as a positive message for their life. This is not a surprise but I prefaced my enquiries by telling them that I was attempting to write a book on the nature of hope and, in particular, Christian hope.

My contention is that hope must become a fundamental building block upon which the church engages with the predominating mindset. I believe that we need to understand what hope is and exactly what our Christian hope is. As I reflect on sermons, chat to Christians and listen to Christian music I find the essence of Christian hope that makes a fundamental difference to our life now very vague and insubstantial.

I am attempting to build a theology of hope that is comprehensible for the "average" Christian who wishes to do more with their lives and who wish to break out of the established mould of evangelism. Of course, I will give strong reference to Moltmann and I want to avoid e-merging church cliches because there is something more enduring that contemporary fads that Christianity needs to come to terms with if it is to make a radical impact upon this world.

I look forward and welcome all comments and critiques. Thankyou.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

Hi Les, It strikes me that the Christian hope is partially framed by the eschatology they hold to. This month Jurgen Moltmann spoke in New York. You can view his talks at this web site:

http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/education/?institute-2007&p=schedule&s=telecast

The first talk is on the Judgement of God. His analysis would be helpful in undertanding some of the current mindset, as well as his view of a more Christian approach.

Personally, the Christian's hope is also based on our understanding of God, and His love for us. In my thinking, conversion implies relationship -- not necessarily the trite, "Jesus is by personal savior and all around good buddy" relationship, but rather, one which results in us dying to self and having Christ formed in us.

Donald Miller's Searching for God Knows What does an interesting job of exploring a relational approach to Christianity.

Yours in Christ,
Christopher