Thursday, February 18, 2010

What may a Christian hope for in this life? part 2

First we will explore the broad scope of objects a christian may have hope for; God, the creation and the christian himself. Then we will explore the particular hope that is legitimate for these; that which is aligned with God’s eschatological verdict in raising Jesus from the dead. Then we shall examine whether it is legitimate to hope for these to be fulfilled before the death of a christian.

The scope of objects for which a christian may hope is as broad as the triune God and his redeeming action. The christian hopes first for God. God is not only the ground of all christian hopes, but also their object. Nor is God simply a static object to be hoped for, but a living object of hope for whom we may hope. The first cry of the Lord’s prayer is that the name of the Father be hallowed. Christians “boast in the hope of the glory of God” . Christian hope at it’s centre is the hope that God will prevail over evil and be glorified. It is the hope of the Father placing all things under the feet of the Son, and of the Son handing the kingdom back to the Father,6 so that God may be all in all. Christian hope and prayer is a sharing in Jesus’ prayer to the Father, “Glorify the Son, that the Son may glorify you” Hope for anything that does not also hope for the glorification of the Father, Son and Spirit is simply not christian hope. This is especially so for the glory of the Son, Jesus Christ. To be a christian is to be one who eagerly awaits “the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ “ Even 1 Peter’s terminology, which speaks more of Christ’s current glory being finally revealed, there is nevertheless a future for Christ for which the christian hopes.


byron smith said...

Great place to start: the future of God. You been reading Moltmann again? :-)

Mike W said...

well,yes. But this is where our Escatology lecturer (D Hohne) starts too, prayer then the future of God.
This essay isn't as joyous or tight as I would have liked (it's a 2 day first draft job). I wanted to lay down the basic framework for why it was ok to hope .
I'm trying to pester Matt to put up his essay on it too, which I think got down to the brass tacks of hope a bit better

byron smith said...

Ah, I know that Höhne's been reading Moltmann (amongst many other things).