Saturday, February 20, 2010

What may a christian hope for in this life? Part 4

For all this the christian may also hope for himself. The christian may hope that she personally will share in Christ’s inheritance, will be raised as he was and will enter eternal life. The christian may hope for God’s personal care and deliverance from evil, and that she will persevere to the end. That “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." The christian's hope for himself is firmly grounded in union with Christ, and therefore with the community of those who wait in hope,
“The only point is that this hoping community and he who hopes in and with it already exist in virtue of the first event in direct fellowship with the One for whose new coming they may hope, and that they have received, and must continually pray for and receive again, directly from Him the freedom to hope for His future coming.”
Karl Barth
Yet this hope remains truly personal
“Because the church finds its ground and pattern in the life of the Trinity, it is a communion of persons and a communion of communions; and the Kingdom is what the church anticipates. The hope of Israel and the church is thus irremediably antithetical to hope for dissolution into abstract divinity or for rescue from the wheel of karma or for reincarnation or soul transmigration, or any other state that represses personhood”
Robert Jenson
. The scope of christian hope includes personal salvation, but is not restricted to it, rather it encompasses the good future of the self, the creation and God.

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