Monday, January 10, 2011

The Two Senses of Hope

S. H. Travis makes a helpful distinction in his article about "hope" in the New Dictionary of Theology, 321:

Hope has two main senses in theology. It can define either the object of hope, namely Christ and all that his final coming implies, or the attitude of hoping.
These two senses of hope are complementary, as "to hope means to look forward expectantly for God's future activity. The ground of hope is God’s past activity in Jesus Christ, who points the way to God’s purposes for his creation."

Someone whose life is informed by this dual sense of hope "is liberated from fear about his own future in order to care about the fear and struggles of others."

In other words, possessing this type of hope enables believers to extend the same kind of hope to those who suffer around them.

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