Reflection on Hope

How the world ends, and how my world ends, are matters about which evangelicalism has invested much attention. However, both lectures and readings have sought to improve upon evangelical eschatology. Guthrie and I are advising you to appreciate the sheer symbolism of biblical words about the future, rather than to concentrate on developing a detailed chronology out of them. McLaren's Neo and Dan are both rejecting the evangelical preoccupation with (a) "saving" greater numbers of "souls" (in the evangelical senses of both words) and (b) delineating exactly who in the world is "saved" and "unsaved." These are hearty challenges! Let's see if they do make for improvement.

Write an imaginary letter to someone in your life who needs to hear the Christian message of future hope. (You may choose to write to a group of people.) Tailor your message to specific needs, and frame it in terms of course concepts. Include explicit citations in parentheses from lectures, Guthrie ch 19, McLaren ch 14, my "Advent's Answer to the Problem of Evil," the several articles from Wilson that treat the theme of hope, and/or any other relevant materials from throughout the course. (I want to see at least two of these sources referenced.) You do not need to adopt the positions that lectures and readings have advocated, but you should indicate that you understand them. (You might want to oppose them, or oppose other ideas that would kindle false hope.)

While hope's social and personal dimensions are of course intertwined, you may concentrate on whatever dimension(s) pertain to your reader's particular needs.

Since your peer reviewer and I will both be reading this, you should be sensitive to issues of privacy and confidentiality. You may change name(s) if you wish. I promise confidentiality. If your peer reviewer will not promise it as well, then you should change your essay accordingly, or work with me to arrange for a different reviewer.

Please keep your paper three pages, double-spaced, and follow the directions in my handout for writing papers.

Remember, I want to see proper style, clear writing, a thorough answer to the question, and explicit citations of course materials.

(Back to Schedule)