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Monday, June 25, 2012

Hope and Belief

Where on the continuum between suicidal despair and resurrection hope are you? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 723).

A critical difference between despair and hope is not one of feelings but resides in the practical implications for action. Despair implies that no action will be successful and that the only satisfying actions in any sense pleasurable or psychologically rewarding will be self-destructive ones. Whereas hope implies the opposite. Hope is the engine from which positive, constructive action arises. I think many of the faithful over the centuries initially have made a deliberate and very practical bargain – even if Christ's resurrection is a myth, practically speaking it is worthwhile and valuable as a working hypothesis to assume its truth. Once this assumption is made, daily reinforcement of its wisdom confirms and validates the decision to believe. Thus we find that belief in life eternal arises from a conviction that we should make the most of our present one. Through the mysteries of perception, tentative belief is transformed into confirmed faith. We discover that by aiming for a practically productive life on earth, a full bore belief in heaven and life eternal is thrown in.

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