“What might the church’s role be at this particular juncture in history when secular sources of hope have withered and all but died? If we are true to the universal scope of God’s redemptive purpose then we cannot be content with turning inwards and expending all our energy in identity-affirming but (so far as the world is concerned) arcane and irrelevant activities. Yet nor can we simply allow the world, or even its needs, to set our agenda, else we shall quickly surrender our identity as followers of the Christ, and condemn ourselves to a rather different but equally damning form of irrelevance…we shall be a place in the world which is not properly ofthe world, the people who live up to the hilt in this life but with their sights set firmly on a horizon lying behind it, and who therefore model for society how this life may be lived in hope even when hope seems hopeless.” Richard Bauckham & Trevor Hart, Hope against hope

This short post could easily have been labeled, “How eschatology is the mother of mission.”For in Bauckham and Hart’s quote lies that truth. The “universal scope of God’s redemptive purpose” is what chastens our vision of the present, what gives us hope for more than the present. While the world without Christ is right to lose all hope, as a child would become disheartened reading a book without a front-middle-or ending, we remain vindicated in maintaining “hope even when hope seems hopeless.”

The things I’m left puzzled about is why identity or relevancy often seem more concerned with the present than the future? And why we as Christ body forget that perhaps the more important witness we have to bear to the world is one of hope in midst of not having answers for everything rather than answers to all their questions? When did hope lose its eschatological necessity in our witness, and how can we regain it…