procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Monday, September 05, 2011

giving up hope

i like paul ricoeur. heaps. i'm writing 15,000 words on him (well, trying to).

but sometimes i don't get him. but that's also when i should most try and get him.

he reflected on Jesus' words 'whoever would save his life must lose it', and figured this included losing even the hope of the resurrection. [Critique and Conviction, 155-8]

his point is simple - holding on to the hope of reward means that you haven't given everything up. so his question is, in effect, would you still follow Jesus even if there was no new creation to look forward to?

so after my initial recoil, i think i get his point, but then i ask, who is this Jesus that bids us give up our all? he is the one who makes promises he can keep: 'in my fathers house there are many rooms,' 'blessed is the one who is persecuted on my behalf, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,' and so on.

the life lost that it may be found is the life that builds up treasure in heaven and not on earth. faith is trust in the promise maker to keep his promises, despite appearances.

perhaps what Ricoeur is tapping in to is what it meant for Job to trust God chinnam (for naught)? but still, while this may represent one shade of meaning, it is not the final word, but qualifies what it is to trust in this life, without saying anything about the next.

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Blogger Michael J said...

I've been reading Job lately and I don't think he loses hope in salvation. I haven't read Ricoeur, but I am struggling to conceive of any justification for that view. Our hope in Christ is fundamental: we have a firm promise. Why would we cast away God's promise? It makes no sense.

It seems to me that Jesus was talking about our earthly life. If you are afraid of dying, if you are holding on to this perishable world, then you may lose your grip on the next.

To quote the great philosopher "you don't make no sense".

4:08 am  

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