Eschatology and Advent (3) hope as a little child

Continuing to think about eschatology and advent leading up to Christmas, but taking a pause from sketching the story of NT eschatology. How about this for a quote written 20 years ago about the nature of hope in the dark and uncertain times in which we live?

For too long the modern ideology of progress has pictured hope as grown-up, as the triumph of humanity come of age, taking its destiny into its own hands and creating the future for itself. More recently this vision has turned against hope, as supposedly mature humanity has come to seem more like a barbarous army, marching with aggressive determination to conquer the future, trampling everything in its path, progressive only in its mastery of ever more powerful and sophisticated means of destruction. Can the modern enterprise of hope be redeemed from despair?

Bauckham and Hart, Hope Against Hope: Christian Eschatology in Contemporary Context. 1999. p. 212.

It is this context that the authors refer to a theological poem by Charles Peguy, The Portal of the Mystery of Hope (1911) in which hope is pictured as a little girl swinging between her elder sisters faith and love (charity). Tiny as she is compared to them, she looks like she is being carried, but in truth she is carrying them.

Hope does not grow up. In an age of fading and lost hopes, this is, so to speak, the hope for hope. Hope must always be born anew: “the little girl hope is she who forever begins.” (Peguy, The Portal, p.23).

Bauckham and Hart, Hope Against Hope, p.212.

Hope as a young child confronting darkness …. there’s eschatology and advent in action.

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