Posted by: Dan | May 10, 2005

Hope and Realism

Only utopianism and hope will enable us to believe, and give us strength to try — together with all the world's poor and oppressed people — to reverse history, to subvert it, and to move it in a different direction.
~ Ignacio Ellacuria (from an address given ten days before he was assassinated).

One is either an idealist or one is hopeless. Those who possess hope will always be labeled idealistic, utopian, and unrealistic by those too wounded, too fearful, too comfortable, or too knowledgeable to hope for anything more than what they already have.

I suspect that R.R. Niebuhr and those who follow in the footsteps of “Christian realism” miss this point because they never really understood the nature of Christian hope. And I suspect that they neglected hope because they misunderstood the nature of suffering love. And, here I tread with some trepidation, I suspect that they misunderstood the nature of suffering love because they misunderstood Jesus. Without hope Christianity is neither “Christian” nor “realistic.”

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