About the Blog
“Not many of you should become [bloggers], brothers and sisters, for you know that we who [blog] will be judged with greater strictness.”
Well, that is not quite how James 3:1 reads. He is writing about “teachers” in the life of the church, warning them about the dangerous power of authoritative speech. Christians with any sort of public voice must wield the pen, keyboard, and the “tongue” (as James puts it) with great care.
But theological discourse is a central part of life before God: you “shall talk of [God's words] when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” This command from Deuteronomy 6:7 demands continuous discourse about divine reality that occurs in spaces both private (“when you sit in your house”) and public (“when you walk by the way”). In a world in which the Internet has become an overarching matrix of communication, then theological discourse should be happening online.
James would remind us that it should happen responsibly.
Here at Hopeful Realism, we are trying to ply the discipline of theological discourse is by sifting through nuances, complexities and underlying motivations. We write to learn, and our writing is an invitation for readers to learn with us… and to teach us. Help us make this interactive, talking with us about divine realities as you “walk by the way” (or surf the Net, as it were).
I got the idea of “hopeful realism” from my wife. It was her assessment of what I am calling for in my book Faith Without Illusions. Idealism doesn’t fly in an ex-Eden world. But cynicism doesn’t work either because the cracked open tomb of Jesus signals that New Creation is underway. We want to be realists who are honest with the grim ugliness of life. But we are hopeful. Hopeful, because one day a voice will cry from the Throne: “Behold, I am making all things new” (Rev 21:5). So when we write about Art, Church, Theology, Scripture and Culture, it is not as idealists or cynics. We are writing with brutal honesty (yes, churches can be absolutely pathetic; yes, theology may be looking through a glass dimly) but with hopefulness (because the church will be re-pictured one day in a noble dress of white; because one day we will see Him face to face).
Thanks for joining in,