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Exploring Hope

John Weaver
  • Corresponding author
  • The John Ray Initiative, Redcliffe College, Wotton House, Horton Road, Gloucester, GL1 3PT, UK
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Published Online: 2013-09-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/anv-2013-0003


This paper has emerged out of a consultation held in Oxford to consider the relevance of the Christian message of hope in the face of global environmental crisis. For many Christians, hope has moved from being a proximate hope that we might change our behaviour, to an eschatological hope, as behaviour and policy change are becoming frustratingly hard to secure. It is recognised that this crisis of hope not only applies to environmental issues but also issues of poverty. The author considers our role as hopeful disciples living between proximate and ultimate hope. He uses Ricoeur’s ‘knot of reality’ to explore the interconnection between suffering, faithfulness and the promises of God. The link between catastrophe, judgment, endurance, and hope are examined. A number of key Bible passages are considered in outline and Col. 1:15-20 and Rom. 8:18-23 are examined in more depth, along with some passages from Genesis and Isaiah.

Church leaders who are aware of the environmental crisis, need to improve their communication to motivate Christians to take seriously the care for creation and for the poor. Drawing on the work of Walsh and Keesmaat, the author calls Christians to be countercultural. The Church can bring the signs of hope and these are found in community.

This requires action that embodies Christian virtues. These point to a renewal of creation and show that we are caught up in a bigger story. Our ultimate hope is always in God and is brought into our present world through our faithful discipleship.

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About the article

John Weaver

John Weaver was born and brought up in Cardiff. After taking degrees in Geology at Swansea, he taught at the University of Derby. John trained for Baptist ministry in Oxford and was then pastor of Highfield Baptist Church from 1981-1991. From 1992- 2001 he taught theology at Regent’s Park College, Oxford, and from 2001-2012 served as Principal of South Wales Baptist College. He is a former President of the Baptist Union, and is the Chair of JRI. His main areas of research are: relating faith to life and work; theological reflection; adult education; and the dialogue between science and faith.

Published Online: 2013-09-05

Published in Print: 2013-09-01

Citation Information: ANVIL, Volume 29, Issue 1, Pages 25–41, ISSN (Print) 0969-7373, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/anv-2013-0003.

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