Saturday, October 21, 2006

Barth on great hope and little hopes

"Hope seizes, or rather is seized by, the promise of the future. To that extent, it is the great hope, the expectation of the eternal life, which has still to be manifested and given to us, confidence in the coming Jesus Christ as the end and new beginning of all things, the joy in anticipation of the perfect being of man and all creatures in the service of God which is pledged because it is already actualized in Him. As it seizes the promise of the future it is in every respect – not only hope which derives from Him but also hope in Him as the eternally living One. He, the content of the promise and object of hope, cannot be replaced by any other. If there is also a small hope for today and tomorrow, if there are also temporal, penultimate, provisional and detailed hopes for the immediate future, it is only because He is the future One who shows himself in every future.
"Where there is the great hope, necessarily there are also small hopes for the immediate future. These hopes have their basis and strength only in the great hope. They are small, relative and conditioned. In their detailed content, they may be mistaken and open to correction. But within these limits they are genuine hopes. And it is certainly in these many little hopes that the Christian lives from day to day if he really lives in the great hope. And perhaps he is most clearly distinguished from the non-Christian by the fact that, directed to the great hope, and without any illusions, he does not fail and is never weary to love daily in these little hopes. But this necessarily means that he is daily willing and ready for the small and provisional and imperfect service of God which the immediate future will demand of him because a great and final and perfect being in the service of God is the future of the world and all men, and therefore his future also."

- Karl Barth Church Dogmatics IV/1, 120-122.

Ten points for guessing the city. I'd say naming, but unless you're really good, it will be a guess.


Anonymous said...

Nice photo there...

And Karl Barth is always food for thought!

In Jesus,
Maria in the UK

Ben Myers said...

That's a great photo, Byron.

byron smith said...

Thanks - guess I should offer some guessing points for it. I'm a little bummed about the blemish in the bottom right corner. I can crop it out, but it changes the proportions of the image.

Anonymous said...

A tower whose name escapes me which is rather close to Sydney's Central Station?

As a second guess, I'll try Frankfurt.

Anthony Douglas said...

I'm pretty confident that it's not an office building - the curtains in the windows are a bit unbusinesslike - so given the size and the type of tree, I'll guess New York.

byron smith said...

Michael - thanks for guessing. Sorry.

Anthony - very good (and you're rapidly catching Michael!): ten points. I'm particularly impressed that you factored the tree into your considerations. It is indeed NYC, just across the road from the UN, if memory serves.