I keep coming back in my mind to that phrase, "the mendacity of hope", which I mentioned the other day. I couldn't help but wonder if the writer meant all hope or just the flimsy and false hope of politically correct politicians. So I wrote to Mr. Klavan to ask for some clarification; if he responds, I'll let you know.
In the meantime, I came across this from the late Polish-American poet, Czeslaw MIlosz: "hope...is neither chimerical or foolish. On the contrary, every day one can see signs indicating that now, at the present moment, something new, on a scale never witnessed before, is being born: humanity as an elemental force consicous of transcending Nature, for it lives by memory of itself, that is, in History."
Milosz, a Christian, believed that, after the disaster of the 20th century, humankind would rediscover itself as having been created for transcendence, for a relationship with God, and that history would be the vehicle to lead to that rediscovery. The poet's task, as he saw it, was to ground his art in history and reality, and coax out from these the testimonies to transcendent reality they strain to declare.
So, is the world ripening toward revival? Aleady we hear reports of spiritual renewal in China, Africa, Latin America, even Russia. American Christians remain unconvinced of the need for revival. I mean, look at all those mega-churches. Listen to that cool Christian rock. Check out the televangelists and their adoring throngs. These, of course, are not true signs of revival; they may, indeed, be merely the symptoms of Laodicean's Disease, a spiritual malady in which sufferers are tricked into thinking everything's going great guns when, in reality, they're just about to be ejected from the heavenly court (Rev. 3.15-17).
Milosz, I believe, was right to hope. God, after all, is faithful and invincible. It is inconceivable to me that His purposes and plans will not prevail. The Christian does not hope in good times, big ministries, or seemingly unlimited reources. The Christian hopes in the Lord, and this is a hope which cannot fail.