Hope Is Not Always Logical

Jun 25, 2010

So, I was reading an interview with Rachel Held Evans, and got stuck on this comment: hope is not always logical.

This was predicated upon 1 Peter 3:15, where we are exhorted to "be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." And I was struck by this verse, like I have never read it before.

I have spent so much of my time listening to people give me answers to questions about doctrine, as though the Bible somehow needs a defense lawyer. And I've spent plenty of time defending my beliefs, as though logic is the only thing that matters. When, in reality, that's not at all what we're supposed to do - we're supposed to give reasons for our hope, not our beliefs.  Two different things.

Christianity has a long history of believing some truly outrageous propositions. Polygamy, slavery, subjugation of women, our planet the center of the universe - the list goes on and on. But Christianity has never been about doctrine; it's about grace, redemption, and hope.

I'm over here hanging on by my fingernails to a tiny shred of hope, when all around me, well-meaning Christians are answering the wrong questions. Don't tell me why I am doctrinally wrong. Tell me why you have hope.

I'll tell you why I have hope: Jesus resurrected.

There is no logic in that hope, no concrete proof, nothing beyond a quiet prayer in the night that it was real.

13 Response to "Hope Is Not Always Logical"

Invisible Says:

That is the only hope I have.

Pammer Says:

You're in sales, you've heard the old adage: "Hope's a bad strategy."

That is true only in sales.

Hope - it is a tricky partner. It requires the head, but is not logical. Without the head, it has the power to lead you astray. But it doesn't mean you never have it. It doesn't mean you let it go.

Hope is the only thing you can truly own outright. Others can't take it away - it is your choice to give it away.


knighton Says:

Funny you mention it, I have a copy of Page's Hope Is Not A Strategy right here on my desk. LOL

And you're right - hope is tricky sticky stuff.

And thanks for commenting on this. I'd love to hear about hope and faith from your perspective.

knighton Says:

Invisible, I think you have more than hope. I think you have an unflinching faith, which is a beautiful, wonderful, powerful thing.

Invisible Says:

and yet, it has caused you to stumble. and for that i am truly sorry.
Faith, hope and love. the greatest is love. I have a strong faith, I have a weak hope, but it seems the love i have has come off as judgment.

knighton Says:

But I haven't stumbled on the essentials. I may wander, but I am not lost to hope & grace. I still believe that the great God of the universe is big enough to stand in the face of questions.

I never intended my questions (and fears and doubts) to come off as arrogance or denial or rejection or judgement.

Invisible Says:

You said, "I still believe that the great God of the universe is big enough to stand in the face of questions."

I believe that too. I believe that so thoroughly that I questioned for years the trials I had to endure. Until one day, He said to me, "I didn't promise that life would be easy, only that I would hold you in the middle of the storm."

He is big enough, strong enough, to withstand our most outlandish questions. Forgive me for not giving you room to ask tough questions and for trying to convert you.

knighton Says:

There's nothing to forgive. I know exactly where you stand, and while I may not agree, I do admire you.

I was just hoping for some love in the midst of this storm, and that you would love me, even if we still come out on opposite ends of the tough questions.

Though we may stand on opposite sides of a chasm, the great God of the universe still owns it all - the earth, the canyon, and the gulf in between.

ibvilla Says:

Hope in what we have and what we will have...great post

Found you on Rachel's page, good stuff-I just started writing myself-interested on finding other people that are on their own faith walks on the internet-look forward to seeing what you write :)

knighton Says:

Hi Isaac,

Thanks for dropping by and for the encouragement. It's nice not to feel so alone out here.


Mainline Mom Says:

Great post...don't necessarily agree that we don't need to sometimes give an answer for our beliefs too, but there is certainly an element of hope that is not at all logical.

knighton Says:

Hi Sarah! Thanks for stopping by. Sometimes, when beliefs start to tremble under the weight of doubt, hope is all we have.

Giving answers for my beliefs seems to have gotten me in a bit of hot water lately.

bondChristian Says:

First off, thanks so much for reading the review and linking to it here. I appreciate it.

Secondly, Rachel does an excellent job through out Evolving In Monkey Town highlighting the point you made. As I said in the review, I don't always agree where she ends up, but the process she takes to get there is refreshing and insightful.

-Marshall Jones Jr.