Friday, January 9, 2009

Plantinga - Chapter 1: Longing and Hope

Plantinga's first chapter focuses on longing and hope. He talks about Lewis' concept of sehnsucht which is the exploration of human longing or yearning. There are several things that we innately long for. We are always searching for more and more but the truth of the matter is that we will never be fully satisfied until we place our hope in Christ. As St. Augustine said, we are restless and we will continue being restless until we rest in him. Plantinga makes the point that hope is important for existence. However it is not healthy to only hope for ourselves. We must have hope for the future and hope for each other.

Love plays a big part into this human process of yearning. We all want to love and be loved. And love works side by side with hope. Plantinga says that biblical hope has faith on one side and love on the other and that love gets us out of the shell we build around ourselves leading to the concept of Shalom, or peace. Plantinga says that shalom is "the way things are supposed to be" meaning that they are not. We lack peace in life because we do not place our hope in the Lord. This is an amazing truth to me that has taken quite some time to understand. We are not our own. We are Christ's. Once we accept that as fact then we are able to find peace within our selves and the satisfaction that only comes through Christ.

In speaking about nostalgia, C.S. Lewis was quoted saying "where except in the present can the eternal be met?" Nostalgia is merely an exercise of discontent. We always wish that we had done something differently in the past and want something that we do not have in the present. This makes us long for earthly things and if we waste all of our time yearning for things of the world we will fail to ever reach shalom in the kingdom of God.

No comments:

Post a Comment