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January 22, 2013


Tolkien called it estel. It is not hope as an expectation of good, having some foundation in what is known, but a hope that is much deeper. Hope as trust—faith—that all things will end in joy for God’s people. As Derrida would have it, language changes over time. Books mean different things and theologians argue constantly about the finer points of theology according the historical-grammatical and all manner of other methods. And yet, meaning will not be endlessly deferred. Christ will bring the final revision at the end of history. It is in this hope, this estel, that we look to the new beginning.

Christianity is and must be a paradox. The Three in One. The already and the not yet. The dead who are made alive. Dominion comes out of death. It is laying down our lives that God may raise us from the dust and ashes to a new and glorious life. “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12:24).

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