The Future’s So Bright…

And the Word of The Day is OPTIMISM!

OPTIMISM was the recurrent theme of my fellow panelists at the CBF “What Does the Future Hold” forum in Perth City earlier today. (Video of the whole event to come soon – Ed)

Greens MP Alison Xamon and Dr Ashley Aitken of Curtin University joined me in discussing their understanding of what the future holds.  It was a great panel, good rapport between the three of us, and some good questions. Despite the challenges presented by the world both Alison and Ashley believe that we can be optimist about humanity’s ability to overcome the challenges.

I am not.  Optimism about such things would be a triumph of hope over experience. I said that today. But I am not a pessimist either. Jurgen Moltmann said this:

People who hope for God are not optimists. They don’t need the power of positive thinking. People who hope for God are not pessimists.  They don’t need the logic of negative dialectic. People who trust in God know that God is waiting for them, that God is hoping for them, that they are invited to God’s future, so that they are holding in their hands the most marvellous invitation in their lives.

Jurgen nails it: People NEED the power of positive thinking.  However the Resurrection of Jesus does away with that need,  bringing the future into the present and guaranteeing that a future is shaped like and by Jesus.

FWIW here’s what a link to the pdf of what I said at the forum about a Jesus-Shaped-Future:



  1. Hi Steve,

    I’m really attracted to this notion of the Christian being wildly optimistic in the light of the coming of the Jesus and its implications for the here and now but also being somewhat pragmatic (not cynical) given the fall of humanity.

    It’s not a space I think anyone else inhabits (in general) – would you agree?

    1. Yes I think that is our peculiar space. It raises the issue of political involvement etc for the Christian. I recently spoke to some Christians who are into left politics and I wondered whether they have thought through what it means to be so involved, given the Religious Right’s disastrous flirtation with politics in the US. I recently read James Davison Hunter’s “To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World”. Hunter says that the Liberal Religious Left, in decrying the Conservative Religious Right, employs the same tools, uses the same power structures and seeks the same goal (universalising their practices), as the right. I think there is a level to just how pragmatic we should take this baby!

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