Friday, February 7, 2014

Hope: Whence, whither, and if

From Toledo, IA
Sophia to Rascal: Hoping against hope that friendship is possible.
As I mentioned in the previous post, co-blogger and friend Jon Swartz is in his last semester in EMU's dual degree program between the Seminary and Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, the same program I completed nearly two years ago. It is therefore senior capstone season for him and he's apparently working on a project about hope. I don't know the particulars of his project yet (can't wait to read that paper, Jon!) - but his work includes a survey tool that he sent out and invited me and a number of others to complete.

It was a good exercise for me, and with Jon's permission I'd like to share an edited version of my responses to his survey, because I don't think I've ever written much here about hope and yet it strikes me as central to the Christian faith. So here's what happened in my head as I responded to Jon yesterday...

Monday, February 3, 2014

An already slow read takes a rest

Tajumulco in Guatemala
(Photo src: UNDP)
Last summer when the Jonathans and I set out to book-blog Christianity, Democracy, and the Radical Ordinary by Romand Coles and Stanley Hauerwas, we set ourselves a pretty ambitious schedule: Each chapter getting a post by each of us. Well, that lasted for two chapters. Then the fall semester started for Jon, and other things were going on for John and I, so we rolled it back to a post per chapter by each of us, rotating. That held up pretty well, but slowed down our pace a bit, which has been fine.

Now we're just going to go ahead and take a break from the project for the whole month of February. John's in Guatemala right now, at an intensive Spanish school (and hiking the volcano pictured to the right), Jon's a month into his final semester at EMU, and I'm starting a 3-week teaching gig this week at Grinnell College, which is just 30 minutes from where we are in Toledo. I was fortunate enough to see both of these guys when I was back on campus at EMU for a work trip two weeks ago, and the sense is that we still think this book is awesome and look forward to finishing it out when we pick it back up, probably in March.

Thanks to all the people who've been tracking along with us on this project, for great comments and encouragement. See you again soon!