A Brief Response to the Critique of Christian Hope

ThumbnailSome critics of Christianity say that Christian hope is just wishful thinking. Some say that Christianity is just a pipe dream – an unattainable hope.

Frederick Buechner, an author of numerous books about the spiritual life, addresses this in his own comments about Christianity and hope. He writes this in his book, Wishful Thinking:

Christianity is mainly wishful thinking…

Dreams are wishful thinking. Children playing at being grown-ups is wishful thinking. Interplanetary travel is wishful thinking.

Sometimes wishing is the wings the truth comes true on.

Sometimes the truth is what sets us wishing for it.

When people critique Christian hope as simply an unattainable dream, we may respond by saying that perhaps another name for our wishful thinking is faith. Further, perhaps faith is a way not of avoiding reality, but of accessing a reality that is not readily apparent to our senses. Even further still, perhaps the reason we dream about such a thing like Christian hope is that the truth has birthed such a dream in us at the first place. Perhaps God, the Creator, has made us with a yearning for something more because that is actually the way things are and fighting against it is more wishful thinking than pursuing it.

[This is a continuation of this week’s theme of “Beginning to Live with Hope.”]

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