no guarantees

I loved these last two paragraphs from Mark Vernon’s review of Terry Eagleton’s Reason, Faith and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate

“There are no guarantees that such a transfigured future will even be born,” is how Eagleton ends.

But, you know, there is an optimism that lurks in the dark heart of pessimism. For pessimism is not nihilism, that wants nothing from life, nor cynicism, that doubts everything about life. Rather, if it expects nothing, it gives everything, because it knows it is onto something. Isn’t that what the loser Jesus speaks of too?

‘If it expects nothing, it gives everything, because it knows it is onto something…’ What we do to change the world isn’t going to work, but we do it anyway, just in case it does, and simply because it’s the only way we’ll ever hold on to our humanity. And, as i’ve realised more and more over these last few weeks, i have no interest at all in people becoming christian – or even being christian myself. I want to put the focus right back on becoming human.

6 Comments

  1. Sue

    There is such a whiff of freedom about this post, Cheryl.

    “i have no interest at all in people becoming christian – or even being christian myself. I want to put the focus right back on becoming human.”

    Yes. 🙂

    I’ve been thinking a lot in the last few years about expectations versus expectancy, and how they seem sort of the same and one brings death and the other lives life.

  2. John

  3. Kel

    love this
    reminds me of Charlie Peacock’s book “New Way to be Human”
    loved that too
    🙂

  4. it’s an intriguing shift in focus, from being christian to being human – fully human. i’d say jesus was more interested in our becoming fully human than being ‘christian’. i think you’re onto something, cheryl, perhaps by concentrating on being ‘christian’ we’ve skewed our perspective away from that of the christ we claim to follow … fully human, whole, discovering the sacred in the midst of life, yes, amen indeed to these quests.

  5. thanks all.
    not sure that Jesus is my reference point, Sarah, but more about that at another point.

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