Hope and optimism are often lumped together (as we have done here), but they are not precise synonyms. In church, most of our attention is on hope, a central aspect of the Gospel message. For scientists, the attention is reversed as optimism is an easier concept to define and study experimentally. So what are scientists discovering?
Character & Virtue
At the center of Thanksgiving—both the holiday and the practice—is generosity. When we’re thankful for what we have, we become content, and we tend to open our eyes and our hands. We give to others. Scripture and science are both clear about this.
Everett Worthington, a leading researcher on the science of forgiveness, has a plethora of resources available at his website.
Each week, we share a few links that we believe will help you better understand a particular theme and engage with it in your ministry. Normally, we direct you to short-form material. We know most of you have too many places to go to dedicate more than 5, maybe 10 minutes on a link. But we hope that the arrival of summer means some time for books, longer videos, or full length podcasts.
Like habit formation, self-control is another evergreen topic for the church. It can inform how we resist temptation and live more Christ-like lives. It also is accompanied by a great deal of relevant scientific research. But it’s a difficult topic because that science continues to change.