We need hope grounded in God. I’m willing to call it theological hope. It’s the conviction that God is active when we don’t see it. It’s the promise that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose
Hope is like magic, in that it rearranges our epistemological perception of what is real and what is possible. It makes the impossible appear possible. But Dr. Nagib posits that hope is more than magic. Hope is the inner voice that whispers (or shouts) that anything is possible, even in the face of a seemingly hopeless situation.
I get a little annoyed each time a science and faith conversation gets railroaded by the question of origins, climate change, or some other contentious issue. Sure, these are issues that our churches must wrestle with, but by putting all our attention on areas of felt conflict, we might entirely miss the ways science reveals how God works.
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?
When we look at 2020, when we look at this world—a year marked by the exposure of racism in America, political division, and the deadly COVID pandemic—can we have either optimism or hope?