Why should we have hope?

Published May 7, 2024

WORLD Opinions

Over the last twelve months I have seen death touch the lives of too many friends. Not the expected kind of death—that of the elderly person full of years—but the hard, dirty deaths of those who should have lived for decades more. Of course, to the Christian no death is ‘natural’ in the strict sense of the word. But there is something deeply unnatural about a husband losing his wife before she is 60, still more about parents standing by the graveside of their teenage child. Though we have been as yet untouched by such tragedy, my wife and I find our devotional times preoccupied now with asking the Lord to comfort our numerous devastated friends.

These sad events put in perspective our current cultural moment. The temptation at a time of extreme polarization in the realm of earthly politics is to set aside the eternal for the temporal or, to put it more bluntly, to set aside hope for hopelessness. Whoever wins in November can at best only help to save the body. That is not a bad thing in itself but it is not the gospel and should not be confused with the gospel, nor allowed to marginalize the gospel even for a moment. Christ calls his people to fear not the one with power solely over the body but the one who has power over body and soul.

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Carl R. Trueman is a fellow in EPPC’s Evangelicals in Civic Life Program, where his work focuses on helping civic leaders and policy makers better understand the deep roots of our current cultural malaise. In addition to his scholarship on the intellectual foundations of expressive individualism and the sexual revolution, Trueman is also interested in the origins, rise, and current use of critical theory by progressives. He serves as a professor at Grove City College.

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