Mission

Statement

The mission of Ancient Hopes is to inspire deep exploration of Holy Scripture with the specific purpose of the spiritual formation of the soul.

Philosophy

I have observed over the years that even among students of traditions that boast of their strict adherence to the Bible, Scriptural illiteracy is prevalent.  In the western culture of which I belong, we simply do not read the Bible with intensity, whatever our denomination.  Moreover, I find that we really do not know how to read it; at least how the biblical authors originally intended them to be read.  What is served up to us in preaching, teaching, and in typical books tends to be superficial, catering to what entertains or sells.  This situation is disastrous; the human soul was created for profundity of thought and experience.  As the great rabbinic theologian and philosopher Abraham Heschel remarks, “In the realm of theology, superficiality is treason.”

Interfaith infighting has contributed greatly to the crisis.  We tend to align ourselves with a group of people who rally around certain ideas and patterns of thinking, whether they be how to do church, theological constructions, or whatever.  However good these may be, we tend to define ourselves, who we are and who we are not, based on these patterns of thought.  Subtly we are no longer founded on the Scriptures we love, but on a specific way of looking at Scriptures, and we get caught up in a “party spirit” which St Paul condemns in I Corinthians.  We can no longer see the problems in our own camp, but focus on the problems of others, and we become complacent.  In the process, we not only block out our brothers and sisters of other traditions, but also what the Scripture is really saying.  Moreover, we dismiss the vast treasure of 2000 years of Church wisdom as irrelevant for our contemporary situation.  We have become anchorless, no longer grounded in Scripture and history, sinking in the watery chaos of our own subjectivity.

It has been my privilege to teach and interact with students of a broad spectrum of denominational persuasions over the last 25 years, ranging from Pentecostals and independents on one end to Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox on the other.  They (you!) are all my friends, lovers of Jesus.   Though I have undergone my own journey from Baptist to Anglo-Catholic, I am deeply indebted to all the traditions I have experienced.  I love the old Gospel tradition of my Baptist roots, the best of the reformed tradition, the Puritans, interaction with those in the Charismatic tradition, as well as the Church Fathers and mystics.  This website is ecumenical in that it embraces all those who truly seek to be faithful to Christ and His Word.  There is no persuasion to follow me as if I know the best course for you.  There is no triumphalism here, just a place where we help one another to open up Scripture with the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we might really see Jesus.  Profound insight into Christ is what we eagerly, humbly, seek, that we might be profoundly changed into His likeness.

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