Video Series on Hope
Episode #0-- Series Introduction--
 A series of short videos in 2018 on the topic of "Hope," by environmental missionary and climate activist, Lowell Bliss. We will be drawing on the work of Jacques Ellul, Walter Brueggemann, Wendell Berry and more.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #1-- Hope's Homiletic Dearth--
 Don't give up on hope if you have never really understood it in the first place; we've not been taught much yet; Matthew 12: "hope must be commensurate with the name of Jesus."

Video Series on Hope
Episode #2-- Optimism Instead--
 We haven't had to study hope, because we have had optimism instead; proof: sports metaphors, Ronald Reagan, and moonshots; a different model in John Paul II, the Apostle of Hope.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #3-- Making Room for Hope--
 The practical work of hope: "We can’t go directly from despair to hope.  We have to roll up our sleeves and do some heavy pulling and pushing first."   Quotations from Wes Jackson, Wendell Berry, and Albert Einstein.  Illustration from Rush Hour, a puzzle.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #4-- Shifting Optimism--
  Hope and optimism anchor themselves in different places; Optimism can turn ugly, just ask Jeremiah; GK Chesterton shows us how to shift it to a more positive place--primary loyalty;

Video Series on Hope
Episode #5-- Hope is a Duty--
 Is it true that "Hope is a Duty?" Any number of preachers of multiple centuries think so. Hope made practical.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #6-- Defining Hope--
 In the hopelessness following the Florida school shooting, we press on. Hope deserves a better definition than "hopey changey stuff." We look at two theological definitions, including one by Walter Brueggemann.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #7-- Refining Hope--
 Our new working definition of hope, weighted toward Walter Brueggemann's: "Hope is bold conviction about an alternative possibility for the future in and through a good, free, and sovereign God.”

Video Series on Hope
Episode #8-- The Hopeless Feeling--
 Are you also sick and tired of being sick and tired? Lament is not just an outcry of the problem; it's an outworking of the solution.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #9-- Processing Feelings of Hopelessness--
 Lowell is joined by his wife, Robynn, a spiritual director, who leads us through six steps in processing the emotions of hopelessness. "How might Jesus want to use these feelings?"

Video Series on Hope
Episode #10-- The Gifts of Hopelessness--
 Lowell and Robynn continue their conversation on how to process emotions, and then engage in a back-and-forth brainstorming session on possible gifts which hopelessness bestows.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #11-- Instead of Death--
 Hope is the muscle in our souls which turns its back on "the vitality of the presence and power of death over human existence." Deuteronomy 30:19-- Choose life.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #12-- Turn Your Back on Death--
 Here are four ways that Hope helps us turn our back on death: possibility, person, protest, and protection.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #13-- Hope in the Old Testament--
 From Walter Brueggemann's essay "Living Toward a Vision: Grief in the Midst of Technique." Five ways the Old Testament is a literature of hope for a people of hope.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #14-- Function of Hope (Part 1)--
 Brueggemann's essay "Living Toward a Vision" moves on to the "function of hope." We give his answers a test run on the absolute claims that the so-called Two Party System makes on the American electorate.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #15-- Daniel's Friends and the Function of Hope--
 Part 2 about the function of hope from Walter Brueggemann. Daniel's three friends are "model practitioners of hope" as they find "standing place outside the system." Further inquiry into the Two Party System of US elections.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #16-- Habitat of Hope--
 Walter Brueggemann's essay moves to consider from where, and from whom, hope emerges.  He identifies three places of unsuitable habitat for hope. 

Video Series on Hope
Episode #17--Enemies of Hope--
 Walter Brueggemann's essay ends with a discussion of the three enemies of hope: muteness, fulfillment, and technique. Characters from CS Lewis's The Last Battle help us illustrate.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #18— The Future of Hope--
 We begin a new set of episodes on exactly what type of future hope hopes for. Both "apocalypse" and "eschaton" mean so much more than we think they mean.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #19—Glory and the Future--
 Rev. John Stott pulls a "bait and switch," promising a sermon on hope but preaching on "glory." It highlights the importance of the basis of hope and its object. Listen to Stott's whole sermon at: https://www.crosspreach.com/speaker/46/john_stott

Video Series on Hope
Episode #20—Newness & the Future--
 Daniel Chapter 2 describes the parade of empires which suddenly, in a moment of newness, meets Christ the Rock. "Hope Made Practical" considers hope's "newness" in a story from the 2014 midterm elections.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #21-- The New & the Not Yet--
 If we only look at Daniel's prophecy in Daniel Chapter 2 through "New Testament eyes," we miss out on how much newness Daniel hoped for and experienced in his immediate future

Video Series on Hope
Episode #22—The Word & the Future--
 Our series on the future that hope hopes for, ends with Jacques Ellul's answer: that God may speak again.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #23—Hope Made Practical (House Hunting Case Study)--
 "Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf," Jonathon told his armor bearer (I Samuel 14). Hope Made Practical takes up a case study--house hunting in Ontario-- and compares hope to pulling on a fitted sheet.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #24—”Perhaps the Lord Will Help Us”--
 In Samuel 14, Jonathon is in an unbelievably desperate situation, and yet engages a three-fold formula for hope. "Perhaps the Lord will help us."

Video Series on Hope
Episode #25—Dualism Stifles Hope--
 Dualistic thinking stifles hope because it shuts down the imagination in which hope functions. With a little help from Richard Rohr, binary mathematics, and barren women in the Bible.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #26—Removing Dualism--
 Here are four ways of re-training ourselves to break free from the dualistic thinking which stifles the imagination and hope. With a little help from William Blake and the Kansas Leadership Center.xxx

Video Series on Hope
Episode #27—Radical Hope--
 This begins the second half of our yearlong series, and we turn our attention to "radical hope," hope that sustains in the face of the abyss of impending devastation. We will be speaking more about climate change, including Bill McKibben's "Terrifying New Math."

Video Series on Hope
Episode #28—Just Short of Radical Hope--
 Our best and greatest environmental leaders regularly offer up hope, but they often stop just short of radical hope. Jane Goodall offers four (five actually) reasons for hope in her book "Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey."

Video Series on Hope
Episode #29—Hope & Holocaust--
 We revisit Jane Goodall's book: "Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey" and discover that in her contemplation of the Holocaust, and in conversation with survivor Henri Landwirth, Dr. Jane finds radical hope in God.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #30—Hope & Climate Denial--
 Walter Brueggemann would seem to suggest that climate activists, like my hero Al Gore, can not go straight from denial to hope without first addressing their own grief and despair. It's possible that theirs is just a different order of climate denial.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #31—Can We Live Without Hope?--
 Michael Scott Moore was held hostage by Somali pirates for 2 1/2 years and claims to have learned that one can live without hope. I argue that Moore simply has learned to "contract the future."

Video Series on Hope
Episode #32—Hope in Death--
 I Thessalonians 4:13 may be the most oft-quoted New Testament verse on hope: we grieve the deaths of our loved ones but "not like those who have no hope." Lowell is back in Kansas this week for the Memorial Service of his own mother.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #33—is Hope an Obstacle?--
 A Neo-Buddhist perspective confronts our idea of "radical hope." Margaret Wheatley invites us off a bipolar wheel of hope and fear and suggests that we "do right action" instead. She has a point.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #34—Hope & Outcomes--
 Wendell Berry shows that there are more types of hope than the kind that Margaret Wheatley rejects. (See episode 33). Dallas Willard says that the easy yoke of Christ means we can "Abandon outcomes."

Video Series on Hope
Episode #35—Targets & Future Perfect Tense--
 How does hope respond to a desired target (goal) that recedes away, never to be recaptured. MLB pitcher Orel Hershiser instructs us in the "future perfect tense." We must not lose hope nor give up for any 0.5 degree C increase in warming, even if we lose the 1.5 or 2.0 targets of the Paris Agreement.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #36—Plenty Coups & Radical Hope--
 We begin a series on Jonathan Lear's book: "Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation." Plenty Coups, the last great chief of the Crow people, has two dreams in his childhood which result in radical hope-- moving forward into a good future even though their understanding of that goodness is severely limited.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #37—Dreams, Hope & Acceptance--
 We are building a "blueprint for radical hope" from the story of Plenty Coups, last great chief of the Crow People. We start with his first dream-vision from his childhood, and confront our own need to accept that dark forces in this world have their own rights to this world, their own work to do.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #38—Credited Coup--
 The dreams of Plenty Coups as a child provide a blueprint for radical hope. We are capable and resilient, and yet we rely on what Christ's finished work credits on our behalf.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #39—Follow Me Without Fear--
 Plenty Coup's second dream predicts the devastation of the buffalo herds and an end to the Crow way of life. It is allusive to Jesus telling his disciples at the beginning of unimaginable transitions: "Do not be afraid; follow me."

Video Series on Hope
Episode #40—Hope Learns--
 The second half of the second dream of Plenty Coups introduces the Chickadee-person who "works for wisdom." The storm of cultural devastation is intense, but the person who learns, like the chickadee, can hope that his or her lodge remains in the only tree left standing.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #41—Hope’s Pathway--
 Yahweh knows the pathway through the mighty waters and reveals it when and to whom he chooses (Psalm 77). The dreams of Plenty Coups resulted in practical decisions that resulted in a path forward for the Crow Nation.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #42—Grace & Effort--
 "Grace cooperates with effort," as per Richard Foster. Plenty Coups's dreams result in practical decisions which are instrumental in bringing about that which the Crow People desired.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #43—Hope’s Reasoning at the Abyss--
 Our final episode in a series about Plenty Coups and Radical Hope. Author Jonathan Lear identifies six steps in the reasoning of the Crow people that led them to the other side of cultural devastation. I paraphrase the six steps to apply to climate change.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #44—Aquinas & Hope’s Opposites--
 Thomas Aquinas describes four characteristics of hope and, therefore, hope's opposites. In doing so, Aquinas makes hope a multi-dimensional phenomenon and not just the "bipolar" swing back-and-forth with despair.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #45—Hope’s Practical Shape--
 Thomas Aquinas's four characteristics of hope and their four opposites suggest a "shape" for hope, with three implications: you can give yourself a break; hope is closer than you think; and chart a pathway.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #46—Ellul & Abandonment of God--
 We begin our study of Jacques Ellul's book "Hope in Time of Abandonment" by looking at four passages of Scripture from which Ellul concludes, it is possible to believe that God does, at his choosing, sometimes go silent in society.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #47—Importance of Abandonment--
 Why is accepting the idea of God's abandonment important to Jacques Ellul's framework for hope? Three reasons from the book, "Hope in Time of Abandonment."

Video Series on Hope
Episode #48—Ellul & Hope’s Three Aspects--
 "To be clear about hope," Jacques Ellul provides three aspects. He writes, “We cannot dissociate the three aspects: the observation that we are abandoned, the refusal to acquiesce in this decision of God with its combat entered into against him, and the confident certainty that God is still “my God.”

Video Series on Hope
Episode #49—The Decision of “Maranatha”--
 Jacques Ellul identifies "the threefold decision" of hope: waiting, realism, and prayer. This week we cover prayer and find a surprising dual use of the phrase "Maranatha."

Video Series on Hope
Episode #50—The Decision of Realism, Pt 1--
 Realism is "indissolubly linked" to hope, according to Jacques Ellul. The Realist movement in Art, a quip by Wendell Berry, Walter Brueggemann's description of history makers, and the Kansas Leadership Center's "Observation/Interpretation/Intervention" circle are all used here to prepare us to understand Ellul's decision of Realism. Part one of two.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #51—The Decision of Realism, Pt. 2--
 Realism is the second of three "decisions" that Jacques Ellul claims is required of Hope, and yet human beings are useless at realism. We prefer Denial. I discovered that Hans Christian Andersen changed the ending of his famous story "The Emperor's New Clothes" and may have chosen an idealized ending.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #52—The Decision of Waiting, Part 1--
 "The person of hope is the person who waits," writes Jacques Ellul of the final attitude in the "threefold decision" of realism, prayer, and waiting. Scripture provides numerous of examples of waiting, both successful and not. What does it mean to wait in the NT age? What does it mean to "eagerly wait"?

Video Series on Hope
Episode #53—The Decision of Waiting, Pt. 2--
 This is the final regular episode of our yearlong series on Hope. Jacques Ellul explains how "the person of hope is the person who waits," by exploring two examples: Job from the Old Testament, and the End-Times Cultist from today.

Video Series on Hope
Episode #Final—Summary Interview--
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