Apart from impressive liturgical expressions every year in Advent and one stirring statement called "The Christian Hope," which concludes the Prayer Book Catechism, the Episcopal Church is not known for its formation and application of eschatology--the doctrine of last things. A Heart for the Future: Writings on the Christian Hope may change that. The distinguished and diverse contributing authors--including Robert M. Cooper, Robert D. Hughes, Harold T. Lewis, Fredrica Harris Thompsett, Paul F. M. Zahl, and Robert Boak Slocum (who is also the general editor)--differ widely in method, meaning, and approach.
They are very much alike, however, in the rigor with which they profess their faith in the Christian future, avoiding the simplistic eschatology that would cleave the Body of Christ in two by creating a false dichotomy between walking with God in this world and walking toward God in the next. The choice Christians must make is not between the now and the external; it is between being forward-looking and being backward-looking. Unless we look with eagerness and longing toward the future, we will stay stranded in the past. To live the Christian life today, we need A Heart for the Future.