Missionary Hope in a Cynical Age: a Chat With Jason Duesing

Dr. Jason Duesing of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary explains how to have “mere hope” in an outrage-fueled society.

We live in an age of perpetual outrage and cynicism, and lost hope takes its greatest toll upon the missionary endeavor. This week we spoke with Dr. Jason Duesing, passionate missions sender and academic Provost and Associate Professor of Historical Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, author of the new book Mere Hope: Life in An Age of Cynicism (B&H, 2018). We discuss how C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien’s romanticism, the concept of the “Puritan hope,” and the mythical phoenix can help us see why biblical hope should lead to radical optimism amidst suffering and should fuel passionate missionary effort (really!).

Jason Duesing MBTS after serving for more than a decade on the administrative leadership team and faculty at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Duesing earned his Ph.D. in Historical Theology and Baptist Studies from Southwestern Seminary in 2008. He also holds a M.Div. from Southeastern Seminary and a B.A. in Speech Communications from Texas A&M University in College Station. He serves as a research fellow for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, on the board of directors for the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, academic editor of the Midwestern Journal of Theology, and general editor for For the Church resources. He is also a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and regular contributor to Baptist Press. Duesing is married to Kalee, and together they have four children: Gracyn, Ford, Lindsey, and George. You can visit his personal site and follow him on Twitter.

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Alex Kocman & Scott Dunford

Alex Kocman is the Director of Communications and Engagement for ABWE. He serves as general editor for Message Magazine and co-hosts The Missions Podcast. After earning his M.A. in Communication and B.S. in Biblical Studies, he served as an online apologetics instructor with Liberty University and a youth pastor in Pennsylvania, where he now resides with his wife and three children. Read his blog or follow him on X/Twitter.

Scott Dunford is the pastor of Western Hills Church in San Mateo, Calif. Previously, Scott served as Vice President of Mobilization and Communications for ABWE and as a missionary in East Asia. Scott graduated from Northland International University (B.A. in Pastoral Studies), earned his M.A. in biblical studies from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, his M.B.A. from Cornerstone University, and is currently enrolled in Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s D.Min. program with an emphasis on missions.