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Interview with Goff Hope, author of 'Hope Wins'

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Interview with Goff Hope, author of 'Hope Wins'
HOPE WINS

Hope is fundamental for human wellbeing but it is in short supply in our world. We can quickly be robbed of hope by illness, personal tragedy or by the sheer oppressive nature of news headlines.

Drawing on his own personal experiences, including the tragedy of losing his daughter and his own battle with cancer, Goff shares how holding on to the Christian hope of an eternal future transformed the darkest moments of his life.

Interweaving personal testimony of the goodness of God with biblical teaching on heaven in his book Hope Wins, Goff encourages us to see that when tough times come, and we are tempted to doubt or ask the big questions, such as Why, Lord?, we can have hope if we keep our eyes on Jesus and have a heavenly perspective on life.

Goff Hope has been a leader at King’s Community Church, Norwich for over 30 years. Having travelled widely on behalf of Newfrontiers both locally and overseas, he continues to have a strong involvement in the training of leaders.

Goff, could you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a Londoner, born in a vicarage in Coronation year. Much of my early life was focussed on London, going to school on the Underground, working for the BBC at White City studios, then ITV on the South Bank, meeting my wife Angie at Kensington Temple, and then studying at London Bible College (LST). I have been a church leader here in Norwich for 33 years during which time Angie and I have travelled widely in Europe, USA, Canada, Mexico and Beijing where we lived briefly. My other passion in life is sailing, something I caught from my dad, and I like nothing better than escaping on the Norfolk Broads in my dinghy!

 Goff and Angie Hope

Why did you decide to write Hope Wins?

Provoked possibly by my name, I have felt for some time that the subject of hope, and in particular the Christian hope is becoming increasingly important in the face of the increasing uncertainty and associated hopelessness in society. The suddenness of our daughter’s death accelerated my desire to write about the subject of our future hope.

Who have you written this book for?

Whenever I speak here at King’s church in the centre of Norwich I am very aware that I am addressing not only Christians of all ages, each seeking to live out their faith in various places, but also present will be people on the edge of faith, seeking, wondering, trying to make sense of their lives and the world around them. This has always been my audience.

There are many books about people’s experiences with cancer and bereavement, what makes Hope Wins different?

Whilst I do not claim that Hope Wins is unique, unlike most books addressing the challenges of illness and bereavement, I have tried to weave into my writing a clear yet straightforward understanding of the Christian’s future hope in a way that is relevant, encouraging and applicable, especially in the context of life’s challenges.

You are very clear in the book about the reality of heaven. Why was this so important to you to include?

An awareness and anticipation of heaven is a major part of the Christian faith and has strengthened and encouraged previous generations of Christians in the face of the most challenging of circumstances. Sadly, for many Christians today it is a neglected subject that is often avoided due to controversy or the complication of technical, theological language. Consequently, many Christians find themselves ill-equipped to face the big challenges of life including suffering and death.

What was the most challenging element of writing the book?

For me, the most challenging aspect of writing the book was writing at some length (probably more than I really wanted to!) about the sudden illness and loss of our daughter Ali. Tears were shed in the writing.

And what was the most rewarding element of writing this book?

Most rewarding thus far has been the positive, warm response I have had, both from the staff at Authentic, those who kindly endorsed the book, and Terry’s generous foreword.

Have you learnt anything new/ been reminded afresh about God/ your faith while writing this book?

I feel that for several reasons my heart has been warmed further for my enjoyment of the presence of the Lord! For me, the high point of the book is chapter 10, ‘Face to Face’.

You have had to cope with some very dark experiences. Can you give one bit of advice to help someone who might be struggling at the moment?

In a word, worship. Worship is the language of heaven and Christianity is a worshipping faith. In a world that is awash with angst and anger, the language of worship needs to be practiced, heard and enjoyed – in daily devotions, on iPhone playlists and corporately.

What do you hope readers will most get out of reading this book?

Hopefully readers will find encouragement in the face of hopelessness, suffering and loss, and instead of a fear of the future, a hope and even a longing.

In one sentence, how would you describe Hope Wins?

Hope Wins is a story of loss that shows how the magnificent future hope of the Christian can transform the present, displacing despair with hope and giving joy on the journey of life.

 

Authentic Media

Authentic Media is a UK Christian publishing house committed to delivering quality Christian books, music and film to help people on their journey of faith. They are based in Milton Keynes.

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