February 12, 2008

Christians Are Wrong About Heaven

Here is an interesting article: Christians Wrong about Heaven. It is a phone interview with N.T. Wright.

Here are a few quotes:

"Never at any point do the Gospels or Paul say Jesus has been raised, therefore we are we are all going to heaven. They all say, Jesus is raised, therefore the new creation has begun, and we have a job to do."

"In Revelation and Paul's letters we are told that God's people will actually be running the new world on God's behalf. The idea of our participation in the new creation goes back to Genesis, when humans are supposed to be running the Garden and looking after the animals. If you transpose that all the way through, it's a picture like the one that you get at the end of Revelation."

"What the New Testament really says is God wants you to be a renewed human being helping him to renew his creation, and his resurrection was the opening bell. And when he returns to fulfill the plan, you won't be going up there to him, he'll be coming down here."

I, personally, have always felt empty by the prospect of a rapture or future that doesn't include the world...that seeks to escape it. The escapee mentality leaves too many Christians trying to get out rather than change the world in which we live. I really like the statement, "What the New Testament really says is God wants you to be a renewed human being helping him to renew his creation, and his resurrection was the opening bell."

With this view morality matters. We don't just live to get out of this life. One day, Jesus will return to get us out of here, but to renew the world and bring the fullness of His Kingdom. That means He is invested in His creation; He loves us and the world He created.

2 comments:

  1. God is not the property of any particular religion.

    The perception of God takes us beyond the three dimensions and personified concepts of God.

    We cannot easily see even ourselves, outside of the three dimensions.

    For a moment, replace the term "God" with "The All" or "The Divine" and view "Him" in that light - "God" is a very limiting term.

    henry

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  2. Henry,

    Thanks for commenting.

    The term "god" is not the property of any particular religion, but I am speaking very specifically of the Christian view of God. And while we have no corner on the use of the word "god," we do have very specific thoughts in mind. I don't mean that to say that God is limited by our thoughts of Him, nor do I mean to put Him in a box. But, I do believe there is difference between "The Divine" and the God, Yahweh, of the Old and New Testament.

    I also don't get the connection you are making to this particular post. What do connections does this make for you?

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