Skip to comments.Heaven Is Not Our Home
Posted on 03/24/2008 10:58:36 AM PDT by Between the Lines
There is no agreement in the church today about what happens to people when they die. Yet the New Testament is crystal clear on the matter: In a classic passage, Paul speaks of "the redemption of our bodies" (Rom. 8:23). There is no room for doubt as to what he means: God's people are promised a new type of bodily existence, the fulfillment and redemption of our present bodily life. The rest of the early Christian writings, where they address the subject, are completely in tune with this.
The traditional picture of people going to either heaven or hell as a one-stage, postmortem journey represents a serious distortion and diminution of the Christian hope. Bodily resurrection is not just one odd bit of that hope. It is the element that gives shape and meaning to the rest of the story of God's ultimate purposes. If we squeeze it to the margins, as many have done by implication, or indeed, if we leave it out altogether, as some have done quite explicitly, we don't just lose an extra feature, like buying a car that happens not to have electrically operated mirrors. We lose the central engine, which drives it and gives every other component its reason for working.
When we talk with biblical precision about the resurrection, we discover an excellent foundation for lively and creative Christian work in the present world—not, as some suppose, for an escapist or quietist piety. Bodily Resurrection
While both Greco-Roman paganism and Second Temple Judaism held a wide variety of beliefs about life beyond death, the early Christians, beginning with Paul, were remarkably unanimous on the topic.
(Excerpt) Read more at christianitytoday.com ...
Ping. No comments until I read it all. But the title & subtitle in the magazine worries me:
Heaven Is Not Our Home —
The bodily resurrection is the good news of the gospeland thus our social and political mandate.
Why would there be agreement? It’s unknown.
That statement is true for those who wrote it. Heaven is not their home. They are of the earth, earthly. But Jesus said to the thief who was crucified next to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43)
Did you read the article?
Yes, I read the article. It is a this-worldly doctrine that envisions an earthly utopia and advocates social, economic and political activism.
Yes, this-worldly, is what bothered me. I’ve admired and read Dr. Wright for years now. This is the first I’ve noticed from him in this vein and it disturbs me.
I think it's the "one-stage" part that the author is disagreeing with here. Don't forget that Christ will rule on earth for 1000 years as well. Also, the bible talks about "the dead in Christ shall arise". We have several things going on after death. We don't just appear in Heaven immediately after we die.