heaven

Modern Reformation magazine just published this conversation between Scott Swain (RTS, Orlando) and myself about the final destiny of Christians. We can discuss it below if you’d like.

Photo by Richard Walker. Via Flickr. Used by permission.

6 Comments

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  1. Reblogged this on Enough Light and commented:
    Are your beliefs about Heaven accurate?

  2. Hi Laura: I think so.

  3. Bravo! Thank you for your intelligent and Biblically-centered discussion concerning last things. Personally, I am reluctant to identify the place named “heaven” as the location for the intermediate state. For me, it is enough to recognize the intermediate state (“bosom of Abraham”, Paradise) as being in Christ’s care while we wait for the Resurrection at the end of the age, when Jesus will return. N.T. Wright has provided a very good summary of the historical position of the Church in his book, “Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church” (HarperOne, 2008). The incorrect theologies of escapism miss the mark of our true blessed hope, and the meaning of life for the mission of the Church today. I am a Lutheran Christian.

  4. Lol Mike! (above) For many years I had vague ideas about heaven that were more platonic than Christian. I thought we’d be like disembodied spirits, and was unclear about how the resurrection tied in, etc. New earth? Huh? Sad, really, that it took seminary classes to clear this up for me! It seems this is rarely preached on or addressed in Christian circles, as I know many believers with similar inaccurate ideas. I teach an adult Sunday school class, and I’m thinking about a couple lessons on this…

  5. Laura: Several SS classes would be a good idea. I have learned to make sure people know I am not taking heaven away from them but simply telling them that is not the end of the story.

    Tom: That is a main reason I prefer to use heaven for the intermediate state, as it fits with our popular use of the term and reassures people, but I appreciate why you would want to stop using the term entirely and so try to eliminate any confusion.

  6. Having lost some close family members in the last couple of years it has been interesting to hear different people express their hope for a renewed acquaintance with the departed in the after life. Almost invariably this hope has been expressed more often than the hope of seeing Jesus. The other thing has been the idea that seems to be advanced by C.S.Lewis in the Final Battle where basically all believers get to heaven at the same time because in some way time has been done away with. My point is not in regard to timelessness in the after life but to the loss by some people of a sense of progression on God’s program. Surely the departed saints are indeed with Jesus but having not as yet been given a resurrected body they like us are waiting for the fulfillment of all things. It seems to me that even now those who are with Jesus await the consumation of the age of the church and the entrance of that eternal bliss, service, and worship that both of you discuss in the article you mention in your post.

    Larry High

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