N.T. Wright asks: Have we gotten heaven all wrong?
The oft-cliched Christian notion of heaven ‚ÄĒ a blissful realm of harp-strumming angels ‚ÄĒ has remained a fixture of the faith for centuries. Even as arguments will go on as to who will or won‚Äôt be ‚Äúsaved,‚ÄĚ surveys show that a vast majority Americans believe that after death their souls will ascend to some kind of celestial resting place.
But scholars on the right and left increasingly say that comforting belief in an afterlife has no basis in the Bible and would have sounded bizarre to Jesus and his early followers. Like modern curators patiently restoring an ancient fresco, scholars have plumbed the New Testament‚Äôs Jewish roots to challenge the pervasive cultural belief in an otherworldly paradise.
The most recent expert to add his voice to this chorus is the prolific Christian apologist N.T. Wright, a former Anglican bishop who now teaches about early Christianity and New Testament at...
"[John] Piper in his book ... actually warns his readers against taking first century Judaism too seriously, which I find just astonishing. [Piper tells his readers:] "Be very wary of [the study of Second Temple Judaism], it may lead you astray [from classic evangelicalism]. Just stick with the Bible and you'll be alright." ... But unless you understand the world in which the New Testament was written, you will just commit massive anachronisms all down the line."
-N. T. Wright
In contrast, perhaps we need to add a little Sola Contexta to Sola Scriptura to avoid this age-old Bible bingo buffoonery.
It's semantics there; six of one or half a dozen of the other. I believe in the restored earth and the Millennial Kingdom, but I also believe in Heaven.
I don't believe in the harp playing angels, unless that's what they wanted to play, or that Hell will be the fiery place with the Devil in charge. Much of that did come from mythology and a lot of Dante, but it's nice imagery. It helps people understand that they want to get into Heaven and stay out of Hell.
Beyond all the prophecy and church letters, Revelations also describes Heaven quite nicely. It will be a great place for all of us; A new Heaven and a new Earth.
Go go gentlemen, and good verse Harbinger, It should also be remembered we will be in the Millennial Kingdom, Believers Will Rule Over Angels and for the events before the Millennial Kingdom, I suggest you read the summary--and better--listen to the sermon on, Heaven's New Song.
Bizarre??? John 13:36-4:-3 √Ę‚ā¨ŇďDo not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father√Ę‚ā¨‚ĄĘs house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."