Read Along with Pastor Matt: Simply Christian-New Creation Starting Now

Posted: February 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

Wright correctly argues that the point of Christianity is not to go to heaven when you die. The Bible teaches that heaven is where our souls go only until Jesus returns and then we will receive eternal physical bodies like Jesus’ resurrected body. 

The goal of Christianity is not to be raptured onto a cloud where we play a harp while wearing a diaper (I don’t know about you but that would be closer to hell for me!) but is a new earth where God dwells with us. Thus, Christianity is not about life after death but about life after life after death. 

As Wright cogently asserts in Simply Christian, as well as in books like Surprised by Hope  and The Resurrection of the Son of God, this truth points to a physical creation that matters.  We are to live this new creation now thanks to the hope we have through the resurrection and the indwelling of  God’s Spirit within us.

Wright argues that actions such as the forgiveness of 3rd world debt would be living this new creation now but I’ll have more to say about such actions on Thursday.  Yet, certainly social justice, steeped in wisdom is an important part of this new creation.

One day, the trumpets will sound, Jesus will reappear and he will judge the living and the dead.  Where Wright and I differ is that I believe those of us who are loyal to Jesus will not be judged by our own life but by Jesus’ own perfect life (2 Cor. 5:21) whereas Wright believes we will all be judged by our “deeds.” 

Regardless, the Bible teaches that after this judgment, our King will throw us a party with good food and fine wine!  Until then, we rehearse, imperfectly, the Kingdom (and even the party) that is to come.

As Wright notes, an old hymn got it right:

This is my Father’s world; O let me ne’er forget

That though the wrong seems oft so strong,

God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world; the battle is not done’

Jesus who died, shall be satisfied,

And earth and heaven be one.

Amen! 

Next week, we will dig a little deeper into Wright’s theology with the beginning of his 5-volume New Testament Theology.

Until then, grace and peace.

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