Resurrection Monday Musings

Interesting Monday morning resurrection thoughts from Tom Wright (Anglican Bishop):

“(If you’re a true believer in Jesus), after you die, you go to be “with Christ,” but your body remains dead. Describing where and what you are in that interim period is difficult, and for the most part the New Testament writers don’t try. Call it “heaven” if you like, but don’t imagine that it’s the end of all things. What is promised after that interim period is a new bodily life within God’s new world.

I am constantly amazed that many contemporary Christians find this confusing. It was second nature to the early church and to many subsequent Christian generations. It was what they believed and taught. If we have grown up believing and teaching something else, it’s time we rubbed our eyes and read our texts again.”

“Heaven is important, but its not the end of the world”

“Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. That, after all, is what the Lord’s Prayer is about.”

“The great drama will end, not with “saved souls” being snatched up into heaven, away from the wicked earth and the mortal bodies which have dragged them down into sin, but with the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven to earth, so that “the dwelling of God is with humans” (Revelation 21:3).”

“The resurrection completes the inauguration of God’s kingdom. . . . It is the decisive event demonstrating that God’s kingdom really has been launched on earth as it is in heaven.”

“We could cope—the world could cope—with a Jesus who ultimately remains a wonderful idea inside his disciples’ minds and hearts. The world cannot cope with a Jesus who comes out of the tomb, who inaugurates God’s new creation right in the middle of the old one.”

“God’s plan is not to abandon this world, the world which he said was “very good.” Rather, he intends to remake it. And when he does he will raise all his people to new bodily life to live in it. That is the promise of the Christian gospel.”

“It is not about “life after death” as such. Rather, it’s a way of talking about being bodily alive again after a period of being bodily dead. Resurrection is a second-stage postmortem life: “life after ‘life after death.”

“If you believe in resurrection, you believe that the living God will put his world to rights and that if God wants to do that in the future, it is right to try to anticipate that by whatever means in the present.”

“[Jesus] is, at the moment, present with us, but hidden behind that invisible veil which keeps heaven and earth apart, and which we pierce in those moments, such as prayer, the sacraments, the reading of scripture, and our work with the poor, when the veil seems particularly thin. But one day the veil will be lifted; earth and heaven will be one; Jesus will be personally present, and every knee shall bow at his name; creation will be renewed; the dead will be raised; and God’s new world will at last be in place, full of new prospects and possibilities.”

The point of the resurrection…is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die…What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it…What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God’s future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether (as the hymn so mistakenly puts it…). They are part of what we may call building for God’s kingdom.”

“It is a matter of glimpsing that in God’s new creation, of which Jesus’s resurrection is the start, all that was good in the original creation is reaffirmed. All that has corrupted and defaced it–including many things which are woven so tightly in to the fabric of the world as we know it that we can’t imagine being without them–will be done away. Learning to live as a Christian is learning to live as a renewed human being, anticipating the eventual new creation in and with a world which is still longing and groaning for that final redemption.”

What do you guys think: When we die are we looking forward to a heaven far and away, or a renewed heaven and earth?

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

14 thoughts on “Resurrection Monday Musings”

  1. What about the Rapture? Surely aren’t suggessting…, you don’t really differ with all… But what about my bumper-sticker, what about the morning paper, what about…
    OMG you’ve got me thinking about my Scofield Reference notes… Surely they could not be wrong and YOU right?… What about the charts? They’re SO precise and detailed…

  2. I’d love to respond, but I don’t know how. This is landing on me out of left field. I want to pray about this, do some research on my own and see where God takes me. Not that I don’t believe you. But, as I always told my students in Bible study, “Don’t believe a word I say. Go home and read your Bible and let God reveal His truth to you.” I’m going to do the same. Thanks for sharing. This is refreshing. All your posts are thought provoking. I try to limit my blog reading to those folks who write and challenge my thinking and make me seek out answers from God’s word. Thank you.

      1. It is. To be honest, when I read the part about God restoring the earth to its original perfect state, where we’ll live with God, I was reminded of one of the basic tenants of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Spooky!

  3. If we are to content to glance down from time to time at a suffering, dying earth from the comfy, armchair peripheral confines of our precious heaven, then some theological retooling, redefining of terms and reorienting of priorities might just be in order.

      1. Pretribulationism is the love child of reactionary Fundamentalism in the 19th century with Dispensationalism. It’s a relatively new invention and was not in the psyche of the early church. It’s an argument in logic, not theology proper (but it sells a boat load of crappy books!)

  4. The older I get (and the more I study), the more I am inclined to agree with this way of thinking. I’ve even gotten to a point of thinking that the “one taken and the other left” passage in Matthew refers to the wicked being swept away, rather than a “rapture.” (I haven’t believed in the popular rapture theory in decades.) After all, Jesus compares it to the flood, where the wicked were swept away by the flood. Jesus never said that it was the “good” people who were taken away.

  5. Very thought provoking and worthy of deeper study. Over the years my thinking has leaned more and more to this view, even though (or maybe because) i have never completely accepted any one end times viewpoint in it’s entirety despite being constantly taught the rapture and pre-millenial viewpoints. if nothing else this post will encourage me to re-visit the “end time” scriptures again with an open mind… Thanks

  6. My previous pastor did not believe in a rapture as such….but at the 2nd coming with those taken as being just like those taken in Noah’s day – the wicked as Jeff refers to …so very different than I heard for my ENTIRE life!! Totally has made me think. Still not sure what I believe. But my mind has been opened….

  7. Hello Bryan : )
    An excellent article and a great question to ask at the end. “What do you guys think: When we die are we looking forward to a heaven far and away, or a renewed heaven and earth?”

    In reply to your question, I believe – based on my reading of Scripture – that heaven will be a renewed earthly life, and it will be lived by those who are capable and willing to observe the Great Commandments.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and liking my recent post – it’s an honour.

  8. I look forward to Paradise ( new heaven and new earth) restored! We’re not going to be sitting around playing harps… However it will be – it will be good since everything God does is good! In the mean time, let’s keep our eyes on Jesus.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

  9. I don’t know the answer. I used to think I needed to know the answers to all my questions about God before I could surrender my life to him. Since my questions are endless, that meant I would never choose to believe. One day I chose to stop trying to figure out all the answers and take God on faith alone. I still have plenty of questions, and like the one you posed, the answers no longer concern me. Whatever the answer, the outcome is “happy ever after in Christ.” That’s all I need to know.

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