Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Thoughts on Resurrection
Marc and Dixie Vanderslay blog from Canada. I have no idea how I discovered their blogs, I think it was looking at Marc's photos and finding an incredibly wonderful couple whose humor and honesty made me a regular reader. Dixie lost her wonderful grandparents this year. These events, when those we love fall asleep, begin to increase our interest in the afterlife. My best friend died when we were 26, long before I wanted to think about heaven. It has been a lifelong interest. I share my thoughts and recent studies with Dixie with love and respect, knowing she will comfort hundreds with the comfort with which God will comfort her.
2008 saw the release of two significant books on the Resurrection. Randy Alcorn’s Heaven, a pastoral and popular book and N.T Wrights Surprised by Hope, from a more scholarly audience. Previous to these my favorite reads were the deeply devotional and inspiration book by Joni Erickson Heaven Your Real Home, and one more book that deserves its own post.
Some random quotes I enjoyed.
While there is great mystery in the scriptural images of heaven, all these emphasize the fact that we do not remain in a disembodied state, The resurrection demands a physical future of sorts. Wright calls it, Life and Life after Death; referring to Romans 8:9-11 He will give life to your mortal bodies also.
He says heaven is a reverent way of speaking about God’s presence, and though many believe we get our resurrection bodies at death, Wright disagrees, because time matters in a good creation, We should not allow ourselves to be seduced by the language of eternity. As in the phrase eternal life, which in the new testament regularly refers not to a non temporal future existence, but to the life of the coming age. Not imagining as the hymn says, when time shall be no more, No-the old field of space time and matter and the senses are to be weeded, dug, and sown for a new crop. We may be tired of that old field, God is not.
I love it when Wright quotes John Goldingay to the following: God will download our software to His hardware until the time when he gives us new hardware to run the software. There will be continuity and discontinuity involved in this.
Wrights consistent desire to rid the church of the subtle influence of platonic duelism has fueled so much of the recent breakthroughs in my own thinking that I feel the time has come for us to recover a creation spirituality that will improve our enjoyment of the time God gives us in this present world, and more effectiveness in bringing the true Kingdom message to a new generation.
For Joni, her physical limitations have opened doors to ministry untold, but she still rightfully desires to dance, to touch, to move, and thank God she will.