By J. Richard Middleton
Lately, a growing number of Christians have come to understand the Bible's instructing that the final word blessed wish for the believer isn't an otherworldly heaven; as a substitute, it really is full-bodied participation in a brand new heaven and a brand new earth introduced into fullness in the course of the coming of God's country. Drawing at the complete sweep of the biblical narrative, J. Richard Middleton unpacks key outdated testomony and New testomony texts to make a case for the recent earth because the applicable Christian wish. He indicates its moral and ecclesial implications, exploring the variation a holistic eschatology could make for dwelling in a damaged global.
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Extra resources for A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology
But whereas cult images of the gods are false images, and impotent to boot (Ps. 115:4–8), humans are powerful, living images of the one true God, called to manifest God’s presence by their active cultural development of the earth. 25 By our faithful representation of God, who is enthroned in the heavens, we extend the presence of the divine king of creation even to the earth, to prepare the earth for God’s full—eschatological—presence, the day when God will fill all things. Then (when God fully indwells the earthly realm) the cosmic temple of creation will have been brought to its intended destiny.
Rather, mountains worship God simply by being mountains, covered with lush vegetation or with steep crags or glaciers, depending on their elevation. And stars worship God by being stars, burning with nuclear energy according to their sizes and their life cycles, ranging from those like our own sun to red giants, white dwarfs, pulsars, and black holes. If mountains worship God by being mountains and stars worship God by being stars, how do humans worship God? By being human, in the full glory of what that means.
77–88. indd 48 9/9/14 10:14 AM â†œWhy Are We Here? 23 The purpose of the ritual was to vivify the newly carved cult statue so that it would become a living entity, imbued with the spirit and presence of the deity for which it was an image. 24 When Genesis 1 and 2 are read together against the background of ancient Near Eastern notions, it becomes clear that they are in profound harmony with each other (despite their genuine differences). In both texts, humanity is understood as the authorized cult statue in the cosmic temple, the decisive locus of divine presence on earth, the living image of God in the cosmic sanctuary.
A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology by J. Richard Middleton