This is a good interview on Wright’s latest book, Surprised by Hope. I would encourage everyone to buy it and read it if they want to get a better understanding of the Biblical teaching on Heaven and the New Creation. Enjoy the interview from last night’s report.
Notice the dichotomy that Miller brings to the forefront by claiming the Bible is a spiritual document and therefore cannot address scientific ideas. This may seem true at first glance, but it is only a bad ploy that many evolutionists use to snuff out the Bible’s claims about the creation account. It is true that the Bible is not a sciencetific document and that the Bible is not trying to give scientific details about the creation. BUT, please note the BUT…
The Bible is an historical document. This is very important for people to understand. If we do not ackowledge that the Bible records accurate historical material about the creation account, then where does that leave us with the rest of the 66 books of the Bible? You don’t have to be a scienctist to record the fact that God made the world in 6 days… I mean, come on people!
On the point of creation/evolution, the Bible has much to say about this in terms of the historical record. Both modern evolution and Biblical creationism are addressing the issue of history and where man came from. Therefore, on that point, the two must either agree or one of the two be proven wrong and thus a lie.
If evolution is true, then man is not made in God’s image. If evolution is true, then we humans are not special creatures made to rule the creation by reflecting God’s glory into it.
Here’s the video:
Tonight, I just finished watching the PBS Nova special on the Dover School Board controversy over Intelligent Design and Evolution. It is called “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial” if you want to search for it online.
The most amazing thing about the whole show was the glaring BIAS that Nova had for the whole controversy and the very good, but extremely BAD, acting that they portrayed in the trial reenactments at the courthouse where the controversy took place most noticeably. In other words, Nova made the Intelligent Design proponents look like goof balls and the Evolutionary proponents look like saints and eloquent speakers who had everything figured out to a tee.
This is just plain silly. And Nova knows that the controversy is so much bigger than this. So much so that they had to make the Intelligent Design viewpoint look like inconsistent, Muslim terrorists in order to make their case (and make themselves feel better). 🙂
In the end, they still did nothing but preach to the choir and try to make the uninformed members of the choir feel more fear and worry about the whole situation than they already felt before the broadcast.
If Nova really wants the respect of non-Evolutionary sympathisers and proponents… then they are just going to have to do a better job in the future. Nova needs to stop their fear mongering and start talking about important things… like the reason why Evolution has been around as popular science for ONLY 150 years and not longer. The point being… yes, Evolution has helped us understand some things better. But it’s search for the “origin” of species, ad infinitum, will never come to a concrete answer because the history records show that God created all creatures according to their OWN KIND. This implies that the links between animals is not a tree of common descent, but a web of common structures built by their Creator God who sought to reveal His glory in and through the whole creation.
In my opinion, the more important topic of study is Baraminology, the study of animal kinds. This field of science that studied animals WITHOUT respect to “common descent” theories of Evolution. This is the type of tried and true science that has been done for millennia, seeking to understand God’s creation that reveals more about Him and His goodness, greatness, and power. The honest truth is that all the great scientists of old who made great advancements and achievements and who helped us better understand the world we live in today… they all believed in a Creator God and sought to think His thoughts after Him and discover the glory of His creation.
Nova’s problem is not its failure to see the fallacies within Evolutionary theory. Instead, Nova’s problem is its failure to glorify God in all things. If Nova desired to think God’s thoughts after Him and to understand His creation in order to better understand and enjoy God… well… things would be a whole lot different now wouldn’t they? 🙂
Enough of the commentary. Enjoy your week and seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness and all these other things will become clear in their own time.
In Christ and In Defense of the Faith,
N.T. Wright’s recent visit to Nashville, TN, included an interview with the Tennessean. It includes some very interesting comments regarding hell and the final state of those who reject God’s Glory and Gospel. While I do not share his views on hell in full, I would say that his heart to see the world renewed is a blessed hope and central teaching of the Bible that we should all think about regularly and share with our family and friends. Below I have reproduced the article found here:
Bishop bucks views of heaven
Long-held notions not biblical, he says
By BOB SMIETANA
Heaven is not retirement on steroids, where people sit around doing whatever they like, with nothing but time on their hands.
Instead it’s more like going on vacation. You rest, relax, stop and smell the roses, and then get back to work. At least, that’s what the Bible says.
“The book of Revelation talks about God making us kings and priests,” said N.T. Wright, bishop of Durham, England, and author of Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church. “It isn’t just salvation and now you can sit back and relax. It’s that we are saved to be God’s agents and stewards in this new creation.”
Wright who was in Nashville on Tuesday speaking at West End United Methodist Church, believes the notion of going to heaven after death isn’t found in the Bible. Instead, he says, God brings heaven to earth.
“It’s like this world with all the beauty and the grandeur and the power,” he said, “but unfettered by death and decay.”
The Church of England bishop says that he isn’t trying to come up with a new or inventive view of heaven and resurrection. Instead, he is trying to point people to the Bible.
“The odd thing is that I don’t think I am saying anything remotely unorthodox,” he said. “I am trying to give people back some bits of the Bible they have forgotten about â€¦ Resurrection may be crazy, but it is what Christians are supposed to believe.”
That’s a notion that appeals to Scotty Smith, founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin. Smith is currently preaching a series on heaven based on the book of Revelation.
He says that evangelical Christians, in particular, have replaced a biblical view of heaven with a romanticized view.
“It (heaven) is going to look a little more like this world than a place filled with cherubs sitting around and singing Bill Gaither songs,” Smith said. “The story the Bible tells is one of redemption, not replacement.”
Resurrection is the focus
Wright, appointed bishop of Durham, a diocese south of Scotland, in 2003, says the Bible and the Christian creeds speak more about resurrection than about going to heaven.
“Without resurrection you are left with a theology which says that the present world of space, time and matter is just junk, and God is going to throw it in the trash,” he said. “If you say this world is basically junk and trash, you can exploit it, you can exploit people. You can abuse the world, and you can abuse people and it really doesn’t matter.”
This focus on resurrection and not just getting to heaven also appeals to Gavin Richardson, director of youth ministries at Faith United Methodist Church in Hendersonville.
“It’s not just ‘get Jesus and you are good to go’,” he said.
In all his talk of heaven, Wright still believes in the reality of hell. He says that, in the end, people are free to choose to be separated from God.
“The Bible doesn’t talk about heaven and hell side by side. The Bible talks about God bringing all things on heaven and earth together. Heaven and earth will be joined. That is the great renewal and God’s victory over evil and suffering and death,” he said. “At the same time, the Bible talks about the certainty of final loss for those who choose not to worship the God in whose image they were made. And it seems to me that the New Testament doesn’t leave us with the option of saying all will be saved. I often wish it did, but it doesn’t.”
[HT: Uncommon Descent]
Well, since I wasn’t able to post on Easter Sunday, I figured I would at least post about the resurrection sometime this week. So here goes!
This article is from Christianity Today. I encourage you to read more than just the excerpt. 🙂 Enjoy!
The bodily resurrection is the good news of the gospelâ€”and thus our social and political mandate.
by N. T. Wright – posted 3/24/2008
There is no agreement in the church today about what happens to people when they die. Yet the New Testament is crystal clear on the matter: In a classic passage, Paul speaks of “the redemption of our bodies” (Rom. 8:23). There is no room for doubt as to what he means: God’s people are promised a new type of bodily existence, the fulfillment and redemption of our present bodily life. The rest of the early Christian writings, where they address the subject, are completely in tune with this.
The traditional picture of people going to either heaven or hell as a one-stage, postmortem journey represents a serious distortion and diminution of the Christian hope. Bodily resurrection is not just one odd bit of that hope. It is the element that gives shape and meaning to the rest of the story of God’s ultimate purposes. If we squeeze it to the margins, as many have done by implication, or indeed, if we leave it out altogether, as some have done quite explicitly, we don’t just lose an extra feature, like buying a car that happens not to have electrically operated mirrors. We lose the central engine, which drives it and gives every other component its reason for working.
When we talk with biblical precision about the resurrection, we discover an excellent foundation for lively and creative Christian work in the present worldâ€”not, as some suppose, for an escapist or quietist piety.
While both Greco-Roman paganism and Second Temple Judaism held a wide variety of beliefs about life beyond death, the early Christians, beginning with Paul, were remarkably unanimous on the topic.
When Paul speaks in Philippians 3 of being “citizens of heaven,” he doesn’t mean that we shall retire there when we have finished our work here. He says in the next line that Jesus will come from heaven in order to transform the present humble body into a glorious body like his own. Jesus will do this by the power through which he makes all things subject to himself. This little statement contains in a nutshell more or less all Paul’s thought on the subject. The risen Jesus is both the model for the Christian’s future body and the means by which it comes.
Similarly, in Colossians 3:1â€“4, Paul says that when the Messiah (the one “who is your life”) appears, then you too will appear with him in glory. Paul does not say “one day you will go to be with him.” No, you already possess life in him. This new life, which the Christian possesses secretly, invisible to the world, will burst forth into full bodily reality and visibility.
The clearest and strongest passage is Romans 8:9â€“11. If the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Jesus the Messiah, dwells in you, says Paul, then the one who raised the Messiah from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies as well, through his Spirit who dwells in you. God will give life, not to a disembodied spirit, not to what many people have thought of as a spiritual body in the sense of a nonphysical one, but “to your mortal bodies also.”
Other New Testament writers support this view. The first letter of John declares that when Jesus appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. The resurrection body of Jesus, which at the moment is almost unimaginable to us in its glory and power, will be the model for our own. And of course within John’s gospel, despite the puzzlement of those who want to read the book in a very different way, we have some of the clearest statements of future bodily resurrection. Jesus reaffirms the widespread Jewish expectation of resurrection in the last day, and announces that the hour for this has already arrived. It is quite explicit: “The hour is coming,” he says, “indeed, it is already here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of Man, and those who hear will live; when all in the graves will come out, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.”
For those interested in reading more, here is an introduction to solar eclipses as well as links to all the total eclipses occurring over the next several years around the world.
Just for my own records, here is a image from Google maps regarding the path of the next total solar eclipse. Enjoy!