Friday, March 07, 2008


According to N.T. Wright

Full Story:


(From the first link above)
"...but conservative Christian readers often scrunch together two very different things. One is going to heaven after you die, and the other is the resurrection of the body as the final destination. Many conservatives are puzzled when I tell them that there's not very much in the New Testament about going to heaven when you die, and that where you do find material in the New Testament about going to heaven when you die, this is a temporary thing. What really matters is resurrection, or Life After Life After Death." - N.T. Wright

Now that someone of Wright's calibre has fired the opening shot I have to say that I agree with him and it has always puzzled me why so many Christians talk about "Heaven" and living eternally in a mansion on a cloud in some quasi-spiritual plane of existence.

According to the Scriptures, our ultimate destination is the New Heaven and the New Earth. The plan seems to be that Jesus comes to live with us, we don't go to live with him.

I'm pretty sure N.T. doesn't mention this other part, since I've never heard anyone else express this opinion, but it's my conviction that when we die we are all instantly transported to the Judgement Seat. I know, that's at the end of all time, yet when we die we leave the time-stream and enter the realm of Eternity which is outside of time and space.

This means, if I'm right, that when you die you'll see Napolean, Moses, Paul the Apostle, Elvis and your Grandma and all of you will look at each other and say that you've "just arrived" at that same moment...because you have.

Love to hear what others think about this...



abraham's bosom said...

ah, rev giles, always sifting.

i understand the idea that God is not constrained by the concept of time, but to state that he is removed from it?

time illustrates change and movement, it measures occurrence. without this, all is in stasis. frozen.

this renders all experience by ezekiel, daniel and john in regards to heaven as merely illustrative, used to contextualize for us the unexplainable and unperceivable.

without some kind of chronometrics, the holy city will not descend, there is no wedding of the lamb, there will be no meter to the songs sang at the saviors knee,
everything will "be", but how can we perceive it without realizing it? realization is an action in time. perception is a function of time.

rev 22:2 uses the term "month" to describe the timely bearing of fruit in the new city. clearly there is some kind of time in heaven.

time as we know it now may turn out to be a minute part of a more intricate concept, but it clearly exists in some form in the new jerusalem.
doncha think?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if 'removed' is the right term for it, but God is definitely not 'inside' of time; this is clear from the first time God introduces himself as "I am" to Christ being spoken of as "there in the beginning" in the open verses of John.

Also, God clearly ruptured human temporality at the moment of the incarnation, in which an entirely new time/history was inaugurated.

Although God does (and will) inaugurate new 'events', each of these events rather than being included in a preexisting temporality inaugurates a new temporal existence.

also, I don't think you can draw as clear of a link as you'd like between perception and time.

all this to say, it's dangerous when ever we presuppose a concept before God; in the same way God doesn't 'exist' but is 'existence' i don't think God 'exist in time'; but is the creator of both existence and time.

also, glad you posted this Keith, I still wonder why the version of 'heaven' spoken of amongst Christian's is more fairy tale than it is biblical!

Anthony said...


Wild that you posted this as me and my friend just spoke about this very thing over the last couple of weeks - this idea that that no matter when we die we arrive at the final destination at the same time.

Also doing some reflection on Jesus final address as recorded in John. He says he is going away and that his disciples will follow - but what I found interesting is the destination - it is to the Father.

Our destination is not heaven, nor is it a future paradise on earth, but it quite simply to be where the Father is, where Jesus went to. Revelation 21 talks about this "new heaven/new earth" where God's habitation or "tent" is with mankind.

Also noticed how in Genesis 1 the purpose of luminaries (sun?moon?) and the stars are to serve as markers for times and seasons. Now at Rev 21/22 description of the "new heaven/new earth" there is no sun or moon anymore, there is no night. Looking back with Genesis 1 in mind this seems to be a way of speaking about eternity - for if you have no day/night, sun/moon there is no passage of time. (The Jews synced their months with the cycle of the moon, and days with the setting of the sun)

Other random thoughts -

God is outside of time -
Jesus is a time traveler -

Jesus subjected himself to time - notice in the gospel of John how Jesus is very much aware of the passage of time.

Also when the dragon is hurled down to earth he grows angry "knowing that he has a short period of time".

Also in Genesis right after the flood, God speaks about as far as the earth is concerned there will continue be day & night and the passage of seasons. However at the end of Revelation there is no day & night - and I want to say this extends to seasons as well. (The bit about the trees producing fruit @ rev 22:2 seems to support this because there is no harvest season because there is a constant crop.)

abraham's bosom said...

my understanding of rev 22:2 is that this is the tree of life. it bears 12 manners of fruit and yields its fruit every month, each in its season. so your harvest comes every month, for at least one fruit. but there is only one season
a year for each.
not my words or interpretation, it's in the book.
you can make up a name like "kanectoplotz" or whatever you like, instead of "time", but "it" clearly exists.
while it no longer appears to be dependent upon revolutions around the sun for its measurement, it is there.
there is also a clock in the new city.