Tom Wright’s Surprised by Hope keeps getting better and better for me. In chp 6 he sketches a view of the future that avoids the disastrous inability of evolution to deal with sin and the mistaken notion that we need to get out of this world to be what we were designed to be. What then does that future look like?
“The early Christians did not believe in progress.” “But neither did they believe that the world was getting worse and worse” (93). So, these two options, one found in the optimists among liberals (and esp now all over the TV with politicians) and the other among the pessimists among evangelicals (and firing so much of how many understand eschatology).
Three themes converge in Christian hope:
1. The goodness of creation (dualist mistake).
2. The nature of evil (evolution’s mistake).
3. The plan of redemption — the Christian alternative to the above.
These three stories converge in the Story of Jesus Christ who is Incarnate (#1), goes down into death all the way down (#2) and is raised from the dead (#s 1-3!).
Six themes in the NT are neither evolutionary/myth of progress nor dualist:
1. Seedtime and harvest
2. Victorious battle
3. Citizens of heaven
4. God will be all in all
5. New birth
6. Marriage of heaven and earth