Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Heaven 31

posted by xscot mcknight

Three texts in 1 Peter are about heaven:

1Pet. 1:4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
1Pet. 1:12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in regard to the things that have now been announced to you through those who brought you good news by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven?things into which angels long to look!
1Pet. 3:22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

Heaven is understood in 1:4 as a storage place — it may be more, but it is at least a place where the inheritance for the faithful is stored until the day when it will be brought out and they will inherit it. It is not clear when or how that will occur from this text.
Like the Son, the Spirit too is sent from heaven (1:12).
And like many NT texts, after Jesus’ death and resurrection, he ascended into heaven — to the place of God, to the throne room of God — where he sits and rules and intercedes etc (3:22).



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Duomai

posted September 10, 2008 at 6:15 am


Scot, if Jesus is in heaven now does not that lead to the conclusion that the martyr like Stephen is in heaven? And if not yet resurrected Stephen is in heaven now where will he be when he is resurrected?



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Scot McKnight

posted September 10, 2008 at 6:19 am


Duomai
What are you saying?



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Steve

posted September 10, 2008 at 7:25 am


I like the ‘life after, life after death’ way of understanding heaven…
Overlapping, interlocking, and intersecting realms. That makes a lot of sense to me.
(Okay, so I’m a big Wright fan!)
So the issue is more than ‘where do we go when we die,’ but ‘what exactly do we mean by the term heaven?’
I like the definition given by various Kingdom theologians, ‘heaven is the realm where God’s will is effective,’ and the earth, conversely, is ‘the realm where God has set aside His will for this age.’
Geography then, becomes less and less the language of heaven and earth, and relationship becomes the dominant way of thinking about it.



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Michael W. Kruse

posted September 10, 2008 at 8:03 am


#3 Steve
I too love Wright’s ?life after, life after death.?but I’d suggest that in a sense geography does matter and I think it is about more than relationship.
Here is the question I would ask: If it is all about relationship, then material existence is not needed? If we are going to end up as ethereal spirits in relationship anyway, then why didn’t God just start things out that way?
I’d suggest that human ontology includes a material state of existence. Genesis 1 and 2 certainly imply relationship as a reason for creation but they also tell us that God created the world and placed humanity in dominion over it. He instructed humanity, as his eikons, to fill the earth and to reflect his image throughout the world as co-creative stewards with him. There was mission (not just relationship) prior to the fall.
I understand redemption to include restoration of humanity to the original mission for which they were created: Dominion as material beings in a material world, reflecting God’s image to creation, to each other, and back to God.
Wright (and others) are suggesting that we may enter into some non-material state at our deaths and enter the presence of God (heaven) but this is a temporary state until the new creation is consummated and we are resurrected to live missional lives in that new (material) creation. It may not be material according to the same laws of physics we experience today but material nonetheless.
For these reasons I’d say geography is important.



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Steve

posted September 10, 2008 at 10:47 am


Ouch…
computer died on my longer response.
Short response is, sorry I wasn’t clear:
I was referring to the relationship between heaven and earth, as opposed to interpersonal ones.
Heaven is a separate realm similar to the way the subatomic world is a separate realm; not the way Canada is a separate realm.
What dya think??



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Duomai

posted September 10, 2008 at 11:41 am


I should not be using Stephen as an example!
My point is that the text says that Jesus is in heaven now. But the text also says that those who die in Christ are with Jesus now, which is heaven (Rev 5). But if these not yet resurrected saints are with Jesus now, which is heaven, where will the saints be after general resurrection? Is it going to be same heaven where they are now?



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