N.T. Wright says most Christians are wrong about heaven

I’ve had this (what I would call) Biblically-driven suspicion for a long time that this heaven business with naked baby angels flying around and people floating on clouds is something that has little or no connection with what it means to be faithful to God.

I’ve grown tired of people saying, “(Insert name here) is in a better place” or “We know (insert name) is with the angels now.”I’ve heard persons like Brian McLaren suggesting that this is not so (or at least is not the central point of our lives), and in response to Brian’s suspicions, I have gone back to Jesus and Paul and found in letting the Scripture speak for itself that this concept of heaven as our culture sees it is driven 99% by unScriptural realities.

 N.T. Wright slams this point home.

 Forcefully.

Read the article.  All the way through.  Then go back to Jesus and Paul and read what they REALLY said.

 You can thank me (or flame me as a heretic) later.”

Christians Wrong about Heaven, says Bishop” 

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4 thoughts on “N.T. Wright says most Christians are wrong about heaven

  1. My favorite non-Scriptural idea is “little Johnny IS an angel now.” But, yours are good, too. I read Alcorn’s book Heaven and he talks a lot about the misconceptions of Heaven, similar to what Wright says in the article. Of course, Alcorn goes some places I wouldn’t, but it seems that there is a movement back to this more biblical view of Heaven. For what it’s worth, nothing about me wants naked baby angels any way…..

  2. Amen, brother. The whole heaven idea has not done us well. It has reduced the NT hope to some sort of foggy, disembodied, boring, beatification rather than the very Hebrew, dirt-under-your-fingernails, rule the world with Christ, resurrection at the end of the age. We have actually been saying this for years and it is mighty encouraging to have someone of Bishop Wrights caliper come out so strong on this important issue.

    our resource site on the kigndom

  3. Alan,

    Yeah I love/really hate that collapsing of human and angel into one after heaven too. I even have issues with Alcorn’s book (my friend has it); I mean, isn’t any idea of what “heaven” (or, Biblically speaking, whatever happens after “the resurrection of the dead”) just conjecture at this point? Can we speak authoritatively about it? Or do we know enough (in symbolic language) to know that we don’t know?

    Sean,

    Man, I love that “very Hebrew, dirt-under-your-fingernails, rule the world with Christ, resurrection at the end of the age” extended thought there. I actually used that earthy kind of language in a conversation with my fiancee on Sunday about Scripture. So you’ve had an impact on my life in one short response!

    One question though, when you say “we” in “we have actually been saying this for years,” who do you mean by “we”? Your link is broken, so I don’t know who you’re speaking of.

  4. Nate, after a day or two, I never checked back to see if you commented until now. Just forgot.

    Alcorn’s book is interesting. I take it you read it. It’s funny to go from the one extreme of Heaven as a completely spiritual, immaterial existence, to the stance that is so extreme that Alcorn would talk about a baseball bat being resurrected and in Heaven. Certainly, the truth lies somewhere in between. At least, I would think. It can be hard to figure Heaven out, I think, because so much of the language is figurative, and some is literal, and trying to adjudicate certain phrases is so difficult. I appreciate Alcorn and Wright trying to recapture the less Gnostic, more biblical picture, but I don’t know how much we really can know. I guess the value of Alcorn is the attack on modern Gnosticism (or what he called Christoplatonism) in our thinking about Heaven.

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