Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Thoughts on Heaven #1: Redemptive Continuity

As part of our 4 part Heaven series, in cooperation with 40+ other Central Coast Churches, we have been encouraging folks in our congregation to purchase and read the book entitled Heaven by Randy Alcorn.

If you are reading Heaven, what are your thoughts and reactions?

Randy bases much of his thought and theology about heaven on the principle of "Redemptive Continuity" (pgs. 111-113). . .

Conversion does not mean eliminating the old but transforming it. Despite the radical changes that occur through salvation, death and resurrection, we remain who we are. We have the same history, appearance, memory, interests and skills. This is the principle of redemptive continuity. God will not scrap his original creation and start over. Instead, He will take his fallen, corrupted children and restore, refresh and renew us to our original design.

Not only us, but the creation too. Alcorn goes on to quote Herman Bavinck. . .

"God's honor consists precisely in the fact that He redeems and renews the same humanity, the same world, the same Heaven, the same earth that have been corrupted and polluted by sin. Just as anyone in Christ is a new creation in whom the old has passed away and everything has become new (2 Corinthians 5:17), so this world passes away in its present form as well, in order out of its womb, at God's word of power, to give birth and being to a new world."

Just like us, the New Earth will still be Earth, but a changed Earth. This is new for me, but it makes sense. This idea seems to account for much Biblical language. It puts together several loose end pieces.

What do you think? I have had a few people object to some of the ideas of Randy's book, but I haven't heard specifics. Do you have objections? What are they? Let's get a little heaven dialogue going over the next few weeks.

What other new or fresh ideas have you discovered in your study of heaven?


Phillip Moses said...

Welcome back. I took a blog break over spring break, too.

On Sunday, the college group started a series on prayer. I asked the students the following question: "Why don't we pray?" Later that night in our Growth Group, I asked a similiar question: "Why don't we think about heaven?"

The answers were interesting, revealing and shared a common thread - we have dramatic misconceptions about both prayer and heaven. If we only knew what heaven was like, wouldn't we be more inclined to think about it?

In Growth Group, we were all chomping at the bit to learn more about what the Bible says about heaven. We want next week's sermon now!

Scott Morton said...

Interesting, in our growth group we discussed the question 'Why don't we think of Heaven' also, just as Phillip did. The common thread that we all shared, interestingly enough, was fear! Fear of the unknown! Our lack of knowledge and understanding of Heaven has created in us a fear that we don't really want but that we have just the same. We too are anxious to replace our preconceptions of Heaven with biblical truth! Amen, preach to us brother!