Aug 102008
 

Another long gap between updates but my excuse this time is that I have been on holiday. and then had some catching up to do. Add to that two weddings and a joyous day spent trying ot get to a meeting at 121 and I’ve not had the time to think about blogging.

First wedding was a young couple from the church. It’s funny thinking back at how they met. They were both helping (as teenagers) at a summer mission. Richard drove us all mad asking how he should go about asking Yvonne out. But it all worked out eventually. The wedding was quite something. Everythikng from doves to horse-drawn carriages. It may sound a bit over-the-top but it was actually a fantastic day. One of the best weddings I’ve been to.

Then it was off on holiday to Center Parcs in Holloand. Weather was great (mostly) and a fun time was had by all. The return ferry crossing started a bit ominously. It was very windy and the sea was a bit choppy but it never amounted to anything and we had a smooth sailing.

Next was the trip to 121. What a nighmare! it was the morning after the torrential rain and so the lines around Waverley station were under water and what should have been a 35minute trip was over 2 hours. All that for a meeting to ‘introduce’ me to the next stage of the candidates’ process – 30 minutes of meeting in total. Anyway, did bump into a fellow new college student afterwards who was having coffee with another new candidate so we joined them for a good blether (gossip, whatever).

Then another wedding. Neighbours this time and only the evening reception, but it was a good party. The evening buffet even had bacon rolls and brown sauce to go with the usual fayre of sannies and sausage rolls. Excellent!

Anyway, that’s the bulk of the stuff and nonsense.

Still ploughing my way through NT Wright on Paul and ordered a few more of his books from Amazon. I think some of his work will form the basis of my dissertation which I’m still trying to get a handle on but is slowly becoming clearer. I think it’s still going to be looking at the ressurection body – the idea that we don’t go to ‘heaven’ but rather become part of a new (renewed) creation, one more closely allied to heaven.

  6 Responses to “Stuff (and nonsense)”

  1. Dissertation topic sounds controversial…. imagine not going to heaven ? I may be jumping to a conclusion that hasn’t been reached, but it sounds counter New Testament. I think I need to hear more (and read more and think more) about this one !
    Glad you had a good holiday. Maybe you could let me know some details about your Centre Parcs holiday in Holland ?
    Had a wedding on 8/8/08. It was very moving as the father of the bride has been struggling against cancer and he very determinedly walked his daughte down the aisle unaided. It was hard to reamin professional.

  2. Of Heaven
    What Wright argues is that our idea of heaven has become distorted – think fluffy clouds and harp-playing. Even the idea that heaven is like the vision of Revelation is incorrect. Or indeed heaven being a many-roomed house/mansion. The heaven we tend to think of is a ‘separate place’, existing now(ish) and physically and temporally removed from planet earth. Wright argues that heaven is where God is (and, as such, isn’t a place – that would imply physicality) and where we are destined to end up is the remade heavens and earth. Jesus’ resurrection is the ‘first fruits’ of new life where a new physicality is enjoyed – one where death and decay no longer have any power. Wright argues that there is a physical resurrection into a new creation where earth and heaven are more closely overlapping.
    His main issue with the fluffy clouds or separate place ideas is that they ignore the physical resurrection. They also encourage a non-Christian duality where heaven=good, earth=bad. Yet this is the creation which God declared to be very good.
    I suspect I haven’t represented his ideas as well as I might (and may even have misrepresented them), but that’s my (very) crude understanding of what he’s driving at.

    Of Center Parcs
    Holiday was booked through DFDS, sailing from Newcastle. We were at De Eemhof. It’s not one of the more exciting ones but it is only about an hour from the ferry port. If you want specifics, let me know. We’ve been to several of them now. There are others not listed by DFDS if you want to arrange a diy holiday.

  3. There is a clear tension in what I understand Wright to be saying. If heaven isn’t a place, then that stands against a physical resurrection. If it is a place, then the implication of physicality stands against a ‘spiritual’ God.
    I don’t tend to think fluffy clouds and harps etc, but quite like Jesus’ image of the ‘many mansions’.
    Clearly heaven must be recognisable as something physical, and yet there is a differentness about it, given that Jesus resurrection body wasn’t immediately recognisable as such. (This is the trouble when a Practical Theologian tries his hand at the Systematic branch !!!)
    More thought required methinks.
    Thanks for the info on DFDS. Will look at their website and give thought to an Easter break of some kind.

  4. I’ll need to refresh my memory of what his argument is in “Surprised by hope” but I think that he is suggesting that, at the moment, heaven is indeed a spiritual realm. He might even accept that, on our death, we go there as spiritual beings (ours ‘souls’ – but that’s another dualist, non-Christian concept). But, his argument (I think), is that that isn’t our ‘final destination’. At some indeterminate time to come the heavens and the earth will be remade (made anew) and it will be a physical place, but one where the physicality transcends our current physicality – i.e. no more death and decay.
    His argument draws widely from the New Testament but, as an example or foretaste, uses Jesus’ physical resurrection. Jesus could eat, drink, be touched, etc. But He also transcended the ‘mere’ physical – He got through locked doors, His wounds were present yet no longer an impairment (and that, in itself, raises major questions on what our resurrection body may be like) and he ascended into the sky. Mind you, Jesus did some pretty amazing things before His resurrection as well, so I guess you need to factor that in somehow.
    As I say though, his main issue is that our eternal future often stops with ‘going to heaven’ and ignores the resurrection on the ‘last day’.

  5. Heaven as a sort of divine holding area ? Hmm.

  6. Hmm indeed.
    It’s one area he does rather gloss over. In fact, his description tends to be couched in terms that suggest he begrudgingly accepts this interim status only until he can come up with a better explanation. Basically, it doesn’t fit neatly into his overall scheme of things but he can’t dismiss the Biblical texts which relate to it. To give Wright his due, his thoughts are firmly Biblical. He doesn’t give in to the temptation to dismiss parts because they’re not strictly historical or may have been later additions.

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