Heaven, the Resurrection of the Body, and Mourning as Christians (Repost)
April 28, 2022
In this episode, Johnathan Arnold and David Fry continue to discuss the church's happy anticipation of heaven and how it shapes our life in this world.
Quotes from Fry:
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- In the end, heaven is a place on earth. Earth doesn't comprehend earth, but heaven comprehends earth.
- Simply put, heaven is the dwelling place of God.
- We have so separated heaven and earth that it leads us to a view that we can trash earth before God trashes it. That is not at all an orientation that God allows us to have towards the earth. And that's very dangerous. Christians need to recover a better ecology.
- My male body will be resurrected. We will be male or female eternally. We are not going to become angels. Jesus told us that there will be a particular way that we will be like angels, but that's not one of them.
- Anticipating the loss of the things that we take pleasure in now seems more like hell than heaven. The popular visions of heaven and hell are reversed—where hell is the place where you party and have all of the best of human experiences that we can experience now, and heaven is a place where you lose all of those things. But heaven is not the loss of all these things, it is the fulfillment of them.
- Whatever we have to say about heaven—as we study God's word and how Christian thinkers have reflected on it—we cannot leave out the importance of the resurrected, physical body of Christ which is the foundation of our faith. That's our starting point for thinking about things eternal, and that's a physical reality. That's where our physical theology has to start. But so many of our thoughts about heaven are spiritualized and disconnected and have really become more like fairytales than real, physical realities.
- Prolonging life at any cost actually takes away from the sanctity of the passing of a saint. That approach is grounded in the lack of belief in a physical resurrection. We go to an extreme to preserve bodily life as if we've given up hope of a bodily resurrection.
- In our great effort to prolong life, we actually end up making death worse than it is—more despairing.
- We are pilgrims and exiles or strangers. We are passing through this age. Kings come and kings go. And that's not to say that these things have no importance. But the basic Christian confession that "Jesus is Lord" ought to run through all of our public faith. It ought to dictate everything we do—from voting to living under authorities that perhaps we didn't vote for.
- Our thinking about heaven must translate into how we live in this world—a public faith that reflects careful, holy living and a passion for being creatures who are made in the image of God, conveying godliness. That has to be our guiding passion for thinking on these things.