"And let me tell you 'Kingdom of God' language is really big in the emerging church."Doug Pagitt
o anyway, yesterday in GraceLife I spoke on 1 Peter 1:3-5, where Peter writes to saints in exile under the threat of persecution and encourages them with the hope of heaven.
Then last night I started reading Brian McLaren's Everything Must Change and in the opening chapter, he says this:
More and more of us are realizing something our best theologians have been saying for quite a while: Jesus' message is not actually about escaping this troubled world for heaven's blissful shores, as is popularly assumed, but instead is about God's will being done on this troubled earth as it is in heaven. So people interested in being a new kind of Christian will inevitably begin to care more and more about this world, and they'll want to better understand its most significant problems, and they'll want to find out how they can fit in with God's dreams actually coming true down here more often.. . . and I was struck by the utter disconnect between what McLaren says and what the Bible teaches. I can easily think of a dozen key places in Scripture where we are told to set our affections on things above and look forward eagerly to heaven. And most if not all of those passages are set in contexts where saints are either being encouraged in the midst of trials or admonished against the sin of worldliness.
Worse yet, McLaren uses an ill-defined notion of "the Kingdom" as a jumping-off point to introduce a series of stylish, environmentally-sound, and politically-correct sociopolitical issues he thinks ought to consume Christians' thoughts more than the hope of heaven: environmentalism, poverty, the threat of global war, and "the failure of the world's religions, especially its two largest religions, to provide a framing story capable of healing or reducing the three previous crises."
I think Christianity already has a perfectly good "framing story," and it includes a number of truths McLaren dismisses out of hand, including the hope of heaven.
What do you think? Talk amongst yourselves.
I'll be back this evening.
"...because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel"Colossians 1:5
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."1 Peter 1:3-5