Saturday, October 8, 2011
Life After Life After Death
"We should recall in particular that the use of the word heaven to denote the ultimate goal of the redeemed, though of course hugely popularized by medieval and subsequent piety, is severely misleading and does not begin to do justice to the Christian hope. I am repeatedly frustrated by how hard it is to get this point through the thick wall of traditional thought and language that most Christians put up. The ultimate destination is (once more) not 'going to heaven when you die' but being bodily raised into the transformed, glorious likeness of Jesus Christ. (The point of all this is not, of course, merely our own happy future, important though that is, but the glory of God, as we come fully to reflect his image.) Thus, if we want to speak of 'going to heaven when we die,' we should be clear that this represents the first, and far less important, stage of a two-stage process. Resurrection isn't life after death; it is life after life after death" (Surprised by Hope, pp. 168-69).