By J. Richard Middleton
Lately, progressively more Christians have come to understand the Bible's instructing that the last word blessed desire for the believer isn't really an otherworldly heaven; in its place, it really is full-bodied participation in a brand new heaven and a brand new earth introduced into fullness in the course of the coming of God's nation. Drawing at the complete sweep of the biblical narrative, J. Richard Middleton unpacks key previous testomony and New testomony texts to make a case for the recent earth because the acceptable Christian desire. He indicates its moral and ecclesial implications, exploring the variation a holistic eschatology could make for residing in a damaged international.
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Additional info for A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology
2–3 by Phyllis Trible in “A Love Story Gone Awry,” in God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality (Overtures to Biblical Theology; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984), 72–143. â•¯For the insight that God was the first gardener/culture-maker, I am indebted to Andy Crouch, Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2008), 108. â•¯Another important reference to humans in Ps. Â€35a), where the psalmist asks God to remove sinners from the earth; presumably their misuse of power impedes the proper functioning of earthly life (this perspective is important, as we will see in later chapters, for interpreting eschatological texts of judgment such as Matt.
Walsh, Truth Is Stranger Than It Used to Be: Biblical Faith in a Postmodern Age (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 1995). â•¯I understand the motivation of those who would summarize the plot of the biblical story as creation-fall-redemption-consummation, since this indicates that the climax of the story does not simply return to the primitive state of the beginning (that is, there is a certain discontinuity between creation and eschaton). I fully agree with this point (as will become clear in this chapter and the chapters that follow).
After all, the Jewish conceptualities of New Testament theology needed to be brought to bear on the new cultural context in which the Christian faith found itself. That the church fathers drew on the best ofÂ€the intellectual heritage of their times is natural. â•¯The impact of Platonism can also be seen in differing views of the final destiny of the righteous in Second Temple Jewish apocalyptic literature; some texts expect the redeemed to dwell in a renewed cosmos, while others suggest transfer to an otherworldly heaven.