Episode 189: Heaven on Earth

September 24, 2013

episode189

Featuring Matt Anderson and Ben De Bono

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4 comments on “Episode 189: Heaven on Earth

  1. Michael Sep 27, 2013

    So, I have no quarrel with the five-act presentation of salvation history (I learned a catchy mnemonic for it in seminary: Creation, Covenant, Christ, Church, Consummation), or with any of the overall substance of what you guys presented (apart from Ben’s treatment of Protestantism. Here’s, in part, how we in the PC(USA) “justify” our existence: “The unity of the church is compatible with a wide variety of forms, but it is hidden and distorted when variant forms are allowed to harden into sectarian divisions, exclusive denominations, and rival factions [note the qualifying adjectives there]… The church… orders its life as an institution with a constitution, government, officers, and administrative rules. These are instruments of mission, not ends in themselves. Different orders have served the gospel, and none can claim exclusive validity” – Confession of 1967. I obviously don’t expect you, Ben, to be on board with that; but many Protestants have, in fact, thought through the question without concluding that organic, institutional union with Rome is the only answer).

    I would be curious to hear your further thoughts on to what extent can we really talk about God adopting “new plans” in response to (really, reaction against) human sin? It’s not as thought the Son became incarnate because that was God’s best “fallback” option. I’m not even sure I’d go so far as to say, as you do, Ben, that “Israel bombed out.” Isn’t it rather that Jesus was/is obedient Israel in himself? God’s plan for Israel didn’t fail; it was fulfilled in Jesus.

    Anyway, this is good material, guys. I really need to read some more N.T. Wright – I’ve only read here and there in his “NT for Everyone” series, and in his commentary on Romans for “The New Interpreter’s Bible.” It’s all been good so far.

    The question about Jesus’ scars was a good one. I am not so sure the scars are *just* there to teach the disciples a lesson. Maybe Jesus’ scars are, in fact, part of his body as it should be? They are no longer damage, but visible signs of his love. They are not defects; they have been glorified. What do you think?

    As for what happens when we die, I don’t know how much explicit biblical warrant I could find for this, but I have long believed that I will experience a kind of cosmic “fast forward” to (God willing) the resurrection/the new heaven and new earth/the renewal of all things. From one point of view, we are with him in Paradise that very day; from another point of view, we are “moved ahead” to the last judgement and resurrection. For whatever it’s worth. God will sort it out!

    If I remember correctly, the Nicene Creed is older and more universally accepted, in both Western and Eastern Christianity, than the Apostles’. The Apostles’ Creed is only authoritative for Western Christians.

  2. Ben De Bono Sep 27, 2013

    Just a clarification: My intention wasn’t to imply that Protestants haven’t thought through the question of unity (my apologies if it came across that way) but to argue that the implication of what Wright is saying is unity in a visible, institutional sense. My argument is therefore directed at those who fully (or mostly) embrace what Wright is saying as doing so seems to demand institutional unity. Obviously there are a great many understandings of unity that don’t call for that sort of visible/institutional unity. While I disagree with those, they weren’t what I was arguing against in this case.

    Hope that makes sense!

  3. Rhoetus Mar 21, 2014

    Howdy, I am enjoying your podcast, and coming at it from both directions: oldest archive and newest episodes. (found you through the crossover event)
    I accept the 5 act presentation, but I disagree with Ben’s 3 options. In the same way that Aaron’s offspring were supposed to be the priests, but were supplanted by the Levites, I understand that the Apostolic hierarchy was corrupted when they began to add onto the Gospel…something the actual Apostles warned against. In the hierarchy of where we should get our understanding of the Gospel, I would put my trust in the ones who were there, not those who ignored the Holy Spirit later on. To be clear, that corruption would be in saying ‘believe in Christ AND give us money, AND do good works, AND work through purgatory, AND believe that the bead and wine become the actual body and blood of Christ (the same born of Mary) AND believe in the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, etc. At the point where that happens, we should follow what the Bible teaches, and first, try to correct the error, and eventually treat those who follow such error as unbelievers if they continue in that sin. It is not the Protestant who broke from God’s plan, thus causing division within the Church, but rather the Roman Catholic who separated himself from the Church, the body of Christ.
    Next, there is no problem with dividing a church. The individual group that meets for fellowship, education, communion, etc. is not the Church as a whole. If it were sinful for a Protestant to remain a Protestant because of the schism of Protestant and Roman Catholic, then it is every bit as sinful to remain Roman Catholic in division from Eastern Orthodox…’cause guess what, there is division there also.
    Lastly, if we are part of the universal body of believers, we are Catholic, whether we be Protestant, Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and so forth. Calling one group “Catholic” is to immediately discount all others as being outside the Church as a whole.

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