Commonplace Book #23

And if God’s good creation–of the world, of life as we know it, of our glorious and remarkable bodies, brains, and bloodstream–really is good, and if God wants to reaffirm that goodness in a wonderful act of new creation at the last, then to see the death of the body and the escape of the soul as salvation is not simply slightly off course, in need of a few subtle alterations and modifications.  It is totally and utterly wrong.  It is colluding with death.  It is  conniving at death’s destruction of God’s good, image-bearing human creatures while consoling ourselves with the (essentially non-Christian and non-Jewish)  thought that the really important bit of ourselves  is saved from this wicked, nasty body and this sad, dark world of space, time, and matter!  As we have seen, the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, speaks out against such nonsense. It is, however, what most Western Christians, including most Bible Christians of whatever sort, actually believe. This is a serious state of affairs, reinforced not only in popular teaching but also in liturgies, public prayers, hymns, and homilies of every kind.

N.T. Wright, Suprised by Hope, 194-195

3 thoughts on “Commonplace Book #23

  1. Dear Unicorn,
    What is your interpretation of the following verse?
    “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement….” II Peter 3:7

    I personally don’t think it will be thermonuclear war or climate change. I believe it will me more direct than those two options.


  2. With all respect to the bishop he might be too concerned with this material world which is destined to perish.

    Watch out, James.
    That way lies “It’s All Gonna Burn(TM)”.
    AKA a Pious Dismissal applied to (in the Age of Hal Lindsay) Global Thermonuclear War and (today) Climate Change.


  3. It’s easy to err on the Platonic side of things as Bishop Wright states. On the other hand, St. Paul did refer to our “vile” body in Phil 3:21. After all, the Classical World also emphasizesd the beauty of the physical.
    With all respect to the bishop he might be too concerned with this material world which is destined to perish. I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt and hope that he is instead promoting the traditional sacramentality of matter.


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