By J. Richard Middleton
Lately, increasingly more Christians have come to understand the Bible's educating that the last word blessed wish for the believer isn't an otherworldly heaven; as an alternative, it truly is full-bodied participation in a brand new heaven and a brand new earth introduced into fullness during the coming of God's nation. Drawing at the complete sweep of the biblical narrative, J. Richard Middleton unpacks key outdated testomony and New testomony texts to make a case for the recent earth because the acceptable Christian desire.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
17 The king in the ancient Near East was, of course, also the political ruler of his nation. He was the lawgiver and the patron of the arts and civilization. The king was the chief organizer of cities, he saw to the great civic and religious building projects of his nation, and he oversaw the upkeep of the irrigation system (upon which agriculture depended) as part of his governance. The ancient Mesopotamian texts, in particular, are very explicit that the king was to supervise the irrigation system of canals, thus providing water for agriculture, upon which society depended.
Likewise, the cosmos was binary, composed of a transcendent, supraÂ�sensory, timeless realm of ideas (the Forms) and the sensory realm of changeability and flux. There certainly are different versions of Plato’s dualism articulated in the different dialogues that he wrote. 28 Nevertheless, the worldview that held together both versions of Plato’s dualism, and that he bequeathed to later ages, involved the radically new assumption of an immortal, immaterial soul and the aspiration to transcend this present world of matter, sensation, and change in order to attain to a higher, divine reality.
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.