Monday, 8 September 2008

JR on eschatology 2

Secondly, John took us to Rev 21 for a vision of the future.

I think I must have been slightly sleepy as I'm not sure I followed everything, but here's what I got.

Our life maps tend to be individualistic: where is the end of the world in relation to me.
The Bible's map is a map of the whole of creation, not of my life: where the world has got to, with me in it.

John wonderfully expressed this as, creation is not the stage on which the play is set, rather creation is one of the characters in the drama, which makes so much more sense, in my view, of Romans 8 etc.

John then looked at a biblical theology of Sabbath and rest, seeing that Sabbath is not rest from work, rather it is the work creation was aiming for in the first place.

Ultimately that future Sabbath is finally fulfilled in the reunion of heaven and earth. John combined this with a view of the future of the church as being the marriage-supper of the Lamb.

This vision complemented John's 2 lunchtime talks in which the big theme seemed to be that Christ-shaped-ness of creation and the future. Here John made a number of helpful observations:
1. Jesus is not a plan B, indeed salvation is not a plan B. Using marriage as the obvious example, John showed that creation is shaped with Christ in mind. Marriage was designed in order to show Christ's relationship with his church, not that Christ's relationship with the church was shaped to reflect marriage. In the mind of God, his Son always comes first, and creation is designed to reflect Him, not vice versa.
2. Protology (the study of the first things) and eschatology (the study of the last things) mutually inform one another. They cannot be divorced, precisely because God designed the creation in the first place to mirror his final goal of Christ the King with his redeemed people ruling the physical glorious creation.


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