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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Models of Eschatology Part 6: Answering Questions about the New Creation Model (2)

Question #4: Why is the New Creation Model concept important?

I think discussion of the models of eschatology including the New Creation Model and Spiritual Vision Model challenge us to make sure that our assumptions and beliefs about God’s purposes are biblical and not tainted with unbiblical beliefs and ideas.

Many over-spiritualize God’s purposes and in doing so do not see what the Bible has to say about important areas—including eschatology. Many people incorrectly believe some of the following:

--The physical realm is bad and must be annihilated.
--God’s kingdom is spiritual not material.
--Our eternal home is out there in a mystical heaven that is totally divorced from the earth.
--Our primary activity in eternity is mostly passive and contemplative
--There will be no diversity in the future. There is one generic people of God but no national or ethnic diversity.
--There will be no work or anything to do.

People who think these things have had their thinking tainted by a worldview that they may think is biblical but is not. These ideas are more in line with Platonism than the Bible. Randy Alcorn is right when he states that mixing Christianity with Platonism leads to what he calls “Christoplatonism” which is not a good thing.

A New Creation Model approach, though, shakes off the remnants of Platonism and embraces what the Bible has to say about God’s purposes. Yes, spiritual salvation is the basis of all blessings but the blessings God pours out on His people include spiritual and physical blessings. There is nothing unspiritual about land or the earth. There is nothing unspiritual about God working with nations, even the nation Israel. There is nothing unspiritual in realizing that our resurrected bodies will inhabit a resurrected, restored earth.

So in my view, the New Creation approach is not an outside grid imposed on the Bible but a recognition that God’s purposes for His creation are holistic—they include all aspects including the spiritual and physical.

3 comments:

  1. I've read Alcorn's take on this before, but what you've said in previous articles has challenged a few of my assumptions.

    The biggest one is that there is no time. I don't really understand how that works. God "inhabits eternity" (Isa 57:15). Will we not inhabit eternity as well? I've always wondered this. The sort of eternity God inhabits has to be different, right? I mean His eternity knows the end from the beginning and that won't be how we inhabit eternity.

    But at the same time, I don't understand how there will be time either. I mean will we look up at the throne and say "Wow, today is the 1 billion year anniversary of my death/rapture?"

    I guess I'll understand when I get there. Thanks for the series :)

    I still like the lyric "When time is no more, He is"

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  2. Hi vcd...
    Thanks for your thoughts. Since you have read Alcorn, you are probably familiar with his views on time, of which I agree. I do think it's significant that Revelation 22:3 mention "month(s)" so I think there will be chronological time. If our present experiences are in time, I see no reason why our future experiences would not be in time as well. I can't be sure, but I do believe there will be dates and even anniversaries in the Eternal State.

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  3. Well, I had a nice comment posted and blogspot lost it. Argh..the login process failed. (always ctrl+a, ctrl+c before moving on...I know better).

    I don't think I understand the time part very well, but I agree with what you're saying. I just can't conceive of how it will work (then again, Paul pretty much says that it's incomprehensible in 2 Cor 12:4). I think Rev 22.2 is a significant reminder that there will be some sort of a concept of time.

    I've just heard the expression "time is no more" (and from solid preachers like Macarthur...not just song lyrics)and never really thought of it until your posts.

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