Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Physical Nature of God's Realm

In previous posts, Josh has done a great job of delving deeply into God’s Emotional, Mental and Spiritual nature. The following three links are the first three of his series.


On the heels of Dan’s most interesting post concerning Quantum Physics, I would like to delve into the physical aspects of God.

Prior to beginning, I would like to define a few terms in order to minimize any confusion.

Enjoy: The ability to experience and have command.
Experience: The ability to physically relate but have no control.
Perceive: The ability to reason, come to a conclusion, based on indirect evidence alone.
Supernatural: A sensed or perceived control of dimensionality above the subjects own dimensionality.

In this first part, let’s look at our basic physical dimensionality and how it relates to God.  As discussed in Dan’s previous post on Quantum Physics, we live in at least a ten dimensional reality. Three physical dimensions we enjoy and have command over are width, length and depth.  We also experience our dimensionality of time, while we are able to perceive at least an additional six dimensions that appear to be rolled up tightly in a physical space of 10 -32 cm.


In our three physical dimensionality, we have the ability to move around and physically command our environment. We can manilpulate ourselves and physical elements forward, backward, up, down and sideways at different angles. We enjoy a freedom to explore within our physical reality.

Now, how about beings that enjoy less than a three physical dimensionality?

The following is a great example of this that was popularized in the book,  Flatland: A Romance of ManyDimensions by Edwin Abbott. In this book, we are introduced to a two dimensional character that has width and length but no depth. He can move sideways and up and down but has no concept of forward or backward.

When moving around in his dimensionality, his only experience of others is when talking to them or running into each other. He can’t move forward or backwards around them, only sideways, up and down around them. Similar to viewing germs, on a side, under a microscope. He can’t look sideways because he doesn’t enjoy that dimensionality. If he could, he would see nothing, because they have no depth.

This character is visited by a three dimensional character that can interact with him in his dimension and open a supernatural window into his dimensionality. Let’s think about this for a moment.  Think of the smallest measurement known to you. Now, place this as a depth measurement between the two realities.

The three dimensional being can can now enjoy an existence closer than that measurement than any two individual dimensional beings can enjoy themselves. The two dimensional and the three dimensional being now share an intimacy greater than any intimacy the two dimensional beings can enjoy within his own reality.


When this three dimensional being actually intervenes into the two dimensional reality, it can be only experienced by the two dimensional beings that are directly interacted with. It can only be perceived by other two dimensional beings as supernatural. At this point, they can dismiss or explain it or accept it on faith. When the interaction ends, it leaves only the memory and joy of the experience with the one being interacted with.

Now, what if there were beings that enjoy a dimensionality greater than ours? They would be supernatural to us. This is how God relates to us. In fact, he enjoys a dimensionality much greater than our physical dimensions of time and space. 


22 comments:

  1. Thought I would be lost or lose interest but neither happened. As a matter of fact it explains things I have felt but have not expressed before. God is in higher dimensionality, in such a way we will not understand until we get there with Him. It completely makes sense to why miracles happen and why if we have faith they wouldn't be really miracles but plain reality. Thanks Keith.

    I enjoyed this experience as I hope you perceived from my words that are well...natural only.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Tim! BTW, I've really enjoyed your last two posts. Hopefully, I won't disappear like I did for the last two years. God Bless you! You are a true friend and brother.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great concepts to think about! I have been talking about a similar idea with some one else recently. Been thinking about infinite regress. I think we can come to two conclusions about it, that everything gets simpler until the most simple building block is left (Which I personally think doesn't work) or everything gets more complex until the first cause is complexly complete in every sense. Now how could we as mere happenings in the whole "show" of nature even begin to understand the complete complexity of the First Cause!
    Same as some ideas you have shared, in that God must be so far into more complexity and more dimensions that it MUST leave us boggled lol. That is why experience can play such a huge part in our relationships with God. It is like that in marriage is it not? One cannot always understand the partner :) but that is what makes it enjoyable and helpful to our characters, to always learn about/from and experience someone different to ourselves.

    Thanks for the post!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ah, but in the case of the interaction between the two-dimensional being and the three-dimensional one, the three-dimensional being was evidently unable to allow and enable the two-dimensional being to fully perceive it. Whereas, in the case of our Heavenly Father, He is well able to allow and enable someone from among us to perceive as much about Him as He wants them to know and understand while they are still in the flesh.

    Please forgive me if I jumped ahead to something that you were planning on addressing in your next piece, and I really hope that you do. For far too many are looking for reasons for why it is foolish to think that we can actually understand just who our Heavenly Father truly is and what He wants to accomplish in this world when the absolute truth of the matter truly is that the main reason why there is not more clear understanding is that far too many just simply do not want to understand.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree. There is no way that we, as mere mortals, can fully understand God. However, it's not necessarily our full understanding but the passion in The desire to know more about our Lord and God, which brings me to your point or analogy concerning marriage.

    Marriages are doomed to failure, if an intimate knowledge or relationship is not developed. The same can be said about our relationship with God. There are numerous worship songs and praises that include the same sentiment as, "Don't let our love grow cold. I'm calling out. Light the fire again."

    Another song comes to mind that warns us of the consequences if we don't develop that intimate relationship with God. The song says, "There's nothing as cold as ashes, after the fire is gone. If you don't continually develop that relationship, your relationship will burn out.

    How many successful couples can honestly say that they do not know more about their spouse than the day they met?

    Our relationship, with our spouse, should be like the one with God. Every day should be a day of discovering more about the other.

    Even after 33 years of marriage, I looked at my wife's face to discover something new. We talked continuously about our day, our discoveries and trials. Like our Lord and God, I would gladly give life for her.

    That's what I like about our time here on this blog. We give our opinion, while opening ourselves up to really learning something new.

    That's why Tim's comment brought me to tears. I have known him for a long time. I know that he has a close intimate relationship with God. But yet, he is still willing to openly admit that there's a lot more to know about God.

    That is part of my daily prayers, that all of us would continue to freely admit our desire and passion for our continued growth in our relationship with God. What a great testimony.

    Thanks for your comment, Daniel.

    I agape and phileo you in the Lord, my brother.

    Keith

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good thoughts Keith...

    I heard someone - I think it was Werner Gitt, use the Flatland analogy years ago and always thought it was a good one. He also talked about the concept of the Event Horizon (from black hole theory) - something that from our perspective we have no way of perceiving because it is simply be definition beyond our time/space dimension. My understanding on these from a scientific basis is very weak, but it does confound the common thinking that there is no need for God because we soon will be able to understand all mystery.

    I was thinking about the Genesis account of creation, that really makes very little attempt at explaining the mechanics of creation, but instead focusses on the relationality of God to his creation, and our response of awe and worship. That is the important thing that determines our humanity I feel. I came across this quote recently:
    "Humans are worshiping creatures, and even when they don't consciously or even unconsciously worship any kind of god they are all involved in the adoring pursuit of something greater than themselves. Worship transforms humans, all of us, all the time, since you become like what you worship: those who worship money, power or sex have their characters formed by those strange powers, so that little by little the money-worshiper sees and experiences the world in terms of financial opportunities or dangers, the power-hungry person experiences the world and other humans in terms of chances to gain power or threats to existing power, and the sex-worshiper sees the world in terms of possible conquests or rivals. Those who consciously and deliberately choose to not to worship those gods still have a range of others to select from, each of which will be character-forming in various ways." - N.T. Wright, Paul and the Faithfulness of God

    But neither should we not be interested in the mechanics of creation or the nature of God's realm - I'm sure God gave us an inquisitive nature to think through these things and maybe in a small way to think God's thoughts after him and in a smaller way still to enjoy co-creating (or at least re-arranging the creation a bit) with and for him.

    I have a question... in the light of heaven and earth being somehow dimensioned off from each other at the fall (I assume this is what you are saying) how "physical" or "material" do you think the heavenly realm is? There seems to be a lot of assumption in the Christian world that heaven is somehow "spiritual" i.e. immaterial and devout of what we would call physicality - resulting in a disdain for the physical as being of a lower order. I have come to see that this is likely to have arisen more from Greek philosophy than Hebrew or biblical understanding. Would you all agree?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sorry guys for the late moderation. Shifting house at the moment!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Clive,

    Thanks for your comments.

    "...but it does confound the common thinking that there is no need for God because we soon will be able to understand all mystery. "

    It still amazes me that people will say that there is no God when all the knowledge man has accumulated adds up to less than 5% of what's out there. Such arrogance and they say that we are in denial.

    "I was thinking about the Genesis account of creation, that really makes very little attempt at explaining the mechanics of creation, but instead focusses on the relationality of God to his creation, and our response of awe and worship"

    Even though I feel worship and adoration is of great importance to our relationship with God, I feel that striving to understanding how he works, who he is, etc is paramount to gaining an intimate relationship with him. As for the creation account in Genesis, two questions that I want answered is:

    1. What did God really mean by, "...And the Spirit of God MOVED upon the face of the waters." in Genesis ?

    I heard a Rabbi teach once that rachaph, the word for moved, meant that God composed himself upon and shimmered around his creation as a hen to her egg. What does that really mean in real God terms?

    and

    2. What did God really mean by, "...and God DIVIDED the light from the darkness." in Genesis 1:4?

    The same Rabbi indicated that badal, interpreted as "divided" meant that God reached into the darkness and pulled or separated the light from the darkness. I don't know about your but that sounds light God reached into a singularity and freed the light. What do you think?

    We are so in agreement when you said, "God gave us an inquisitive nature to think through these things and maybe in a small way to think God's thoughts after him and in a smaller way still to enjoy co-creating (or at least re-arranging the creation a bit) with and for him."

    I want to know all there is about God, either from his Word or his Creation.

    Finally, I believe that the new heaven and new earth will be the reconciliation of the physical and the spiritual. We will enjoy the dimensionality that Adam and Eve had at the beginning with God.

    My wife and I were studying and discussing this not too long ago. She brought up a point that I never noticed before. She indicated that in the Bible, Eve was not called Eve until after the fall. Does that mean that she and Adam coexisted as one in a way that we don't understand at the present time. I think it will blow our minds when the time comes.

    Shalom Aleichem

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Jerry,

    I agree. Unfortunately, we put up the stop sign, so to speak, far too many times. By denying God access to our lives with our sin and worldly desires. But by all means, God will allow us insight into his realm as long as we continually look to him for the answers.

    I firmly believe that God has given us access to the answers, maybe not in plain sight. We just need to search them out. I think that is what he meant in Isaiah 28:10-11.

    "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

    For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

    Also, in Proverbs 25:2.

    "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

    The things of God are out in the open and hidden to be found by those who are the Kings of the Kingdom, you and me.

    Shalom Aleichem

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Keith,
    Thanks for your comments. My question about the physicality of the heavenly realm hinges on a study my wife and I did on the state of the "dead in Christ" - comparing Paul's 1 Cor 15 passage with his 2 Cor 5 passage. The first deals with the resurrection as a future event at the return of Christ and the second passage about what happens immediately after death. There is a seeming contradiction in that in 2 Cor 5 it seems there is an immediate "new tent" i.e. physical body awaiting us upon death, yet in 1 Cor 15 this seems to not be the case until the resurrection of all the dead in Christ. This has lead theologians to postulate an "intermediate state" where we are conscious and enjoying fellowship with God and with others, but not necessarily in a physical state. We struggle with this because the wording in 2 Cor 5 indicates physicality: verses 1-3:
    "For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked."

    My view is that there is no such thing as non-physical in God's creation - it is an oxymoron. There are just different ways that physical realms interact and are perceived - back to the flatland analogy. What are other's thought on this? What is the "tent" that 2 Cor 5 speaks of?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow, lots going on! Have been busy at work so missed a lot of this till now.

    Love the post man, right up my alley! Flatland is a great analogy eh. I especially like the explanation of how God can be more intimately connected to us than anything else within our dimensional awareness, and yet remain undetectable by us. Not sure if the tightly-rolled up dimensions explain this on their own (they are too intimately connected to the expanded 3 dimensions we experience, for God to inhabit and move between them without much more obvious manifestations), but it is an inticing thought that they could be part of the explanation! There are also thoughts about other meta-dimensions, or other (as yet) undetectable entities (e.g. the branes of Brane theory) which create the observable universe (quarks, atoms, quantum physics, gravity, relativity) via their interactions. If they exist, I have no doubt that God permeates them as much as everything else :)

    Thanks for your endorsement of my posts too. I'm working on the next one, but have been distracted by some thoughts on epistemology recently :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Here's my two cents on the 'spiritual'/'physical' dichotomy. Not that I'm an expert or anything, so please correct any misunderstandings I have!

    I do not think that the 'physical' and 'spiritual' dichotomy exist as we tend to think of it. Both God and the created realm have aspects which can be described as relating more or less to an eternal/fixed/abstract 'spiritual' concept of creation, vs a more temporal/dynamic/expressed and experienced 'non-spiritual' concept of creation. The first very much aligns with a Hebrew understanding of 'spiritual' (rather than the popular idea of 'ethereal, non-physical'), and the second 'non-spiritual' concept extends into both arms of the popular spiritual/physical dichotomy.

    Using the Hebrew spiritual/non-spiritual concepts has some interesting implications. Firstly, the non-spiritual concept of creation is obviously essential to God's plan and character - it almost takes ultimate importance, which seems odd when we are used to 'spiritual' things (in the popular sense) being of ultimate importance. To say eternal/fixed/abstract things are incomplete on their own is misleading, but Spiritual things almost seem to exist SO THAT they can find expression in non-spiritual things. I think its safe to say that God's whole purpose was to express Himself in a dynamic way (i.e. the creation with non-spiritual aspects) - I would say his character (definitely 'spiritual' in some way) REQUIRED the non-spiritual. And remember that two members of the trinity find their primary purpose in the non-spiritual realm. Humanity was created to interact with this concept of reality.

    Secondly, the non-spiritual concept of reality cannot be divided as is popularly done - no definite distinguishing features can be used to divide the obvious and non-obvious aspects of nature, or earthly and heavenly realities. Both are intimately governed by God. Both are experienced and influenced by each other and by humanity - in this age and the age to come. Both are only partly understood by us, but seem to follow certain rules or principles (although as quantum mechanics demonstrates nicely, this is much looser than previously supposed!)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thirdly, God seems to govern the non-spiritual experiential aspect of reality to create a mix of revelation and obscurity, predictability and complex 'supernatural' unpredictability. This will continue to be true in heaven, with the obvious difference that God's deliberate obscuring of his character and allowance of evil will cease. Unpredictability serves a purpose of humbling us and encouraging us with God's absolute control, and forcing us to reckon with His character rather than a set of arbitrary rules. These have value in heaven and on earth. Also, obscurity of 'spiritual' aspects to reality is inevitable because, by nature, they are not experiential. They are expressed in the created realm, but this in indirect experience. It is impossible to be intimately familiar with pure spirit in the same way that we are familiar with the non-spiritual world. In saying that, we can very intimate and familiar with them - its just a different kind of intimacy and familiarity, which inevitably carries a degree of obscurity. Also, much of what we and the Bible mean when we say 'spiritual' is actually non-spiritual...

    Consider Clive's example of the 'tent' we immediately put on at death. This kind of 'immediate' or 'already present' language is common for Paul and other New Testament writers when dealing with future realities, IF those realities are absolutely certain and fixed. In other words, the spiritual (eternal, fixed) aspect to reality allows us to bypass temporal language to some degree (the rest of Scripture, which discusses the nakedness and inadequate ability to experience, enjoy, or praise God at death, UNTIL the resurrection - implying there is a temporal aspect to putting on our new tent).

    This brings out the final interesting implication of the Hebrew concept of 'spiritual' - EVERY component / instance of created reality has both spiritual and non-spiritual aspects, and it is impossible to separate them. You can discuss it with reference to either aspect as you see fit. If you're trying to emphasise the spiritual nature of things (fixed, abstract, eternal) you can talk about them as such. Or the other way around. Remember, every aspect of non-spiritual reality finds its roots in the spiritual, being expressed. So we can talk about 'spirits' of people, even though it cannot be a definable 'part' of a human ('spiritual' by definition is abstract and unchanging). We can talk about spiritual experiences or places, even though they are definitely rooted in the non-spiritual reality. It all depends what we are trying to emphasize.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Just had a big discussion with friends about the use of the word 'spiritual' or 'spirit'. They helped me clarify my thoughts a little. Perhaps it's a little presumptuous to say that the Hebrew concept of 'spiritual' is eternal / abstract / fixed. There are a lot of scriptures which use the word 'spirit' or 'spiritual' as if they are actual things in reality, and not just a conceptual framework to discuss some aspects of reality. But there are four things that need emphasizing to inform our understanding of these apparent spiritual 'things'.

    First, there are no scriptures which oppose 'spiritual' to the rest of reality, making a definition where spirit is 'a subset of reality', unlikely.

    Second, the Hebrew mindset did not really delve into any kind of separation of reality - EVERYTHING was real in the same way. The major dichotomies they saw, the ones emphasized in scripture, were the dichotomies of eternal vs temporal, and holy vs unholy. Both of these are not absolute divisions of reality, or even a spectrum between two exclusive extremes. Rather they are sets of two parallel properties - which although they oppose eachother, are not mutually exclusive. There are very few absolutely pure holy things and absolutely pure unholy things. You can discuss the holiness or unholiness of every phenomenon, depending on what point you are trying to make. Likewise with eternal / temporal.

    Thirdly, those scriptures which DO attempt to inform a doctrine of 'spiritual' tends to focus on these two dichotomies, rather than a spiritual / physical dichotomy.

    And fourthly, as I discussed above, we CAN describe things as 'spirits' when we are trying to emphasize their spiritual aspects (i.e. see them in a spiritual framework). This does not mean that 'spirits' are separate definable parts of reality, distinct from physical realities. This is unlikely given the Hebrew understanding of reality. It DOES mean that there are definable parts of reality which have strong spiritual aspects, and so can be called 'spirits' when emphasizing these. Whether the exact same reality can also be called something else (e.g. a human, an angel) - i.e. spirits are not a part of a human, they ARE the whole human - is up to debate. I tend to think this is true :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Clive,

    First of all, it scares me when you say, "...lead theologians...postulate..." LOL :-)

    All kidding aside, I firmly believe that with all apparent contradiction comes a revelation for we all believe there are no contradictions but misinterpretations within the Word of God.

    Please bear with me as I lay this out. I know I can be long winded but it’s the only way I can do it and be sure I cover everything God wants me to say. :-) Now, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. LOL

    I believe that the tents mentioned in 2 Cor 5 are our bodies, both the carnal one we now possess and the new one mentioned in 1 Cor 15:35-58. This present body is missing the dimensionality that Adam and Eve enjoyed in the garden. They were clothed in light. We will again enjoy the dimensionality in our new body as the ones originally created, for Adam and Eve, by God.

    When we are born into this world, we have a simple, sinfully degraded body, one that can only enjoy three spatial dimensions and one time. Can I say, A Basic Model?

    However, as soon as we truly received the gift of salvation, through the Blood of the Messiah, we gain one of those dimensions back. We gain the presence of God’s Sprit. It is at the point we begin to yearn to the point of groaning for the complete dimensionality, where we are completely in the presence of the Lord. I love how God's Spirit led Saul, Paul to put it.

    ”For indeed we who are in this tent do groan, being burdened; not that we desire to be unclothed, but that we desire to be clothed, that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now he who made us for this very thing is God, who also gave to us the DOWN PAYMENT of the Spirit.”

    Living in this body and as believers, we now have an additional dimension above non believers. I do believe this is the mark of the believer, mentioned in Revelation, but I will not go down that path right now in order to keep it brief.

    This added dimensionality will exponentially increase when we are transformed into our new bodies at the resurrection. This is where I go off in left field, as the saying goes. This new body will be enjoy a full spiritual reality while still being fully physical. This is "similar" to what Y’shua, our Messiah, is enjoying right now.

    For many years, I also believed that 2 Cor 5 told us, “To be absent from our bodies is to be present with the Lord.” Unfortunately, if read in context, which I did not do for years, the text clearly show that Saul, Paul was simply saying that he rather be out of this body and with the Lord.

    However, I believe when we die, we will be asleep, totally ignorant of our present predicament. We will have no concept of time. Therefore, when the Lord comes back and resurrects us, it will seem as if no time had passed between our deaths and the resurrection. In reality, it will seem as it we absent from the body and immediately in the presence of the Lord.

    What are your thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yes, I concur with most of what you say... I like the idea of gaining the extra dimensionality with the reception of the Spirit and Life of God. The "soul sleep" concept I struggle with however. I know it's a common interpretation but I just don't see this in the language of 2 Cor 5 - it's supposed to be comforting believers that on death they are immediately in the presence of the Lord - that we will not be an unclothed "shadow" in Sheol as I understand some of the Rabbi's taught. To me it is similar to 1 Thess 5:9 "For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing." Here "sleep" is used as a metaphor or euphemism for death - because while we "sleep" we live together with him.

    Not saying you are wrong... or that I have a complete answer on this - but to me there is more going on here than unconscious sleep.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Clive,

    Ironically, we went over I Thess 5 literally last night in our study group.

    I actually used 1Thess 5:10 as an example how some interpreters take liberties when translating the scriptures. For example, most Bibles have 1Thess 5:10 translated as something similar to:

    "Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we live together with him."

    When in reality, the original Greek doesn't have the first "we", the verb "ZAO" is in the future perfect tense by the use of the periphrasis "whether" and actually says:

    "...who died for us, that, whether wake or sleep, we shall live together with him."

    I think it takes on a different context. Don't you think?

    We see the same Greek verb in James 4:15 translated correctly.

    "For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, WE SHALL LIVE, and do this, or that."

    As for me being wrong, there has been far too many times that I have been wrong. :-) LOL That is why we discuss it.

    "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." my friend.

    Shabbat Shalom

    ReplyDelete
  19. No doubt -
    There is significant debate about how to interpret the aorist tense in these verses. It is by no means definitive that the 'future perfect' translation is the best! The same tense is used to describe Christ's death earlier in the verse (who died for us), which is clearly not futuristic.
    In this case, I think the aorist tense works best (regarding Christ's death) if we see it as a single past perfect event, with ongoing effects or implications leading into eternity (i.e. the future). This could easily mean that our life in Christ is similar - starting at re-birth and with ongoing implications and effects into eternity (i.e. eternal life).
    Unfortunately that would mean it says nothing about WHEN our experience of this eternal life occurs - is there a gap of unconsciousness at death before the resurrection? There are other verses suggesting instant experiential presence with Christ (eg the thief on the cross).

    Clive -
    I agree with you Clive that unconsciousness is not the best conclusion to draw from Scripture. But death (prior to the resurrection) is still generally seen as incomplete and undesirable, apart from being with Christ. If full physical experiential interaction with Christ and each other were possible (before we are all resurrected in the new heavens and new earth), that would make the coming of the New earth/heavens obsolete, since we are already in a perfect place of bliss and communion with God. I'm convinced that 'Sheol' (as some call it) is incomplete in some way, but I'm not sure if this incompletion is related to our bodies, our environment, or to God's interaction with us.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Good points... the tenses are a source of seemingly endless debate and my perspective is that the ancient near east civilisations - Hebrew thinking in particular, had a view of time and history that was less linear than we have adopted in Western modernity. So much of the Biblical text (particularly prophetic) kind of telescopes events past, present and future into the same experience - and perhaps from God's perspective that is how it works.

    The Lord's Supper for instance brings together the cross, the passover, the new heavens and new earth, our own baptism, death and resurrection (and more!) into a singular moment that we experience. As discussed in another post, the way I think to best interpret scripture is to all the time keep in context with the big picture of what God has done and is doing in Christ - his ultimate plan and intention. This may or may not help us to understand specific details but perhaps it will keep us more solidly grounded in the day to day living out of the wonder of God.

    It does lead me to agree with Josh that unconsciousness doesn't really sit with the concept of eternal life beginning now, the sense that we are already living in the dimension of resurrection life, we shall be no less alive at death, and the defeat of the final enemy of death will see the full redemption of the whole creation and our resurrection back into a united, renewed heaven and earth.

    ReplyDelete