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Eschatology

Is God Green Part 2: God and the Future of the World

I’m grateful to Byron Smith who made a few critical comments about a previously published version of this sermon (in five parts: #1, #2a, #2b, #3a, #3b) and helped me to speak more clearly and helpfully in this subsequent version. Talk Outline The story of the world so far… …

Replacing the Spirit with the sacraments

I’ve been listening recently to an online lecture series called Space, Time, [Matter] and Sacraments. The speaker (an influential Church of England Bishop called N. T. Wright) posed some very important questions. For example: How is the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection made “real” to us in our …

Is God Green #3: God and the Future of the World

An inconvenient truth? Whatever you think about global warming, you can’t ignore it. It’s already the subject of Hollywood blockbusters. Take the move, The Day After Tomorrow, based on the fear of massive natural disasters caused by climate change. The Day After Tomorrow is, of course, fiction. But ex-American presidential …

The Bible doesn’t say

A few weeks ago, Bobby died. It happened quite quickly. On Thursday, he was sitting merrily on his perch. On Friday, he was shivering and looking pretty unimpressed with life. On Saturday morning, he was standing on the floor of the cage with his eyes half open, rocking back and forth. At lunchtime, when the kids and I took him to the vet, he had decided it would be best to have a little lie down. The vet was kind but decisive.

We took Bobby home in a very small plastic bag. There were tears. My wife’s former history teacher (that’s a whole other story) dug a hole in the backyard, and another friend of ours found a little mournful-looking stone dog to act as headstone. Family, friends and the former history teacher prayed together that God would comfort us in our loss.

Then came the inevitable question from the 6-year-old: “Is Bobby in heaven now?” Hmm. I know that there will be a new, physical creation (Isa 65:17), and it seems like the new creation will contain, at the very least, contented wolves, baby sheep, lions, cattle and humiliated snakes (Isa 65:25). But will there be a spiritual continuity of identity between the Bobby we knew and a particular budgie in the hereafter? There didn’t seem to be enough biblical data to form a meaningful answer. So I answered as I only could: “The Bible doesn’t say”.

The End of the World as We Know It

My post on the Sola Panel today: Today, millions of Christians across the globe will join together to celebrate the end of the world as we know it. I’m talking, of course, about Good Friday—the celebration of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This is an event of cosmic significance—an event …