This is a snippet from an interview with N.T Wright in Time Magazine. The interview is on the topic of heaven. See www.ntwrightpage.com and http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1710844,00.html
TIME: And it ties in to what you’ve written about this all having a moral dimension.
Wright: Both that, and the idea of bodily resurrection that people deny when they talk about their “souls going to Heaven.” If people think “my physical body doesn’t matter very much,” then who cares what I do with it? And if people think that our world, our cosmos, doesn’t matter much, who cares what we do with that? Much of “traditional” Christianity gives the impression that God has these rather arbitrary rules about how you have to behave, and if you disobey them you go to hell, rather than to heaven. What the New Testament really says is God wants you to be a renewed human being helping him to renew his creation, and his resurrection was the opening bell. And when he returns to fulfil the plan, you won’t be going up there to him, he’ll be coming down here.
I know this probably isn’t the best way to address a Bishop but ‘Nice One! Tommy Boy’
Brilliant! In theological education I think that we need to make this point explciit. Many lecturers seem to assume that this is what the studentsbelieve. But I don’t think it is as we often revert back to heaven language.. If really want to see vicars inspiring people to action within this world we need to give them a theology which spurs them on. A theology of resserection does this, it causes us to work as children of the new creation for the redemption of all things.
I know that I try and say ‘I don’t think I’ll be living forever in heaven’ and following this with a conversation about resserection life.