(coming to you from northwestern Indiana)
I knew someone was going to ask that.If there is no heaven, that means we have no hope in resurrection...if there is no resurrection, there is no atonement...if there is no atonement, we're all in the same basket of poop. No heaven or hell=nihilism, which means that there's no point serving anyone but myself. It's more about our hope of "complete" salvation than simply looking for some petty reward for doing good things.I've been reading City of God...that's where most of this is coming from.
i'm well aware of how taking away the afterlife deconstructs Christianity. but I think the emphasis on the afterlife to the present life does the same thing.note how the majority of the scriptures deal with life in the here and now. we've done a good job at re-explaining it in light of heaven or hell
I'm by no means advocating escapism.Scripture may discuss life in the here and now, but I think it would be remiss to overlook why we are supposed to live like this here and now. It's not because it's simply a good thing to be nice to people, though this is certainly a virtue. It's because we have a model kingdom set before us that we're striving for, one that's sort of here, but isn't yet fully here.Obviously where we've been going wrong through the centuries is with escapism, which is a gross misinterpretation of Scripture. When Scripture says that we should be ready to give an answer for the hope that's within us, it's not talking about giving an excuse for why we sit around on our hands looking dreamily into the sky - it's talking about being able to explain to people how we can act in such an amazing way despite believing something that cannot be attained in this mortal life. So I disagree when you say that we've done a good job at "re-explaining" it...Paul himself re-explained it! We've just done a good job of ignoring it.
i agree with escapism being the issue here...so my question if flawed...the issue here is that so many people follow Jesus simply for the eternal reward. They are scared they're going to hell, therefore they come to Jesus. The issue is Christianity is about the future life only in response to the present life.So, true my question was flawed, but I think there is a truth to it.
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