Wednesday, November 16, 2016

John Murray on the Future Resurrection vs the "disembodied state"

It seems it took a controversialist like N T Wright to get evangelicals thinking more about Christ's return and the future new heavens and new earth, rather than just "dying and going to heaven". Great to read this recently by John Murray, I think first published in 1970:
It is well to take account of the concreteness of this hope. Too frequently the expectation that the Christian entertains is defective in this respect. It is the bliss of what he calls “heaven” and may not partake of the definiteness that characterizes the biblical representation. Or his hope may be framed in terms of bliss that awaits the believer when he departs this life and goes to be with Christ in heaven…But if it is the bliss of the disembodied state that is the focal in the hope of a believer, then the perspective of hope has been gravely diverted from the biblical witness. There are two respects, particularly, in which this is true. First, preoccupation with the disembodied state fails to have prime concern for the honour and glory of Christ… Second, the fault mentioned fails to accord to the resurrection the place it occupies in the salvation of the just.
(Found it in the article, "The Advent of Christ" in Collected Writings of John Murray, Volume 1, pp87f. Reprinted from The English Churchman, August 1970.)

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