In an interesting interview with N.T. “Tom” Wright, TIME claims Bishop Wright is teaching new and revolutionary thought that throws traditional views about heaven out the window.
Want to read the article? Go here.
Truth is, however, that the Bishop isn’t saying anything new that many evangelical churches haven’t been teaching for years. To his credit, Bishop Wright actually looks at what the Bible is really saying. And amazingly, the Bible does not say we spend forever in heaven, playing harps on a cloud.
It’s good reading, but one caveat… the idea of heaven he gives does not contradict the Left Behind series. The Left Behind series supports the idea of a rapture, but not just a rapture of souls, but a transformation of bodies, the actual final resurrection for those who have believed in Jesus in the past and present. The question in regard to the Left Behind series is: Does God really resurrect his people before the end? Or at the end? (I’m not going to answer that one at the moment though)
Regardless, the Bishop is correct when he says the Bible speaks of us having literal bodies. The Bible describes living on a new earth, where there is also a new heaven and where God and humanity exist in an eternal state like Adam and Eve and God existed in the Garden of Eden. It’s not clouds, it’s a whole new world. It’s not disembodied spirits, but glorified and real bodies on a planet that has literally become perfect and eternal. A place where heaven has come down to us and the two exist together.
Check it out for yourself in Revelation 21.