We continue our four-week worship series this Sunday called The Difference Heaven Makes with emphasis on the theology of heaven.
Our worship series is rooted in the biblical texts below and the work of two important theologians: Christopher Morse (The Difference Heaven Makes) and Jurgen Moltmann (Sun of Righteousness, ARISE! and In the End-The Beginning)
Outline of Series
September 8: Hearing of Heaven Today (Isaiah 60.1-9)
September 15: The Theology of Heaven (I Corinthians 7.29-31)
September 22: The Reality of Heaven (Luke 24.1-8)
September 29: The Ethics and Hope of Heaven (Romans 15.13)
What questions or fears or wonderings do you have about heaven?
Send your responses to Matt at matt @thetableumc.org so that he might reflect on them as he creates our message this week.
The following is from an interview of Dr. Christopher Morse by Dr Trevor Eppehimer (from http://www.salisburypost.com/Opinion/010911-insight-heaven-pic-qcd).
Eppehimer: I have heard some say that it is no longer credible to talk about heaven’s coming to us, despite what the Lord’s Prayer says. According to their argument, the expectation that Christ would soon return to establish the kingdom of heaven on earth was a first century Christian hope that can no longer be sustained by modern Christians. Two thousand years have passed since then and because Christ has not returned and the kingdom of heaven has not been established definitively, the first Christians were obviously mistaken in their expectations, or so this argument goes. What do you make of this argument?
Morse: I find that this conventional argument at first glance appears to make sense, but only superficially. When we look further at what it assumes, namely that the so-called modern mind with its time frames is closer to the real world than is the mind of the first hearers of the Gospel who testified that the day and hour of heaven’s coming is not given to us to know, it becomes far less persuasive. As I observe in the book, it is one thing to ask what is no longer believable or trustworthy in the Gospel talk of heaven, given our modern frame of reference, but quite another to ask what is no longer believable or trustworthy in our modern frame of reference, given our hearing of heaven in the Gospel. Both questions today call for our faithful consideration.