New PDF release: A Brief History of Heaven

By Alister E. McGrath

ISBN-10: 0631233539

ISBN-13: 9780631233534

Эта книга одного из самых известных современных христианских авторов исследует историю небес, от их происхождения в библейских письменах к самым новым представлениям о них.

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We see here the great themes of unity of heart and soul, common property, and renunciation of the world that were valued and put into practice within the monastic communities. The monastic life was thus seen as a quest for Christian authenticity, marking a recovery of a more biblical way of life in an increasingly corrupt and unstable culture. Yet leaving behind the delights of the world in order to enter the regimented and disciplined life of the monastery was no easy matter. Works such as Thomas à Kempis’s Imitation of Christ, written during the fifteenth century, encouraged their readers to develop a “contempt” for the world, cultivating the view that the world was a fallen and sinful sphere of existence, which had to be repudiated if salvation was to be achieved.

The talk they had with the Shining Ones was about the glory of the place; who told them that the beauty and glory of it was inexpressible. There, said they, is the “Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the innumerable company of angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect” (Hebrews 12:22–24). You are going now, said they, to the paradise of God, wherein you shall see the tree of life, and eat of the never-fading fruits thereof; and when you come there, you shall have white robes given you, and your walk and talk shall be every day with the King, even all the days of The City: The New Jerusalem 31 eternity (Revelation 2:7; 3:4; 22:5).

Photo SCALA 48 The Garden: Heaven as Paradise points up the congruity between Adam and Christ. Our innocence was lost by the disobedience of Adam, and restored through the obedience of Christ. Human innocence was lost in one garden (Eden), yet regained in another (Gethsemane). In Eden, the tree of life became a tree of death; in Gethsemane, a tree of death (the cross) became a tree of life. And so on. For Irenaeus, the history of human salvation is shaped by the events of Eden, just as our final place of restoration will bring to perfection the conditions of that paradise.

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A Brief History of Heaven by Alister E. McGrath


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