Monday, July 31, 2006

As it is in Heaven - Jonathan Edwards

Marvin Olasky of World did an inteview with Stephen J. Nichols (Lancaster Bible College and Graduate School) on the person and teaching of Jonathan Edwards. It's quite interesting.

Olasky asks "You write that the apostle Paul's statement to the Philippians that 'Our citizenship is in heaven' should be contextualized by the understanding of Roman citizenship common at the time. You note that it didn't mean a Roman citizen in Philippi should hasten to Rome, but that he should bring the glory of Rome to Philippi..."

Nichols answers: "Some take this text to mean that we should have very little to do with this world, with life on earth. Heaven is our home, this interpretation argues, and that is where our allegiances lie. Recently, however, some New Testament scholars have made a compelling case for thinking about this text differently. Citizens of Rome who lived in Philippi were not to pine away for Rome. Instead, they were to bring Rome to Philippi. We shouldn't pine away for heaven. Instead, as citizens of heaven living on earth we should bring heaven here, even if it is only in miniature. Remarkably, Edwards was preaching such an insight to his Northampton congregation three centuries ago."

We certainly should live in such a way to bring Heaven, as well as the Kingdom of God, to earth - even if it isn't a perfect representation, which it won't be until, well, Heaven. Isn't that what we mean when we pray "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven"? I think so.


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