Download e-book for kindle: A Brief History of Heaven by Alister E. McGrath

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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Hosea, writing in the eighth century before Christ, looks forward to a future transformation of the human situation, in which human enmity against other humans is ended, along with a restoration of the integrity of the original created order: “I will make for you a covenant on that day with the wild animals, the birds of the air, and the creeping things of the ground; and I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land” (Hosea 2:18). A related theme can be seen in the writings of Joel, in which a series of paradisiacal 44 The Garden: Heaven as Paradise images are fused with themes taken from the entry of Israel into the promised land.

But there is a serpent by the wayside watching those who pass by. Be alert, in case he stings you with unbelief. He sees so many receiving salvation, and “seeks those who he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). You are drawing near to the Father of Spirits, but you must first go past that serpent. So how may you get past him? Have “your feet shod with the 50 The Garden: Heaven as Paradise gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15) so that even if the serpent should sting, he may not hurt you. Have an abiding faith within you, a steadfast hope, a strong sandal, that you may pass by the enemy, and enter into the presence of your Lord.

Bunyan’s account of the New Jerusalem shows some significant parallels with that of Pearl, not least in the fusion of the imagery of the entry into the Promised Land with that of the New Jerusalem. A river separates us from the heavenly city, just as the River Jordan was placed between Israel and its promised land. It is only by crossing this river that access to the city can be gained. In the closing pages of his narrative, Bunyan tells of how Mr. Steadfast prepared to cross the river from this life to the next, trusting that the trumpets would sound for him on the other side: This river has been a terror to many; yea, the thoughts of it also have often frightened me.

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A Brief History of Heaven by Alister E. McGrath

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