Bringing Heaven Down To Earth

blog for the book by Nathan Bierma • > Heaven > Blog

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Real World

I have some doctrinal differences with the Rev. David Feddes, but I noted an echo of N.T. Wright's fascinating "imperial parody" idea I talk about on page 170, in this bulletin announcement:

THE REAL WORLD: Have you ever noticed that when we talk about "the real world," we usually mean something bad? The so-called "real world" is where bad things happen and bad people succeed. But what if the real world is where good wins out and happiness reigns? Don't miss the April 16th Easter Back to God Hour. Check out our new website at for local stations and times.

Presumably this refers to a re-airing of Feddes' 2002 sermon on "The New City":

I know what some of you are thinking at this point. You're thinking, what about the real world? What's the use of talking about a future fantasy, when right now we're surrounded by greed, filth, and violence, by gangs and drugs and pollution? Well, friend, what we've been talking about is the real world.

Granted, our cities have many problems (at least for the moment) and we need to deal with them somehow. But let me just ask: Who's in touch with the real world? Is it people who are so bogged down in broken families and addiction and violence, in sin and selfishness, that they can't even imagine anything better? Or is it those who are in touch with the one reality that lasts forever? I totally agree that we need to be in touch with the real world, but the ultimate reality is the eternal city of God.

When we're in touch with this reality, when we really believe in the city of the future, we can also change the future of the city. We can begin to make our cities better right now, starting with ourselves. Instead of caving in to despair, we can have new hope and new energy, knowing that the future is bright. The more of us who start living right now as citizens of heaven, the better our neighborhoods will be.

The most realistic thing you and I can do, both for now and for our ultimate future, is to recognize the living God as Lord of the universe, to trust his Son Jesus as the way, the truth, and to look eagerly to the city of the future. This glorious realism has moved God's people ever since Abraham. In Hebrews 11 the Bible says Abraham "was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God" (Hebrews 11:10). That’s what we need to do as well: look forward to the city with foundations, the city that lasts forever, the ultimate reality.


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