A Brief History of Heaven by Alister E. McGrath

By Alister E. McGrath

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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Example text

In paradise, it was neither too hot nor too cold . . There was no sadness, nor any foolish joy, for true gladness flowed ceaselessly from the presence of God. Augustine’s depiction of paradise has important implications for his concept of heaven, in that the life to come involves the restoration of the conditions of this earthly paradise. The Millennium as Paradise One of the most interesting aspects of early Christian reflections concerning the afterlife is its interest in the idea of the millennium – the period of one thousand years which, according to the Book of Revelation, intervenes between the coming of Christ and the final judgment.

They are viewed as harbingers of final divine judgment, forcing individuals to evaluate their spiritual states and make appropriate adjustments. The vision of the New Jerusalem thus becomes a stimulus for personal repentance and renewal. To see the heavenly city is one thing; to be allowed to enter it is quite another. Further medieval speculation focused on the clothes worn by those fortunate enough to enter the celestial city. While some argued that the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem would be naked, most regarded this as undignified and vulgar.

She gently chides him; only those who have been made perfect can enter the New Jerusalem. At best, he can see it from a distance. ” The fair one said, “That God will forbid; you may not enter his stronghold, but I have permission from the Lamb as a special favour for a glimpse of it. ” There then follows a scene strongly reminiscent of one of the most dramatic moments in the Old Testament, in which Moses is permitted to catch a glimpse of the Promised Land over the River Jordan. He can never enter it, and will die and be buried outside its sacred bounds.

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A Brief History of Heaven by Alister E. McGrath
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