Bishop abolishes heaven and the soul
I’m sorry if I’m banging on too much about Tom Wright at the moment – but I thought it worth drawing attention to an article in The Times today: Durham’s new Bishop abolishes Heaven and the soul. The bishopric of Durham has a longstanding association with theological controversy (most notoriously David Jenkins) but it makes a change for someone described as ‘the country’s leading evangelical theologian’ to put the cat among the traditionalist pigeons.
The article relates to a new book, due for publication in November, called For All the Saints, in which Wright argues that traditional Christianity has seriously misinterpreted New Testament teaching about what comes after death. He insists that we do not have an immortal soul and that there is no heaven, in the traditional sense, for the soul to go to when we die even if we had one. These are medieval developments with their roots in Platonism. ‘Immortality is a gift of God in Christ, not an innate human capacity.’ What Christians look forward to instead is bodily resurrection within God’s new creation after a period of ‘rest with Christ’.
So what do you think? Does emerging church believe in heaven?