Yes, N.T. Wright again. Beating up on a mental midget.
Beating up on Hawking. A man who 'should know better than to wander from his Black Hole'.
A Black Hole that he recently vacated for a different Black Hole. Much to the scientific communities outrage.
And now he is trying to outrage the religious community as well.. By now claiming that there is no Light Hole either. Indeed, no Heaven for Christians. Despite the 'Christian wish' for Heaven.
Well, good ol' N.T. took him to task on that... sort of.
And calls Hawking 'less intelligent than the average Christian' . As well as, "very low-grade" and "sub-biblical" here. Yup, all that for his claiming that 'most Christians believe that they will go to heaven when they die'.
While N.T. claims that in fact, 'most Christians don't believe ("think") they will go to heaven when they die'.
N.T. then goes on to explain the "fully Christian two-stage view" that Christians will 'first be with Christ in heaven, and then be granted a resurrected body on a renewed earth'. 'An earth that overlaps and interlocks with heaven'. Now how duplicitous is that? A Wright distinction without a difference.
Rather than clarifying- the venerable Bishop has obscured. And endorsed a minimized heaven for Christians. A compartmentalized eternity. Again, endorsed a brief spiritual heaven with Jesus. Then a less brief physical haven without. A haven that I could do without.
Many other issues with Wright in his Post article. Yet, let's just concentrate on his "two-stage view" in this post. The view that Wright says is the "fully Christian view". A view that I say is At The Brink.
First, lets deal with the first few verses of John 14. Where Jesus is promising his disciples a 'dwelling place in His Fathers House". Sure there may be some compartmentalization there. But isn't it with mere curtains? Curtains that have been rent in two (Matt. 27:51)? Hardly like a cleft in a rock (Exodus 33:22).
And I would hardly think Jesus would be promising a temporary tent. Or making a lukewarm promise to His troubled disciples.
Now what does the NET Bible say on this one? 4sn Most interpreters have understood the reference to my Father’s house as a reference to heaven, and the dwelling places (μονή, monh) as the permanent residences of believers there. This seems consistent with the vocabulary and the context,
Yup, "Most interpreters" and "permanent residences".
So it seems Hawking is right on this one.
However, Wright may truly be right in his interpretation. Because the NET also gives reasons why "most interpreters" may in fact be wrong. Obscure, equivocating, anachronistic reasons. Reasons which would have given cold comfort to His troubled disciples. Check them out!
But y'know, all this talk of heaven reminds me of an old Negro Spiritual-
"Ev'rybody talkin' 'bout Heav'n ain't going there-
Oh my Lord!"
Well... still hoping to see you there, holey Hawking.
You too, not so Wright ;)