Metallic Pea

Frustrating People Since 1971.

That Troublesome Priest (Reprise)

with 13 comments

‘Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?’  ~ Matthew 6:25  


According to N. T. Wright (or is it N. T. ‘Wrong’?) Christians don’t go to heaven 


 A high-school dropout at 16, Shaun taught himself painting, drawing, stone carving and several other techniques. Then, with the enthusiastic support of his family, he became an art criminal.’


I’ve posted previously about my relatively new-found respect for Kirk Cameron.  At the apex of his television career he was converted to Christianity, immediately placing him outside the Hollywood mainstream.  Still, he stood firm in the faith in the face of terrible odds. 

Alas, as he is the first to admit, he did not handle his conversion in the best manner.  As many new Christians do, he alienated many who were close to him–and it nearly cost him his career.  He has since apologised for his immaturity in the faith to his ‘Growing Pains’ castmates and, to their credit, they were eager to forgive and forget–except for one troubled young lady who played his fiancee on the show.  She still holds a grudge:

‘[Kirk] thinks if I read science books that I’m going to hell. [I would] rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints … the sinners are much more fun. And a lot more interesting than some book-burner who is still having growing pains. I am at peace with God. Kirk thinks people like me are going to Hell, if I do then at least I’ll go well informed and well read.’



Don’t let the first lines of this post scare you off–bear with it:

 In the end, the most compelling case for getting rid of child-labor laws comes down to one central issue: the freedom to make a choice. Those who think young teens should do nothing but languish in classrooms in the day and play Wii at night will be no worse off. But those who see that remunerative work is great experience for everyone will cheer to see this antique regulation toppled. Maybe then the kids of America can put their computer skills to use doing more than playing World of Warcraft.’


Even a blind squirrel (in this case Rush Limbaugh) finds a nut now and then:

‘I think there’s starting to be in the Republican Party sort of an equivalence between blacks in the Democrat Party and evangelicals in the Republican Party in this sense.  Now, we’ve looked at blacks for 50 years.  They keep voting for Democrats. The Democrats do nothing but destroy their families. They do nothing to increase their economic circumstances. They do nothing to redress the grievances and yet the blacks keep voting for them on the basis of the promise and the notion that Republicans are racists, sexists, bigots, homophobes, and are going to really make ’em be bad, so they keep hanging with Democrats, and nothing changes.  

Evangelicals, since 1973, have stuck with Republicans, basically on the promise, “We’re going to do something about abortion. We’re going to fix the cultural rot that’s going on in this country. We’re going to make sure there isn’t any gay marriage. We’re going to stop this overall lurch to depravity that’s occurring in our culture,” and the Republican candidates have all said, “I’m your man, we’re going to do that,” and they make the right speeches, but nothing’s really changing on it.’


 Despite its reputation as one of the most vicious and lethal institutions in human history, the Spanish Inquisition was one of the most humane and decent of its time, and one could even argue the most reasonable, considering the circumstances.’


This is just a heart-wrenching story no matter how you slice it.


I’ll say it again—the Republican nomination is NOT decided by any means!! ‘Let’s remember that even now, no delegates have been chosen to attend the GOP’s national convention. If I’m not mistaken, the only delegates chosen so far are those elected at West Virginia’s state convention on Super Tuesday. And three of those, by a brokered deal, have been committed to Dr. Paul.’


When people hold a low view of the glory of God—as well as a blatant disregard for the Second Commandment—can we expect anything less than this?


‘[Ron Paul] is a potent force because his ideas have deep appeal. He has, in fact, in these later stages of the primary campaign, been the only candidate of ideas. While not very presentable by modern campaigner standards, lacking as he does the cheery wit of a Huckabee, the content-free eloquence of an Obama, and the steely unprincipled ruthlessness of a Clinton or McCain, Paul has had no real competition as a promoter of ideas.’


Once I have chosen what I will do, those whispers should be treated as the sunk costs that they are. Whenever I have chosen the “wrong” option, I have already borne the cost. Fretting about it further is to compound the loss because of a failure of logic.’


This 1980’s Moment is brought to you by Paul Young:


13 Responses

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  1. Matt, if you haven’t already, you ought to take a look at the entire interview of N.T. Wright at,8599,1710844,00.html

    In particular, when he says that we go into an intermediate state, rather than heaven, he further explains that he means that our bodies are in an intermediate state until the resurrection. When Christians die, he says, “we know that we will be with God and with Christ.” In the paragraph just after the one you quoted, he says that “compared to being bodily alive, it will be like being asleep.”

    Considering the whole article, Wright seems to come out sounding very orthodox, even more biblical than most Christians’ understanding of eternity, particularly in regard to heaven and the new earth.


    February 12, 2008 at 10:28 pm

  2. My reading of the article led me to a different conclusion. He writes that, ‘Never at any point do the Gospels or Paul say Jesus has been raised, therefore we are we are all going to heaven…I’ve often heard people say, “I’m going to heaven soon, and I won’t need this stupid body there, thank goodness.” That’s a very damaging distortion, all the more so for being unintentional.”

    He also writes of an ‘intermediary state’ which is clearly unbiblical. Though our bodies lay in the clay until the Coming of the Lord, when they will be reunited to our spirits, there is no ‘intermediary state’ as Wright describes it.

    Maybe I am misunderstanding his point but, as I read his statements, they don’t seem very orthodox.


    February 13, 2008 at 6:41 am

  3. I’m no defender of N. T. Wright in general, but I think his stuff on heaven and the new heavens and the new earth at least points us in the right direction. Whether or not you agree with the his provocative manner of speaking, we should at least agree that Evangelical and even Reformed Christians have been a little sloppy with the way we have spoken about the afterlife. And I think some of this sloppiness has lead to a misunderstanding of these truths.


    February 13, 2008 at 7:53 am

  4. According to the devines we don’t go to heaven either, but “the highest heavens.” Here is the WLC on the issue.

    Q. 86. What is the communion in glory with Christ, which the members of the invisible church enjoy immediately after death?

    A. The communion in glory with Christ, which the members of the invisible church enjoy immediately after death is, in that their souls are then made perfect in holiness, and received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies, which even in death continue united to Christ, and rest in their graves as in their beds, till at the last day they be again united to their souls. Whereas the souls of the wicked are at their death cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, and their bodies kept in their graves, as in their prisons, till the resurrection and judgment of the great day.


    February 13, 2008 at 8:02 am

  5. not sure I would quite refer to Rush as a blind squirrel. 😉

    I’m with Kyle on the heaven thing. There are some many issues I have assumed a position on because I grew up in the church, that now I question their basis.


    February 13, 2008 at 8:22 am

  6. The Westminster Shorter Catechism is perhaps a bit clearer on the point:

    Q:37 — What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?

    A: The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory; and their bodies, being still united to Christ, do rest in their graves till the resurrection.

    When a person dies, his soul either ascends to heaven (I think the ‘highest heavens’ in the LC is one in the same–after all, God is there) or descends to hell, where they await the Judgement Day in which they will be reunited with their bodies for eternal praise of God or torturous punishment, respectively.

    I may have misinterpreted Wright’s thesis–and I think Kyle is correct in pointing out the modern treatment of the afterlife by the Church. However, if Wright is advocating an intermediary state which is not heaven until the Judgement, I then stand opposed.


    February 13, 2008 at 9:24 am

  7. After thinking about this, the thing Wright says that I find helpful concerns the goal of redemption. Dying and going to heaven is wonderful, but it is not the whole point of Christianity. What I believe Wright wants us to see is the idea of an eternal, bodiless existence is not what Christ came and died for. That is an idea that fits better with some kind of gnosticism than true Christianity. Rather, God’s plan for the world has cosmic redemption as its end. We may not want to speak of heaven as an intermediate state, but we can properly say that heaven is not the final destination for Christians. Christ, the firstborn from among the dead, himself waits in heaven to return to earth, to bring judgment, but also to bring about the new heavens and new earth. Then we will have new resurrection bodies and dwell in the New Jerusalem.

    I will grant that when we speak of heaven, we often do mean the new creation, but I think we would do well to be more specific.

    I haven’t read it, but Scott Oliphint (an apologetics professor I had at WTS Philly) and Sinclair Ferguson (a pastor and former WTS prof) have written a book on heaven called, “Hope of Heaven.” It may go by a new title now, but I would think they would be more reliable guides than either N.T. Wright or me.


    February 13, 2008 at 3:34 pm

  8. I must admit that this comment thread has me a bit confused. My understanding of Scripture is that the Elect enter immediately into heaven upon death, to be joined by their glorified bodies on the Day of Judgement. (The reprobate, in contrast, head in the opposite ‘direction’.) There is no intermediary state/ place.

    Revelation speaks of us singing praises to God in heaven for all eternity. Kyle, your comments lead me to understand that you believe we never go to heaven?

    Do we all agree:

    1) Annihilationism is wrong
    2) State of Slumber/ Sleep is wrong

    If so, what am I missing?


    February 13, 2008 at 4:41 pm

  9. so I am stating my reading on this. I don’t believe in Annihilation, but i am not so sure on slumber. Interestingly. uses N.T. Wright as their summation/into to the Heaven topic.–Rewards/


    February 14, 2008 at 11:43 am

  10. In my studies, I am moving toward the view that the heaven to which believers go when they die now is NOT the same place that we will be resurrected to after Jesus returns. Now, we believe Jesus is in heaven, at the right hand of the Father. We know that those who die in Christ immediately go to be with Him. However, in the end, heaven (the New Jerusalem) comes DOWN to earth, and God dwells among men (with their resurrected bodies), just as he dwelt among us in Eden.

    So, with this belief, I do, in a way, see the present heaven as an intermediate place for those in Christ, not our final place.


    February 14, 2008 at 1:58 pm

  11. But isn’t the picture of Heaven as seen in the Book of Revelation that of God’s people gathered around the throne of God in worship?

    This topic demands further study and discussion by us after lunch on Sunday.


    February 14, 2008 at 2:19 pm

  12. but which heaven is that, pre or post Christ’s return?

    I would come badger you but I have a college kids lunch with the Gallaghers on Sunday. Monday night softball would be a good place!


    February 14, 2008 at 2:22 pm

  13. The one I refer to in Revelation is the Heaven of eternity–where we will spend that ‘time’ in glorifying God (and enjoying Him forever!).


    February 14, 2008 at 2:42 pm

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