Updated: May 17, 2022
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Most of the ideas here are not my own, but simply a synthesis of what I have and am learning from the likes of N.T. Wright, Tim Mackie, Michael Bird, John Eldredge, the team at CFNI and C.S. Lewis to name but a few.
We have this tension in our home... which is to see towels being hung on towel rails! Yet, each day, they seem to migrate to the floor - no matter what we try :)
In life, there are similar tensions; desires, yearnings to see things set right. We see injustice in the world, and want to see justice done. We see moral conflict in ourselves, a struggle between wanting to do what is right, and actually doing it. We see it in our relationships - we find they are hard work. There is a genuine desire for peace and happiness, but often so much self focus prevails the expense of generosity, humility and kindness.
It's weird that we have this desire for better, the knowledge of what needs to be done, yet no matter how hard we try it proves difficult, impossible rather, to do.
One of the ways we can learn from the Kingdom theme in the Bible is answer to this tension.
There are basically views we can hold in life, when considering some of the tensions we wrestle with.
#1 THIS IS IT
Also known as this is YOU DO YOU. Or from time gone by: YOLO. Get used to this life, get what you can, because you already have all that there is. There is no solution to evil and there is no future beyond where we now are. The foundations of both atheism (there is no divine) and pantheism (the divine is in all). f there is a Divine, it is in everything: nature, animals, people, creation. Heaven and earth are two sides of one coin.
The towels will never make it to the towel rails.
#2 THIS IS NOT IT
Also known as SURVIVAL MODE. There is a better future, but it's somehow disconnected. We dream of it. One day we will get there. Until then, hold on, grin and bear it. God is out there somewhere in heaven, but he is removed. So while I believe in a higher power, I don't pray, nor go to church, nor read my Bible because this power doesn't seem interested in my.
I'm trying my best here, so that I will be on the right side, when I die. Deism. Gnosticism.
The towels will make it to the towel rails... in the next life.
#3 THIS IS, BUT ISN'T FULLY, IT, YET
Also known as A WORK IN PROGRESS. There is a sense of something of putting things right. Of us being put right. Heaven and earth overlap and interlock in a complex and confusing way. Judaism, Christianity and Islam would all hold something of this view.