“Heaven” Without Christ

godgospel.jpgThe Exponential2:2 ADVANCE guys at New Hope Church are reading God Is the Gospel at the moment.  I found this quote enormously challenging for me as a pastor:

“The critical question for our generation—and for every generation—is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there? And the question for Christian leaders is: Do we preach and teach and lead in such a way that people are prepared to hear that question and answer with a resounding No?” (15)

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9 thoughts on ““Heaven” Without Christ”

  1. A place with Christ is called “hell”.

    I don’t care what is there. My end goal is Christ, not his gifts.

    To think that my end is filled with stuff here on earth without the bad stuff is all worthless without my God being there makes me sick to my stomach.

  2. This question is a very good one. The challenge for us all (especially we younger folk) will be that this question will not be theoretical in about 20 years. I can’t recommend enough – a book entitled “The Singularity is Near”. Don’t bother checking it out at the library, they have many copies, all of which will be checked-out until Christ returns. Basically I consider it to be the second most important book ever written, second to the bible. It’s not even a theological book, but it has massive theological implications. It is a game changer.

  3. From the synopsis of that Singularity book on Amazon: “Humankind, it runs, is at the threshold of an epoch (“the singularity,” a reference to the theoretical limitlessness of exponential expansion) that will see the merging of our biology with the staggering achievements of “GNR” (genetics, nanotechnology and robotics) to create a species of unrecognizably high intelligence, durability, comprehension, memory and so on. The word “unrecognizable” is not chosen lightly: wherever this is heading, it won’t look like us. Kurzweil’s argument is necessarily twofold: it’s not enough to argue that there are virtually no constraints on our capacity; he must also convince readers that such developments are desirable. In essence, he conflates the wholesale transformation of the species with “immortality,” for which read a repeal of human limit.”

    Based on that, I can safely say that that book is one of the most anti-God and anti-Christian books around. It’s the Tower of Babel all over again.

  4. To be fair I did say that the book has “massive theological implications”. I didn’t say that it was necessarily pro-God. In saying that it is important, I recognize that the book, while predictive in nature, it does present a sound scientific case for its predictions. If even half of the predictions are valid (and most Fortune 100 companies seem to think they are), then a dramatic sea change of what it means to be human is coming very soon. What this means for religion will likely be equally revolutionary.

    On the outset the predictions look like they were made by a crackpot. But consider this – earlier this year Google and NASA both heavily sponsored the founding of Singularity University, in an attempt to deal with this revolution preemptively. Most debates inside of academia regarding the Singularity have not been about whether it will happen, but over how it will look once it does. Previous accurate predictions by the author include the internet itself and the fall of the USSR.

    It should also be noted that there appears to be typological parallels between the Singularity and Christianity. The Singularity itself closely matching the Christian rapture. The author, Ray Kurzweil, closely matching the apostle Paul, and so on. So far this last year three documentaries have been made about the Singularity (playing in select theaters), and one more is in production.

    One should read it not for inspiration, but to better see what lies ahead. “Without vision the people perish”

  5. I think they said this about Y2K:

    “If even half of the predictions are valid (and most Fortune 100 companies seem to think they are), then a dramatic sea change of what it means to be human is coming very soon.”

  6. It should also be noted that the book “The Phenomenon of Man” by Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, published in 1955, laid the philosophical groundwork for many of the concepts in the book “The Singularity is Near”. Here is a quote from the New York Times on the cover of The Phenomenon of Man, “A profound book…A great work by a great man – one of the most spiritually erudite of our time.”

  7. The attention starved media went hyperbole on Y2K. Academia thought it a curious thing. Business analysts largely had determined that Y2K problems would be minor. The only thing that surprised the experts about Y2K was that there weren’t even a small handful of outages. They figured there would one or two. For proof of this, one can see that the stock market actually went up in the months leading up to Y2K. It only started to drop after the first week of January 2000.

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