Monday, May 23, 2011

Not so Wright on Hawking

Yes, writing on N.T. Wright again.  About N.T. 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 Hawking recently vacated for quite a different Black Hole- much to the scientific communities outrage.
And now Hawking 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 N.T. calls Hawking 'less intelligent than the average Christian' .  As well as "very low-grade" and "sub-biblical" here

Yup, all that for Hawking 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 that the "fully Christian two-stage view" is 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 meaningful difference it seems.

Yet, rather than clarifying- the venerable Bishop appears to have obscured and misrepresented Heaven.  N.T. has endorsed a minimized Heaven for Christians. Endorsed a compartmentalized eternity.  Again, endorsed a brief spiritual Heaven with Jesus and then a much less brief  physical haven without Jesus.  A haven that I could do without.  

I have other issues with Wright than 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 of Christianity.

First, lets deal with N.T.'s interpretation on the first few verses of John 14.  Verses where Jesus is promising his disciples a 'dwelling place in His Fathers House".  Sure, as N.T. insists- there may be some compartmentalization there.  But isn't  it with mere curtains?   Curtains that have been rent in two (Matt. 27:51)?  Hardly as compartmentalized as Moses's cleft in a rock (Exodus 33:22).

And I would hardly think Jesus would be promising such a temporary tent to his distressed disciples.  That Jesus would be making such a lukewarm promise to His troubled disciples.  After all, isn't our current a body a temporary tent?

So, N.T. has that interpretation... but what does the very scholarly and conservative NET Bible say on those verses?

4 sn 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- NET Bible

Yup, "Most interpreters" and "permanent residences".  So most interpreters (and Christians) actually believe in a permanent heaven.  So, it seems Hawking is actually right on this one... historically and grammatically.

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 ;)