The premise of this book is pretty clear in the first chapter – at least Wright’s view on heaven. His claim is that new creation a “new heaven and a new earth” have already come in Jesus of Nazareth. Essentially Wright’s claim is that heaven is not a place that we should be hoping to go to one day when we die, but a reality that can be fully realized today. While on a lot of levels this type of argument is enticing, I don’t think that it is completely Biblical.
There is definitely a literal place called Heaven described in the Bible. Just a few passages off the top of my head that come to mind are Isaiah 6, Revelation 4-5, and Paul’s description of the hope that we have in 2 Corinthians 5.
But my question is, does it have to be either or? If we affirm that heaven is a place that followers of Christ will one day go when they die, do we also have to say that hope in Jesus Christ cannot be fully realized now? I think we fall into a unfortunate place when we limit the Kingdom of God to a place “out there” somewhere, OR when we say that it is fully here right now.
I am excited to continue to dialogue with Wright on this subject. He is one of the most respected historical Jesus scholars today. He is absolutely brilliant and I appreciate his work a ton… all that said, I don’t expect that I will agree with him 100% on this subject.