He made a way for us to come home
I have begun to get a lot of requests for ‘additional reading’ in relation to our sermon series. Our small groups have been invigorating and the conversations after Sunday worship have been encouraging. We are attempting to tie up some of the loose ends that got introduced in our series on Creation and Fall in the autumn. We have seen what becomes of marriage, of temptation, of evil, and God’s desire to be with us in the garden.
Our belief about how the story ends and what’s next controls how we live now. Our belief about the future controls how we live in the present. So we need to have a robust understanding of what comes next so that we can be the kind of people we want to be now.
This idea is not original to me and the most insightful things you hear in my sermons are usually crafted by someone else. If you are looking for some additional reading about ‘what’s next’, here are my favs:
Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright Part 2 in this book is called ‘God’s Future Plan’ and it unpacks all the things we are wondering about with Jesus, new creation, new bodies, purgatory, judgment, hell, and heaven. Part 1 and 3 are also very good, but if you are looking for a scintillating 100 pages, part 2 is a home run.
Heaven by Randy Alcorn. This book is even longer than N.T. Wright’s, but it’s not longer with fluff, it’s longer with meat. It goes into more detail (what happens to pets?) and more depth on these questions. I loved his stuff on what happens to the first heaven and earth. It was really helpful for my ‘No More’ sermon. Alcorn brings together the theologians who have been most influential in my understanding of amilleniallism (the already and the not yet) and applies there rigorous thinking to these pertinent questions.
Reversed Thunder by Eugene Peterson. Here is the pastor I most want to be, but most frequently fall short of his vision. Peterson prays through the entire book of Revelation and lets it shape how he talks to God. Then he writes it down as a gift to you, me, and the church. This is a book that I mull over and journal about and allow to lead me into worship.
Hope these resources help. I love that Restoration is a church of life-long learners who want to go deeper. May these resources be a gift to you as we finish up this series over the next couple of weeks.