Still scratching your head over how something called “liberation theology” can make Chicago’s Rev. Jeremiah Wright act the way he does? Still waiting for your “taken up” neighbors to go flying through the air? Was The Golden Compass strangely unsatisfying with its emphasis on a theology not seen since the Medieval thinking of Dante?
Despair no longer. A new Wright is on the scene. Bishop N.T. Wright, the author of a new book called Surprised by Hope says he doesn’t believe in heaven, at least the kind of heaven where everyone sits around on a cloud strumming a harp. The idea of heaven and hell may have become popular through the paintings of Michaelangelo or the writings of Dante or Milton, but it’s just not biblical. According to an interview with Wright in Time, “It says that Christ is coming here, to join together the heavens and the Earth in an act of new creation.”
Wright: Never at any point do the Gospels or Paul say Jesus has been raised, therefore we are we are all going to heaven. They all say, Jesus is raised, therefore the new creation has begun, and we have a job to do.
TIME: That sounds a lot like… work.
Wright: It’s more exciting than hanging around listening to nice music.
This theology has another advantage. Unlike some other theologies, this one is based on the teachings of Jesus.