Bishop: Heaven a Place on Earth

He says common Christian view of afterlife is a misconception
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2008 6:34 PM CST
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(Newser) – There is no heaven—or at least not the way most Christians think of it, according to Episcopal Bishop N.T. “Tom” Wright, who lashes out at the common angels-and-clouds view of the afterlife. “That’s a very damaging distortion,” the prominent theologian tells Time magazine. “Never at any point do the Gospels say Jesus has been raised, therefore we are all going to heaven.”

What the Bible actually promises is a physical resurrection coinciding with the second coming. Upon the return of Jesus, the dead "will 'awake', be embodied, and participate in the renewal," says Wright. He thinks that’s much more exciting than the “traditional” view, which owes more to Dante than the Bible, and “gives the impression that God has these rather arbitrary rules and if you disobey them you go to hell, rather than heaven.”