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By J. Richard Middleton

In recent times, an increasing number of Christians have come to understand the Bible's educating that the last word blessed desire for the believer isn't an otherworldly heaven; as a substitute, it really is full-bodied participation in a brand new heaven and a brand new earth introduced into fullness in the course of the coming of God's country. Drawing at the complete sweep of the biblical narrative, J. Richard Middleton unpacks key outdated testomony and New testomony texts to make a case for the hot earth because the applicable Christian desire. He indicates its moral and ecclesial implications, exploring the adaptation a holistic eschatology could make for residing in a damaged global.

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As a result of the initial transgression, humans are exiled from the garden and prevented access to the tree of life (3:23–24). €2). 34 It is crucial to recognize that humans do not, by their sin, cease being cultural creatures. €17) and the first examples of livestock herding, musical instruments, and metal tools (vv. €11). Human violence then escalates in Genesis€4 with the account of Lamech. €19)—that is, he initiates this particular form of violence against women—but also he engages in the first revenge killing (of a youth who injured him) and boasts about it to his two wives (vv.

Hunter-gatherers can develop only a rudimentary culture. In order to develop any form of complex social order, people must be able to settle down somewhere and have a dependable food supply. This makes sense of the garden of Eden as the original human environment in Genesis€2. God’s encouragement to the first humans to eat freely from the trees of the garden (Gen. 2:16) clearly indicates that the garden is meant to provide food for human needs. Paradoxically, however, the garden itself needs humans.

While it transcends the initial state of creation, it is actually the fulfillment of God’s creational intent (after the fracture of sin has been repaired). ╯This chapter draws on my previous work on creation theology, including the article “Image of God,” in Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics, ed. Joel Green et€al. €6). At various points in the present chapter the footnotes will indicate sections of The Liberating Image that interested readers might consult for more extensive discussion of the topic at hand.

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