What does "heaven" mean? What does "going to heaven when you die" mean? We take a look at the Gospel, Gospels, heaven and the Kingdom of Heaven.
Is heaven a place that you go when you die? Or is the Kingdom of Heaven here? We talk about how Jesus, in the Gospels talks about His message of the Kingdom, and how His coming completes God's plan for new creation.
Both tell stories of spiritual development and how our perspective started to change when we began to study the bible in college and read through the whole thing. There was a time when Susette began to be allow herself, through invitation from pastors and professors to ask questions and change her thinking.
N.T. Wright quote: "Heaven is important, but it's not the end of the world."
The Gospel: an invitation to participate with God the King in new creation that was introduced when Jesus came, loved, taught, died, and rose from the dead, conquering death, and ascended to the Father.
Our RESPONSE to the Gospel is often viewed as the Good News itself. It's not "you accept Jesus into your heart and he forgives your sins" (which is true) but not the central message
Jesus is the King. Our response to this good news is:
Confessing: Confess our sins, recognize what we've done.
Repenting: We turn from what we worshiped before.
Believing: We believe He's the King, and new creation is here.
Following: We follow Him and engage in relationship for our life.
Cognitive theory: Piaget
Assimilation and Accommodation
Jean Piaget (1952; see also Wadsworth, 2004) viewed intellectual growth as a process of adaptation (adjustment) to the world. This happens through:
– Which is using an existing schema to deal with a new object or situation.
– This happens when the existing schema (knowledge) does not work, and needs to be changed to deal with a new object or situation.
– This is the force which moves development along. Piaget believed that cognitive development did not progress at a steady rate, but rather in leaps and bounds.
Equilibrium occurs when a child's schemas can deal with most new information through assimilation. However, an unpleasant state of disequilibrium occurs when new information cannot be fitted into existing schemas (assimilation).
Equilibration is the force which drives the learning process as we do not like to be frustrated and will seek to restore balance by mastering the new challenge (accommodation). Once the new information is acquired the process of assimilation with the new schema will continue until the next time we need to make an adjustment to it.
Jean Piaget's concept of adaptation
Example of Assimilation
A 2-year-old child sees a man who is bald on top of his head and has long frizzy hair on the sides. To his father’s horror, the toddler shouts “Clown, clown” (Siegler et al., 2003).
Example of Accommodation
In the “clown” incident, the boy’s father explained to his son that the man was not a clown and that even though his hair was like a clown’s, he wasn’t wearing a funny costume and wasn’t doing silly things to make people laugh.
With this new knowledge, the boy was able to change his schema of “clown” and make this idea fit better to a standard concept of “clown”.
New information includes disorientation, because it shakes up what we've always thought was truth.
Quote from Frank Viola, "Pagan Christianity"
“As stated previously, the sinner’s prayer eventually replaced the biblical role of water baptism. Though it is touted as gospel today, this prayer developed only recently. D. L. Moody was the first to employ it.
Moody used this “model” of prayer when training his evangelistic coworkers.
But it did not reach popular usage until the 1950s with Billy Graham’s Peace with God tract and later with Campus Crusade for Christ’s Four Spiritual Laws. There is nothing particularly wrong with it. Certainly, God will respond to the heartfelt prayers of any individual who reaches out to Him in faith. However, it should not replace water baptism as the outward instrument for conversion-initiation.
The phrase personal Savior is yet another recent innovation that grew out of the ethos of nineteenth-century American revivalism. It originated in the mid-1800s to be exact. But it grew to popular parlance by Charles Fuller (1887–1968). Fuller literally used the phrase thousands of times in his incredibly popular Old Fashioned Revival Hour radio program that aired from 1937 to 1968. His program reached from North America to every spot on the globe. At the time of his death, it was heard on more than 650 radio stations around the world.”
Recommendations to Learn More:
Dr. Matt Hague from Azusa Pacific University
Scot McKnight: "The King Jesus Gospel"
N.T. Wright: "Surprised by Hope" and "The Day the Revolution Began."