Sunday, July 7, 2013

Quote from "Heaven: The Logic of Eternal Joy" by Jerry Walls

Here is a quote from Jerry Walls' book Heaven: The Logic of Total Transformation.  (2002, Oxford University Press)

…[T]he notion of heaven and its attendant doctrine of divine judgment represents the ultimate account of a human telos imaginable. The final aim of life is to share the life and fellowship of the Trinity. This requires a thorough moral and spiritual transformation that embraces all that we are. Thus, the hope of heaven entails lifelong accountability. Nothing is outside the pale of God’s transforming grace. Our life as a whole must be reordered. Our past actions, including those that were wrong and self-centered, must be reevaluated in light of God’s will and purpose for our lives, and much must be repented of. The future direction of our lives must be ordered by God’s will as well. We are no longer our own, and all of our plans and aspirations must be sifted and weighed by our aim of being eternally united with God.
     All of this involves the belief that there is a truth about what makes for a good life, a life of true happiness and flourishing that fulfills our divinely given nature and achieves the human telos. Heaven, fellowship with the Trinity, is thus not viewed as a mere personal preference that may be reasonably rejected in favor of another end. Rather, it is the end for which all human beings were created. We are all accountable to God for the gifts and grace he has given us. We cannot truthfully view our lives as our own. There is a truth about our past and how we should have lived. Likewise, there is a truth about how we should live in the future and what we should pursue. We cannot with integrity focus our future efforts on living a life of self-centered pleasure or other false ultimate goods. The hope of heaven requires a thoroughgoing reorientation that leaves nothing untouched. There is no other way to enter into the loving relationship with God for which we were created.  (p 107)

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