|Photography by Kalle Gustafsson -source-|
I am reading a wonderful book, Heaven Misplaced by Douglas Wilson. It is a short book about Eschatology, and more specifically about postmillennialism -or "historical optimism"-. And no matter what your beliefs are on this matter, if you are uncertain on what exactly postmillennialism is and would like to study it, this is the book you need to read. Wilson does a fantastic work in explaining a difficult topic in such a way that you find yourself inside the narrative, immersed in it. And in a moment you find yourself saying, "Wouldn't it be glorious if this really were true?"
I would love to share with you some quotes from chapter seven, What the Angels Said; Goodwill Toward Men, that have found its way deep into my heart:
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2:8-14
"Think of this book as a small effort to get Christians to believe their Christmas carols year-round.
We have trouble with this because Christmas is about grace, and grace is one of the most difficult things in the world for sinners to grasp. And as soon as we realize that it is difficult, we turn the "grasping of it" into a contest, giving those with the "right answer" a "best in show" award. But grace doesn't follow our rules. Grace means that some who have the wrong answers will be saved and others who have the right answers won't be."
"We have trouble with something as straightforward as "goodwill toward men." We are afraid of grace getting carried away, and so we want to slap some conditions on it."
"Grace has a backbone and knows how to define itself. Grace is not the word that we use as the "open, sesame" of the Church. Grace is not something we do. Grace is not something we can control. Grace is not something that we can manage. And this means that we in the Church need to recognize that the guardians of grace are frequently its most dangerous enemies. Grace is God's declared intention of favor for the whole world, whether we like it or not."
"We know our Bibles well enough to know that grace, properly understood, does not lead to a life of moral outrage. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? (Rom.6:1). Of course not. We know the Scriptures in this, but I am afraid that we do not know our own hearts. God's grace is a tsunami that will carry us away and deposit us in places we would not have anticipated -and all of it good. We analyze this carefully and say that we want our grace to be true and pure water, just like the tsunami, but we want it to be a placid pond on a summer day that we can inch across gingerly, always keeping one pointed toe on what we think is the bottom of our own do-gooding morality. "
"Christ was born at night, and His birth was the arrival of the morning star."
Waiting in Him,