Monday, December 9, 2019

November 19th, Adult Ed Series, City of God, Session 15 of 16, The New Heavens and New Earth

As we come to the final weeks of this several month long series on the City of God by St Augustine, we discuss the final portion of the work -- Heaven and the reward of the Saints.

Listen online [here]!


The City of God
By St Augustine of Hippo
Session 15, The New Heavens and the New Earth

The gods of the nations are demons. (Ps 95)
Glorious things are said of thee, o City of God! (Ps 86)

Note on schedule: We come to the conclusion of the book with St Augustine’s discussion of the Day of Judgment, Hell and Heaven, the Resurrection of the body, and the New Heavens and New Earth. We conclude our course at the end of November.

I. Review of Last Week – Is heaven a place?
Preliminary notes about whether heaven/hell is a “place” and whether the joys/pains are material or spiritual. Both are essentially spiritual realities and thus are not bound in a “place” in the same way as our life on earth – however, we must recognize that there is and will be a physical aspect of heaven and hell.

II. The eternity of heaven
Ever or never – heaven or hell will be eternal.

III. On the Resurrection of the Body
A. Notes of qualities of the risen and glorified bodies
These are true physical bodies
1. Clarity, brightness and beauty
2. Impassibility, no pain or suffering or any change
3. Agility, ease of movement
4. Subtlety, the body will be made “spiritual” through union with the soul
Various questions about our future glorified bodies in comparison with Jesus’

IV. What with the body be like after the resurrection?
A. What about little children? They will be raised full grown, even as the old will be raised young. God can add to their bodies to make them whole.

B. Age? Christ was 33 years old, and it seems that this is the perfect age.

C. The bodies of the just will be raised perfect:  Hair (long for women, and full for men), beards for men (note about adornment), finger nails etc. 

D. Women will be raised as women, even though there will be no marriage.

E. No blemishes or disfigurements. However, the martyrs will have their wounds. (Note about Mother Teresa as an example).

V. How Porphyry and Plato’s problems are solved by the resurrection.
No happiness in the body in our fallen state, but soul cannot be truly happy without the body and must return to the body. Christianity solves this by the Resurrection.

VI. What does the Bible mean by “New Heavens” and “New Earth”?
A. This same physical place, but transformed.  Compare to the resurrection of the body.

B. Will we see God? God is invisible, and so will not be seen with the eye. But he will be seen by the “light of glory” in an intellectual vision.
What will we see? Taste, touch, smell, hear?  Not the angels, only intellectually. But we will see each other.

C. No decay or change. Also no animals other than human beings.


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