Sunday, May 06, 2012


Paul Owen April 13th, 2012 11:41 am :

One point which Grudem and Piper fail to account for is John 20:17, where Jesus says on Easter Sunday, “I have not yet ascended to the Father.” In fact, we know from Acts 1:1-11 that Jesus did not ascend to the Father for a period of 40 days. Yet he promised the repentant thief that he would be with him that day in Paradise (Lk. 23:43). Obviously then, Paradise is not “heaven” (Acts 2:34), if by heaven we mean the place of God’s throne and Jesus’ present rule at God’s right hand (Heb. 1:3), from whence he makes intercession for us (Rom. 8:34).
This means we must distinguish between Paradise and Heaven (or the highest heaven) at least. In Luke 16:19ff. we have a description of the Bosom of Abraham where Lazarus went after his death. While this could be the “paradise” Jesus spoke of, the term Paradise is not used in Luke 16, and the imagery employed there does not echo the Garden of Eden. Furthermore, Paul identifies “Paradise” with the Third Heaven (2 Cor. 12:2-3). If Paul is using the term Paradise to speak of the same place Jesus spoke of on the cross, then it would appear that Paradise is a lower realm of heaven, not the place of Christ’s enthronement.
The term Hades is broadly equivalent to “the realm of dead spirits,” and is an appropriate term for describing the abode of all souls beneath the highest heavens (Eph. 1:20-21), such as where Jesus accompanied the thief after he died, as well as the “lower regions” where Christ set free the captives (Eph. 4:8-9) and visited the spirits in prison (1 Pet. 3:19) during the 40 days between his resurrection and his ascension.

Anglo-Mormon Paul Own fails to draw an elementary distinction between the intermediate state and the final state. When Jesus and the thief went to “heaven,” on Holy Saturday, their souls went to heaven.

But when Jesus ascended to “heaven” after the Resurrection, that was Jesus in his glorified state. Jesus embodied. So Owen is equivocating. 

1 comment:

  1. Equivocating? That strikes me as a bit too generous.

    Owen appears to have a stock villain in mind whenever he opines for the masses: the Protestant Evangelical.

    I think he luxuriates in whatever limited controversy he can stir up when he calls the benighted Prot EV on the carpet about... well, whatever makes Prot EVs look bad.

    He does it with Mormonism. Apparently, he does it with Catholicism, too.

    I don't think he's equivocating. I think he just generally plays word games with a predetermined outcome.

    But the charge of equivocation assumes that his theological "reflection" is more than a penny's depth deep.

    He's a David Waltz with doctoral bona fides.

    Wake me when he reverts to Mormonism or jumps ship to Eastern Orthodoxy, or whatever.