Heaven: It’s not what you may think!
The other day something said in church made me remember a book that I read some 40 years ago that has not received the notice I think it deserved: Calvin R. Schoonhoven, The Wrath of Heaven (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1966). Schoonhoven argues that, as portrayed in the NT, ” Heaven, as well as earth, endures the wrath of God, the powers of evil, personal incompleteness and temporality.” That is, he contends that, contrary to pop religious thinking (including most Christian versions), the NT presents “heaven”, not as the timeless state of perfection and the realization of final joy, but as itself also awaiting the consummation of divine redemption.
In short, if Schoonhoven is correct, then the Christian hope presented in the NT is not to “go to Heaven”. Instead, the hope is the future consummation of redemption that is to involve Heaven as well as earth.
It’s a tightly argued exegetical study. Though now over 40 years old, it seems to me still worth noting by anyone seriously interested in engaging the thought-world of the NT. I’m not aware that it’s ever been refuted, or even adequately noticed.