Here's another article by my friend Pastor Tim O Brien. I don't necessarily agree with Pastor Tim's view that seems to suggest that the Church is going to create a utopia before Jesus comes back, but I do appreciate his positive view that the earth will be renewed one day, therefore Christians shouldn't succumb to an escapist mentality. Enjoy!
For an equally stimulating philosophical review of Batman, check out Greg Boyd's article here!
The movie “The Dark Knight” highlights a contest of wills between Batman and the Joker. Both express their worldviews in poignant philosophical lines. The Joker’s worldview is that the world is given to chaos and anarchy with no redeemable value. Batman’s worldview is that the world has redeemable value and is destined for greatness.
What do the ancient Jewish prophets say about the destiny of the earth? What will become of this place? In all instances, the prophecies about the earth throughout the Scriptures point toward a positive ending. Habakkuk says, “the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will fill the earth.” Isaiah says, “over all the glory will be a canopy.” The psalmist says, “I will make the nations your inheritance.”
The Book of Revelation speaks of a new earth and the old earth passing away. This is typical Jewish prophetic language. It does not indicate total destruction of the old. It is about renewal. Jewish prophets prophesied many times about destruction coming to Israel, but renewal was always the end result, not total and complete destruction.
The way some Christians talk, you would think they agreed with the Joker. They have no hope for earth. They only hope to get out of here. But Jesus said to the Father, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world.” If we are supposed to stay here, there must be something worth staying for.
Batman’s worldview fits the declarations of the ancient Jewish prophets. The earth has an ultimate purpose that will be fulfilled. The bringing forth of these purposes ought to be the heartbeat of every believer.
Paul said the creation itself waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. The earth right under our feet is groaning “has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” The Word promises that “the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”
You may say that all this is supposed to happen after Jesus comes back. But the Bible is clear that the Church must fulfill all that she has been commanded to do before His return. Jesus also said that it would be better if He left and sent His Spirit. So, you see, it can’t get suddenly better if Jesus returns, because Jesus Himself said it would be better when He was gone. The Church is moving toward the “better” as she fulfills her great commission to make disciples of nations.
Check out how the Amplified Version words Philippians 1:6: “He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.” That sounds like the Church is completed and perfected before Christ’s return.
[References: Hab 2:14, Isa 4:5, Ps 2:8, Jn 17:15, Rom 8:19-22, Rev 21:1]
By Pastor Tim O’Brien
Rock of Ages Ministries
For Daily Guide 8 Aug 08 edition