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Download A Brief History of Heaven by Alister E. McGrath PDF

By Alister E. McGrath

Эта книга одного из самых известных современных христианских авторов исследует историю небес, от их происхождения в библейских письменах к самым новым представлениям о них.


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Yet for others, the idea of a walled garden, enclosing a carefully cultivated area of exquisite plants and animals, was the most powerful symbol of paradise available to the human imagination, mingling the images of the beauty of nature with the orderliness of human construction. The writings of the blind poet John Milton are probably the best-known English literary accounts of paradise. Having been lost through sin, paradise is restored through the death of Christ. The whole of human history is thus enfolded in the subtle interplay of sorrow over a lost paradise, and the hope of its final restoration.

The Christian Bible closes with the image of the New Jerusalem; it opens, however, with the image of paradise. We now turn to consider the great theme of paradise as a similitude of heaven. 38 The City: The New Jerusalem Chapter 2 The Garden: Heaven as Paradise The theme of paradise has captivated the literary imagination. While classic accounts – such as Milton’s Paradise Lost – continue to exercise a controlling influence over the depiction of paradise, more recent writings demonstrate a continuing interest in the image.

The land will be renewed and made fertile by a sacred healing river that flows eastward, emptying into the Dead Sea. Ezekiel’s vision of the New Jerusalem that will arise to replace the fallen city draws heavily upon paradisiacal imagery, suggesting that a new paradise will be created within the walls of the restored city of God. The Old Testament book that has had the most impact on the development of the garden as an image of paradise is the Song of Songs. This remarkable love poem has long The Garden: Heaven as Paradise 45 been seen as an allegory of the great Christian drama of sin and redemption, affirming the love of Christ for both the individual soul and the church.

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