1. Bainespal says:

    The original series of columns on this topic that was posted on this site a long time ago gave me a breakthrough, and I agree with the premise whole-heartedly.
    However, I think the “Platonic” notion of an unseen spiritual reality is also valid.  (I’m only using the word “Platonic” because that term has been used; I’ve never studied Plato.)  A book I read from my college’s library, Faith and Reason by Nells Ferre (which seems to be out-of-print and hard to find online), presents a Christian philosophy based on the idea that the highest moral ideal is also the truest and the most real thing.  I also found that thought to be a personal breakthrough.  So, I do think there is an unseen reality that has not yet been actualized in our experience.  The historical life of Jesus Christ was the descent of that transcendent reality into our existence, and the full realization of that transcendent reality awaits the final resurrection of the New Earth and Heavens.
    I’m just saying this because I would hate the influence of Alcorn’s rediscovered vision of the New Earth to ban or belittle allusions such as these lines from Tolkien’s amazing poem “Mythopoeia”:

    “I would that I might with the minstrels sing
    “and stir the unseen with a throbbing string.”

    I think the purpose of all art and creativity is to expresses a facet of the unseen truth that is more real than our reality.  And the coming New Earth is more real than this old Earth.  It is the True Earth.

    • Loved your comment, brother. It reaches in and helps me with a “breakthrough” also, because of things such as my love for C.S. Lewis’s vision of a new, “truer” Narnia in The Last Battle, but my uncertainty about the story’s citation of Plato for the idea.

      Lewis himself believed that “God likes matter; He invented it,” and proved this in his fantastic and nonfiction writings. Here I think he “redeems” Plato in the same way he redeemed Bacchus and Silenus in Prince Caspian. (I have not read Plato directly either, so I’m open to correction here.) Apparently Plato was flawed in believing that seen reality doesn’t matter, but definitely onto something with his idea that unseen realities matter more. That’s not “Gnosticism,” that’s plainly Scriptural, such as in the book of Hebrews’s emphasis that the temple was based on the Heavenly template — cross-reference Ephesians 5 about human marriage based on Christ’s.

      Perhaps it might be as simple as saying, as you did, that yes, the coming New Earth is certainly “more true” and “more solid” than this old Earth. New Earth is more real not because it is “spiritual” or merely allegorical, but because it is weightier. And it’s unseen not by nature, but simply because of time.

  2. Kirsty says:

    it’s unseen not by nature, but simply because of time

    That makes sense.

What do you think?