Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The millennium and Perelandra

December Tabletalk's articles are on the millennium.  The magazine covered end times in the first issue I received from them in January 2012.  I personally get tired of the different end times discussions because so many of the books sold at LifeWay are of the dispensational persuasion, and people usually by them because they want to have a good supernatural thrill.  They don't really seek to worship Christ or anticipate his coming (most of the ones I see at least).

Setting that aside, I still follow the amillennial perspective.  With a plain reading of Scripture, that is what I see.  When Jesus returns, all evil will be over forever.  There won't be a thousand years with Satan still breathing.  This whole church age is the millennium and Satan is out now, and Christ is coming soon to avenge us of him.  Also, Israel and the Church are not separate entities.  They are one in Christ.  The Church is the completion of Israel.  So it would make no sense for the Jewish people to have a different ending from the rest of us.

But whatever the perspective, whether amillennial (more accurately called now-millennial) or dispie, true believers all wait for Christ to come and deliver us from having to see so much evil in the world.  And at Christmas time, we are grateful that he came as a person and defeated Satan's power over his people.

That brings me to Perelandra, the second book in C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy.  I love C.S. Lewis as a best friend and excellent writer.  I appreciate the Space Trilogy and it's theological conversations.  Perelandra makes me want to tear my hair out.  Lewis will go through 10 pages about nothing more than what the character Ransom is pondering at the time.  He is on the planet Venus, aka, Perelandra, and all descriptions of that planet sound hyper-sexual, and it is clear Ransom at least feels like sex is only made for procreation and not for pleasure, which is completely wrong.  Granted, whatever God has in heaven for us will be way more pleasurable and fulfilling.  However, before we get there, sex really is the greatest joy when performed correctly within marriage between a man and woman.  In fact, it's clean, glorious, and even appropriate.

When the book has a plot line, Ransom is exploring Venus, finds a green lady who is the Eve for that planet, and he prevents her from sinning the way that Eve did on earth.  After that, the green lady and her man become King and Queen.  Then I bizarre ceremony occurs with all the angels, eldila in the books, the guardian angels for both Mars and Venus, called oyarsa, the the King and Queen who are also now considered oyarsa on Venus.  They have such an elevated status now, that I wonder, if Adam and Eve had never sinned, would they be ruling the world?  Would Christ have come to save us?

I am sad that the world has so much evil, but I'm actually glad that we did not end up like Perelandra.  Adam and Eve sinned, and so we all need someone to live a perfect life for us and then take the punishment for our sins since he won't be punished forever having lived perfectly.  We would be so much less if Christ did not come to rescue our planet.  Even worse, we would possibly be elevated to God status and then sin because now we consider ourselves to be gods.  Lewis needed to invent a world where they would still need Jesus even though Ransom saved them from sinning, because it is no good for mankind to be exalted the way they exalt the King and Queen on Venus in that book.  It is so disturbing.

The moral of this story is I'm going to finish the first few pages of the book and then start reading the Narnia books again for theology that I know is good.

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