Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Alienated Residents

In David Bruce Hegeman's Plowing In Hope he comments on whether or not Christians are Pilgrims in this world.

While this is the way most English translations translate the Greek parepidemos, Hegeman argues for a different term. He modifies Augustine's Resident Aliens to Alienated Residents. He writes:

"We are grieved at the present state of affairs on our beloved earth and long and pray for its liberation from the curse and sin (Rom. 8:19ff; Lk 11:2). Our situation can be compared to a prince who is living in cognito in a rebel province belonging to his father, the king. This territory will one day be rightfully his, but right now the prince risks great harm from his insurgent neighbors if his true identity were ever to be revealed. Thus the prince would be an alien in his own country. We Christians find ourselves in a similar situation. As heirs of the promised inheritance (Gal. 3:27; Eph. 1:11, 6:3), we find ourselves in a world full of evil, sin, and misery. But we live with the hope that the rebels will be foribly removed from that earth (Mt. 13:41), and once it is renewed and refurnished, we will be returned to our home to live for ever and ever ing God's glorious presence." pages 86-87

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7 comments:

bobbydale said...

John - I am starting to think that both of us have taken different paths to find out that we are Mennonites.

Renae said...

Jonh- you are mennonite! :)Where is your beard? Your own brother has one! jk

Renae said...

Actually, I really needed to read that today. Thanks. Do you have this book? I would love to read it when I am finished with "Heaven".

John said...

Bob, your comment definitely made me laugh. I must make it clear though, that Hegeman is no Mennonite.

I don't know Mennonite doctrine well enough to know if I am or if I'm not a Mennonite definitively. But I'm inclined to think not.

Ellul has had a strong influence on my perspectives toward the state and violence, but I'm not to the point of advocating total pacifism.

John said...

Renae, I do own the book and you may borrow it any time. It is only about 120 pages, so a quick read.

bobbydale said...

Here is the 1995 Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective:
http://www.mcusa-archives.org/library/resolutions/1995/index.html

The intro is the most helpful part for me - but generally I am not as interested in doctrine as I am in the practice and discipleship of a community. I know Mennonites are famous for their stance on Peace, but that is just a specific out cropping of their dedication to justice and discipleship and anti-empire priorities.

Pilgrim said...

Presuppositions (and hermeneutics) being what they are, it's almost impossible for me to turn the ideas of exile, sojourn, pilgrimage upside-down. It's -almost- as big a re-orientation as I would need to believe that God doesn't know the future.

I'm not at all saying the post-miller position is heretical like open theism, but it's a very, very different way of reading Scripture from the way I read it. Seems like an idiosyncratic interpretation of parepidemos.