The Trinity: Ontological & Economic

As Christians, we confess that there is one God who eternally exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The three persons of the Trinity are equal in power and glory, are co-eternal, and are of the same essence (Ousia in Greek).

The Father is God, the Son is God, the Spirit is God, but the Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Father, nor is the Spirit the Father or the Son. 

The three persons of the Trinity also have unique functions, and relate to each other in unique ways. As a result, we can speak about the Trinity in two ways: the “Ontological Trinity” and the “Economic Trinity.”

Ontological Trinity

“Ontological” has to doing with “being.” So, to speak of the Ontological Trinity is to explain who God is, and who the three persons of the Godhead are. 

The major ecumenical councils of the church, such as Nicaea and Chalcedon, focused on the ontological nature of the persons of the Trinity, and affirmed that Jesus, the Son, is very God of very God, and that the Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force, but is, indeed, God. 

So, to speak about the Trinity ontologically, is to affirm both the divine nature and the unique personhood of the three persons of the Trinity.

Economic Trinity

“Economic” has to do with action, roles, and function: what God (and each person of the Godhead) does.

So, when we take an economic view of the Trinity, we are talking about the things which the Father does, or which the Spirit does, which are unique to that person of the Godhead.

For example, it is the role and function of the Holy Spirit to perform the sealing and sanctifying functions of God in the life of a believer.

Jesus, the divine Son, uniquely took on human flesh, came to Earth, lived a sinless life, and died on a cross for our redemption. 

The Father sent the Son, the Son submitted to the Father and obeyed the Father, the Father and the Son sent the Spirit. The Spirit glorifies and points to the Son. The Son glorifies the Father. The Father exalts the Son. The Son ever lives to make intercession for us. The Spirit indwells believers, reminding them of what the Son said, and bringing about conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment.

Application

One important application of these principles, is the understanding that economic actions, such as submission, leadership, and difference of roles, does not diminish or take away from a person’s ontological identity, value, dignity, or identity.

This is communicated explicitly in Philippians 2, where we are told that Jesus, although he was equal with the Father, as God (ontologically), did not regard equality with [the Father] (economically) something to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men, and humbled himself in obedience, even to the point of death on a cross. 

The point here is that Jesus’ economic activity did not detract from his ontological nature. 

A point of application is made in the New Testament, in the complementary roles of men and women in the church. Though men are called to teach and exercise authority in the “household of God” (1 Timothy 3:15), this does not diminish or take away from the ontological equality of men and women as human beings, and as children of God, but is rather a matter of economic function. If this is true of the Trinity (and clearly it is), then it should not surprise us that it is true in the “household of God,” acted out by those who reflect His image to the world.

For more on this, check out this discussion of 1 Timothy 2:8-15, which I had with my wife, Rosemary, for our church’s weekly Sermon Extra video:

How Long, O Lord? – The Biblical Genre of Lament & Its Role In Our Lives Today

In this first episode of Season 3 of the Theology for the People podcast, I speak with Michael Payne about the biblical genre of lament and its role in the life of a believer today.

Michael Payne is the Worship Pastor at White Fields Community Church in Longmont, Colorado. Previously he served as a missionary and worship pastor in Hungary at Golgota Budapest. Prior to that, he served in the US Marine Corps.

Listen to Mike’s original music on Spotify here, or see him in action on the White Fields Church YouTube page.

The books Mike recommends in this episode on the topic of the biblical genre of lament are:

Click here to listen to the episode, or listen in the embedded player below.

How Long, O Lord? – The Biblical Genre of Lament and Its Role in Our Lives Today Theology for the People

Welcome to Season 3 of Theology for the People! Michael Payne is the Worship Pastor at White Fields Community Church in Longmont, Colorado. Previously he served as a missionary and worship pastor in Hungary at Golgota Budapest. Prior to that, he served in the US Marine Corps. Listen to Mike's original music on Spotify here, or see him in action on the White Fields Church YouTube page. The books Mike recommends in this episode on the topic of the biblical genre of lament are: Michael Card, A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God in the Lost Language of Lament Mark Vroegop – Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy Walter Brueggemann – The Message of the Psalms For the Theology for the People blog, or to submit a question or suggest a topic, visit nickcady.org

Theology for the People Podcast – Season 3 Starts Tomorrow

Season 3 of the Theology for the People Podcast begins tomorrow!

This spring I plan to release episodes every week on Thursdays, so make sure to subscribe on your preferred podcast app, or subscribe to email updates to this blog in order to receive updates and get new episodes when they are posted.

The first episode is a discussion about the biblical genre of Lament and its function in the life of believers today.

I also have a big announcement coming about some book publishing projects I’ve been working on.

As we approach the one year mark of war in Ukraine, I have an interview with a missionary who has been on the ground throughout the past year during the war, updating us on how the church has been ministering throughout the crisis, and how to pray for them.

There will also be other episodes on various theological topics.

If you would like to ask a question or suggest a topic for me to cover on the podcast, you can do that here.

Most Popular Articles & Podcast Episodes of 2022

On this last day of 2022, it’s nice to stop and reflect on the past year. Sadly, this year saw the Russian invasion of Ukraine, resulting in the suffering of many innocent people. On a personal note, in 2022 I released my first book, which has sold many more copies than I ever imagined. In reflecting on this past year, there is much to mourn and grieve, as well as much to celebrate. Such is life on this beautiful but broken planet. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Here are some highlights from this past year as regards this blog and podcast:

Increased Readership

Readership of this site grew this year by 68% to over 150,000 visits.

Top 10 Articles from 2022

  1. Will We Really See Our Loved Ones in Heaven?
  2. Can You Fast from Things Other than Food?
  3. Book Review: Jesus and John Wayne
  4. Do Miracles Create Faith?
  5. The Fairytale Twist, and Why Karma is Not Your Friend
  6. Palm Sunday Points Us to the Heart of the Gospel
  7. What is Gospel Culture and How is it Developed?
  8. Ukraine Relief Update: What We Did in Hungary and Ukraine
  9. How is the Mission of God Progressing in the Midst of the War in Ukraine?
  10. The Message in Your Misfortunes

Top 5 Podcast episodes from 2022

For this first season of the Theology for the People podcast, I published 22 episodes. Here are the top 5:

  1. How is the Mission of God Progressing in the Midst of the War in Ukraine?
  2. Liturgy: Going Through the (Right) Motions
  3. How is Gluttony a Danger to Your Soul?
  4. Was it Necessary for Our Salvation that Jesus be God?
  5. Are Christian Sexual Ethics Harmful or Helpful? Was Purity Culture a Mistake?

What to look forward to in 2023

  • In January 2023, I will be publishing the audiobook of The God I Won’t Believe In: Facing Nine Common Objections to Embracing Christianity.
  • In early 2023, we will be releasing a study guide companion to The God I Won’t Believe In. This was developed in our youth group, and we hope it can serve as a helpful curriculum for youth groups and small groups.
  • By the end of 2023, I hope to release another book based on the Gospel of John, tentatively titled: So That You May Believe

I will also be continuing the Theology for the People podcast, with new episodes scheduled to come out in February 2023.

Happy New Year, and stay tuned for good things to come!

The Fairytale Twist & Why Karma is Not Your Friend

The Hindu and Buddhist concept of Karma is the belief that good deeds create positive karma, and bad ones create negative karma. Positive karma, it is believed, will lead to good fortune, whereas negative karma will lead to misfortune and suffering.

Belief in karma is popular amongst modern western people, but curiously – in my observation – it is only referenced when either bad things happen to other people, or when good things happen to an individual themselves.

For example, people tend to attribute misfortune to karma when something negative happens to someone else whom they deem deserving of suffering because of their bad behavior, or when something positive happens to them. In both cases, people tend to reference karma as the reason why the person in question “got what they deserved.”

Co-opting Karma in Part, but Not in Full

It has been noted how people in the West have a tendency to co-opt certain aspects of Eastern Religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism. An example of this is the way yoga has been co-opted and transformed into something very different in the West than what it originally was as a Hindu practice.

Similarly, when Western people talk about karma, they often only think of it in terms of either 1) them getting the good things they believe they have earned through their “meritorious behavior,” or 2) other people getting the suffering that the person in question believes they deserve.

What they are forgetting is that karma is essentially a system which exists to explain why bad things and/or good things happen to people in life, and it basically chalks it all up to earning or deserving.

The Shadow Side of Karma

The “shadow side” of karma is that it says that if something bad happens to you, it is because you have done something (either in this life or a previous one) to deserve it.

Just think about what a terrible concept this is when it comes to serious issues, such as abuse. If you are the sufferer of abuse, karma essentially says: “That happened to you because you did something to deserve it!” In the end, karma says that you have no one to blame for suffering in your life than yourself.

The Fairytale Twist of the Gospel

In contrast to the message of karma, that says that you deserve whatever happens to you in this life, the message of the gospel is just the opposite: That every blessing you receive in life is an unmerited gift from a benevolent God who loves you, and that the reason tragedy happens is because we live in a broken world in which evil exists.

Not only does evil exist “out there” in the world, but this evil has bound itself around our very hearts. Yet, the good news of the gospel is that God is gracious to sinners like us, extending grace and mercy to the undeserving!

As my friend Pete Nelson likes to say, “The message of the gospel is like the movie where the ugly guy gets the girl!”

Malcom Gladwell on The Fairytale Twist

Author Malcom Gladwell had an interesting episode of his Revisionist History podcast, in which he talked about different types of stories, and the effects they have on people. What he points out, is that there are certain types of stories which seem to resonate with people universally, even from a very young age.

You can listen to the entire episode here, but I’ll summarize the main points below:

Little Mermaid Part 2: The Fairytale Twist Revisionist History

The quest to revise The Little Mermaid continues. This week, we call in the experts. Part two of three. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Malcom points out that most ancient fairy tales had an aspect in them which he calls “the fairytale twist,” in which good fortune befalls a person despite the fact that they are undeserving, or often straight up foolish. In these stories, good things happen to bad people who don’t deserve a good fate.

For example, he references a story in which a foolish girl wastes her family’s final money on trivial things, but then in a “fairytale twist,” her foolish decision ends up paying off and saving her family. The salvation of the family, in other words, wasn’t because of the girl’s intuition and good choices, but rather happened fortuitously, in spite of her foolish actions.

What made these stories attractive is that audiences wanted to believe that life could suddenly go from bad to good, regardless of a person’s worthiness.

The message of these stories was not just that there could be a sudden twist that could change everything, but that the twist would be unrelated to the disposition of the character in question. In other words, you don’t need to meet some qualification to be eligible for this sudden twist – rather, it could happen to anyone (even you!).

The Shift to Poetic Justice Stories

Malcom then identifies how a change took place in Western story telling in the 1700’s, when writer Charles Perot insisted that fairytales should teach the idea that good things only happen to good people, and bad things always happen to bad people. These are called “poetic justice” stories.

A good example of a poetic justice story is Disney’s version of Cinderella. In that story, Cinderella’s virtue is rewarded whereas the wickedness of the step-sisters and step-mother are punished. Everyone gets exactly what they deserved.

Measuring Visceral Responses to Different Kinds of Stories

Malcom points out that modern marketers have created a tool which can measure children’s reactions to different fairytale endings. Through their research, what they’ve found is that children prefer fairytale twist stories over poetic justice stories.

It’s not terribly hard to make sense of why this is: Every child, even at a young age, is aware of the fact that they have not always done the right thing, and that if what you get in life is determined by your actions, that is a losing proposition.

To put it in biblical terms, the point is that deep down inside, human beings are innately aware that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, i.e. the standard of what is right.

As the common trope goes, “Nobody’s perfect!” We all understand this deep down, even from a young age, and are aware that if we were to receive exactly what we deserve, we would all be in a heap of trouble.

What is hopeful, however, is the idea that somehow, people who are undeserving can receive good fortune, and not get the punishment or misfortune they might deserve.

The Hope of the Gospel is Engrained on Our Hearts

The message of the gospel is that, by God’s grace, good things can happen to bad people (like us!).

That hope is engrained in the heart of every human being. It’s the reason why we love fairytale endings, even from a young age. It’s the reason why “poetic justice” stories only make us feel good when the person receiving the poetic justice is someone else!

Deep down we all long for justice for wrongdoers and mercy and grace for ourselves.

The message of the gospel is that Jesus Christ received the justice of God, so that mercy and grace could be extended to the undeserving!

But that’s not all: along with the promise of mercy and grace, we also have the assurance that when we receive the gift of God’s grace, He will then begin a transforming work in our lives, called “sanctification” in which God begins to shape us into more virtuous, beautiful people, by the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us.

Karma or the Gospel?

Karma says that, whatever happens to a person, they essentially earned it and deserved it. In contrast, the gospel says that there is a sovereign, benevolent God who entered into the brokenness of this fallen world in order to redeem it and make all things new. He, the only truly good and deserving person who ever lived, took the judgment that we deserved upon Himself, so that through Him we might receive grace and mercy. It’s the ultimate “ugly guy gets the girl” story!

Karma is not your friend. The hope of the gospel is what your heart ultimately longs for, because it’s the true story of the world, and our only hope in life and death.

Wealth, Poverty & the Bible: How Do Finances Relate to Faith?

On this week’s episode of the Theology for the People podcast, I speak with Mason Mortimer.

Mason is a graduate of Calvary Chapel Bible College and has worked in the financial services industry for 17 years.

In this episode we discuss what the Bible has to say about money, wealth, and poverty. How should we think biblically about financial matters, including investments and retirement?

We discuss how Christians have related to money historically, such as those who take vows of poverty. Finally, Mason gives us some very practical advice about stewardship, investment, and financial planning.

If you find this episode interesting or helpful, please share it with others and leave a rating and review on your podcast app, as that helps other people discover this podcast and its content.

Click here to listen to the episode, or listen in the embedded player below.

Wealth, Poverty & the Bible: How Do Finances Relate to Faith? Theology for the People

Mason Mortimer is a graduate of Calvary Chapel Bible College and has worked in the financial services industry for 17 years. In this episode we discuss what the Bible has to say about money, wealth, and poverty. How should we think biblically about financial matters, including investments and retirement? We discuss how Christians have related to money historically, such as those who take vows of poverty. Finally, Mason gives us some very practical advice about stewardship, investment, and financial planning. If you find this episode interesting or helpful, please share it with others and leave a rating and review on your podcast app, as that helps other people discover this podcast and its content. Make sure to visit the Theology for the People blog at nickcady.org

How Does Understanding Biblical Genres Affect How We Interpret & Teach Passages in the Bible?

On this week’s episode of the Theology for the People podcast, I speak with Kristie Anyabwile, who recently wrote a book called, Literarily: How Understanding Bible Genres Transforms Bible Study

We discuss the difference between interpreting the Bible “literally” and interpreting it “literarily,” i.e. according to the genre of a given passage. Kristie describes the 8 major literary genres found in the Bible, and their unique aspects. We give a few examples of how not taking genre into account can lead to misinterpretation and misapplication of particular texts.

Kristie is married to Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile and they serve at Anacostia River Church in Washington D.C. For more about Kristie, visit her website: kristieanyabwile.com.

Kristie also shares with us in this episode the meaning of her last name!

Also mentioned in this episode are two groups Kristie is involved with:

If you find this episode interesting or helpful, please share it with others and leave a rating and review on your podcast app, as that helps other people discover this podcast and its content.

Click here to listen to the episode, or listen in the embedded player below.

How Does Understanding Biblical Genres Affect How We Interpret and Teach Passages in the Bible? Theology for the People

In this episode, I speak with Kristie Anyabwile, who recently wrote a book called, Literarily: How Understanding Bible Genres Transforms Bible Study.  We discuss the difference between interpreting the Bible "literally" and interpreting it "literarily," i.e. according to the genre of a given passage. Kristie describes the 8 major literary genres found in the Bible, and their unique aspects. We give a few examples of how not taking genre into account can lead to misinterpretation and misapplication of particular texts. Kristie is married to Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile and they serve at Anacostia River Church in Washington D.C. For more about Kristie, visit her website: kristieanyabwile.com. Also mentioned this episode are: Charles Simeon Trust The Pelican Project If you find this episode interesting or helpful, please share it with others and leave a rating and review on your podcast app, as that helps other people discover this podcast and its content. Make sure to visit the Theology for the People blog at nickcady.org

Does Christianity Create Hateful People? – with Aaron Salvato

On this week’s episode of the Theology for the People podcast, Aaron Salvato interviews me about hypocrisy can be a barrier to people embracing Christianity, and what the solution is to this problem. 

In my recent book, The God I Won’t Believe In: Facing Nine Common Barriers to Embracing Christianity, one of the chapters addresses the question of how Christianity can really be true if many of its adherents are hypocritical or hateful people. Can this problem be blamed on Christianity itself? Or is there another explanation? Either way, it certainly hurts Christian witness, so what, if anything, should or can be done about it? 

Originally aired on the GoodLion Podcast, this episode is a collaboration with our friends over there, who also run the GoodLion Podcast Network, under the umbrella of Calvary Global Network.

If you find this episode interesting or helpful, please share it with others and leave a rating and review on your podcast app, as that helps other people discover this podcast and its content.

Click here to listen to the episode, or listen in the embedded player below.

Does Christianity Create Hateful People? – with Aaron Salvato Theology for the People

In this episode Aaron Salvato interviews Nick Cady about how hypocrisy can be a barrier to people embracing Christianity, and what the solution is to this problem.  In Nick's recent book, The God I Won't Believe In: Facing Nine Common Barriers to Embracing Christianity, one of the chapters addresses the question of how Christianity can be true if many of its adherents are hypocritical or hateful. Can this be blamed on Christianity itself? Or is there another explanation? Either way, it certainly hurts our witness, so we, if anything, should or can be done about it?  Originally aired on the GoodLion Podcast, this episode is a collaboration with our friends over there, who also run the GoodLion Podcast Network, which is part of Calvary Global Network. If you find this episode interesting or helpful, please share it with others and leave a rating and review on your podcast app, as that helps other people discover this podcast and its content. Make sure to visit the Theology for the People blog at nickcady.org 

Will We Really See Our Loved Ones In Heaven?

When someone is sick or dying, or when a loved one has passed away, it’s common for people to comfort each other by telling them that they will be reunited with that person in Heaven.

But does the Bible actually teach this, or do we just say it because it is a “sweet little lie” that makes us feel better?

Clearly the Bible does teach about Heaven and eternal life for those who believe, but does the Bible actually teach that we will be reunited with people we knew on Earth? Are there any passages in the Bible that teach that we will recognize each other and hang out in Heaven?

Reunited and It Feels So Good

In 2 Samuel 12, when David’s infant son was sick, David fasted and prayed. When his son then died, David’s servants were afraid to break the news to him, thinking that if he was so distraught over his son being sick, surely the news of his son’s death would send him over the edge…

When David saw his servants whispering, he realized his son had died. Rather than being distraught, David was at peace – much to the surprise of his servants.

David explained his response by pointing out that since his son was dead, there was now no more he could do; praying for his son’s recovery wouldn’t help at this point. Instead, David went to the house of the Lord and worshiped, explaining to his servants that he was at peace, since, he said, “I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:23)

David clearly took comfort in the knowledge that he would be reunited with his son in the life to come.

But this begs a question: When David would see his son, who died in infancy, would that child be an infant perpetually, for all of eternity? That question finds answers in some other passages in the New Testament, which we will consider next.

Recognizing…But Not Right Away

The gospel accounts in Luke 24 and John 20 tell us that when Jesus resurrected, three days after his crucifixion, some of his disciples met with him, but they did not immediately recognize him. After they realized it was him, however, they did recognize him.

This is an important detail for several reasons. In 1 Corinthians 15:20, Paul the Apostle explains that Jesus was the “first fruits” of those resurrected from the dead to eternal life. Other people had been raised back to life, but those people all subsequently died again, that time for good. Jesus was the first to raise to never die again – the fate which awaits those who believe in Him.

As the “first fruits” of those raised from the dead to eternal life, Jesus’ resurrection body is a prototype of what our resurrection bodies will be like. So what was Jesus’ resurrection body like?

We know from John 20 and Luke 24, that Jesus’ body was physical, for he ate food and people touched him. Yet, his physical body also had properties which were different than our moral bodies; he entered a locked room without using a door, for example.

Furthermore, Jesus’ appearance was, on the one hand, recognizable, and on the other hand, different enough that his closest friends didn’t recognize him – until they did.

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul the Apostle mentions that over 500 people saw Jesus at one point after his resurrection, and those people all recognized that it was Jesus. When Jesus appeared to Thomas, who doubted that he had actually risen from the dead, Thomas recognized him, touched him, talked with him, and believed.

For these reasons, we can conclude that our bodies, in the resurrection and eternal life will be:

  • Physical, yet with unique properties that our mortal bodies do not possess.
  • Recognizable, yet somewhat different than the way you look now. (It seems reasonable to assume that infants will not be infants forever, and that these new bodies will be free of infirmity or other limitations related to age). It will truly be you, and will be recognizable as you, but will not be identical to your current appearance.

For more on the resurrection body, check out this message on 1 Corinthians 15:35-58.

The Transfiguration

In Luke 9, we read about Jesus’ transfiguration, when his closest disciples were allowed to see a glimpse of his divine glory. During the transfiguration, Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus before their eyes, and it says that the disciples recognized them.

This is interesting, because the disciples had never seen Moses nor Elijah, since they died long before the disciples were born. The disciples were able to recognize them somehow, possibly by interacting or speaking with them, or though their personalities.

Either way, it’s an example of long-deceased people being recognized as who they were. The implication is that in the life to come, people will be recognizable, and interact with those who have passed away before them.

That Weird Story about the Prophet Samuel and the Witch of Endor

Another story in which we see an instance of a deceased person interacting with and being recognized by someone they previously knew in this life, is found in 1 Samuel 28:8-17, where King Saul asked a necromancer to summon Samuel the Prophet, so Samuel could give him advice.

In this story, it seems that the necromancer is genuinely surprised that Samuel actually appeared. Her usual practice, in other words, didn’t produce that result. It can be assumed she was a charlatan, and that the deceased do not usually interact with the living, yet on this occasion, God allowed an exception, in order to teach King Saul an important lesson.

Reunited in the Sky

In 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul encourages the Thessalonians, and us, regarding the fate of those believers who have died prior to the return of Jesus. For the first Christians, who expected Jesus to return in their lifetime, they were genuinely surprised by and confused about the death of other Christians who had died Jesus had returned.

Paul encourages them by telling them that when Jesus returns, those who died in faith will be resurrected, and we who are alive will be caught up and we will meet Jesus and those who passed away before us in the sky. Paul then tells us to encourage each other with these words.

The Rich Man, Lazarus, and Abraham

In Luke 16, Jesus tells a story about two men who died, and what happened to them after they died. One was an unnamed rich man, the other was a poor man named Lazarus.

The irony of the the reversal is poignant: a man who had “a name” on Earth, and a “nameless” beggar – yet in eternity, the beggar has a name and the rich man is nameless.

These men find themselves in Sheol, a place of waiting, which is divided into two parts, with an impassable chasm between them: Abraham’s Bosom – a place of waiting for the redemption promised in the Messiah, and Hades – a place of waiting for the ultimate judgment.

For more on Sheol, Abraham’s Bosom, and Hades, see: Did People Go to Heaven Before Jesus’ Death & Resurrection?

Interestingly, these two men not only recognize and interact with each other, but they recognize and interact with Abraham – yet another example of people in the afterlife interacting with and recognizing each other.

Eden Restored (and then some)

The Bible begins with God placing the man and woman he created in a garden paradise in Eden, and charging them to be fruitful and multiple. Sin, however, comes into the good creation, leading to death and destruction. God immediately announces his plan of redemption through a savior, but the effects of sin are pervasive.

In Revelation 21, we see that after God has redeemed the world and defeated evil, Satan, and death, that there will be a new Earth. In this new Earth, we see a scene strikingly similar to Eden; people dwell with God, and there is a special tree: the Tree of Life, which hasn’t been seen since the garden paradise of Eden back in the Book of Genesis.

There is a difference, however: whereas Eden was a garden, this new place is a garden city. This place, in other words, isn’t just Eden restored, it is Eden fulfilled: it is what Eden would have become if sin and death hadn’t entered into the world.

The reason this is important for our discussion, is because it shows that Heaven will not be an ethereal place where we will float on clouds, or live in mansions. (The word “mansions” in some English translations of John 14:2 is a poor translation. The word monai should rightly be translated “rooms.”) Heaven will be a physical place, similar to the world we currently live in, but – just like our resurrection bodies – with important differences, and free from entropy and decay.

Conclusion

With all these thoughts together, we can be fairly confident that for those who are “in Christ,” who have put their faith and trust in him, we will indeed be reunited with our loved ones in eternity.

For further reading, I recommend Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven.

Why Does Jesus’ Ascension Matter for the Gospel and for Us? – with Michael Payne

On this week’s episode of the Theology for the People podcast, I speak with Michael Payne, worship pastor at White Fields Community Church, about Jesus’ ascension into Heaven.

Is the ascension simply something that happened, which we acknowledge, or did it actually accomplish something which could not have happened otherwise? How did the early Christians and the Church Fathers understand the ascension? What difference should the ascension make for our lives today?

In 2021, I asked Mike to teach on the Ascension, as part of our Eastertide series, “The Risen Life,” in which we looked at the appearances of Jesus in the Gospels after His resurrection. As Mike studied and prepared for that teaching, he found that the ascension really deserves more attention than it generally gets in most churches today.

In this episode, I speak with Michael about his discoveries, and he explains what the church has lost by not focusing enough on Jesus ascension, and he explains why Jesus’ ascension matters for the gospel and for us.

If you find this episode interesting or helpful, please share it with others and leave a rating and review on your podcast app, as that helps other people discover this podcast and its content.

Click here to listen to the episode, or listen in the embedded player below.

Does the Ascension Deserve More Attention? – Why Does Jesus' Ascension Matter for the Gospel and for Us? Theology for the People

In this episode, Nick Cady and Michael Payne discuss Jesus' ascension into Heaven and why it matters for the gospel and for us.  Is the ascension simply something that happened, which we acknowledge, or did it actually accomplish something which could not have happened otherwise? How did the early Christians and the Church Fathers understand the ascension? What difference should the ascension make for our lives today? If you find this episode interesting or helpful, please share it with others and leave a rating and review on your podcast app, as that helps other people discover this podcast and its content. Make sure to visit the Theology for the People blog at nickcady.org