A New Heaven

A noted Christian theologian from Germany, Professor Jurgen Moltmann, recently said, "We can have but little to say about the 'new earth' until we realize that the heaven of our religion has also become old and repressive and that we need a 'new heaven.'" Address to the World Student Conference, Turku, Finland, quoted in The Christian Science Monitor, Aug. 7, 1968;

Perhaps we do not realize how much our concept of heaven influences our human experience, our hopes, our fears, our progress or our lack of it. In childhood the writer's misconception of heaven gave her no hope of approaching that exalted state until after death and made her afraid that she might not be good enough to enter. Much of the fear in her thought came from the teaching that God knew all of her misdeeds and that He would punish her for them. To know God seemed a remote possibility, for He lived in that faraway heaven. Those who taught her urged her to be good and have faith. However, her faith waned to the extent that for many years she had little interest in religion.

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