It’s the topic that never seems to go away (sorry!) My first post on this topic was in 2012, but just a few weeks ago I wrote this in response–and amplification–to an article which featured my first post in, of all places, MEL Magazine (a secular publication for men.)
Now Ralph Jones has written a piece for the New Humanist which once again examines this question. And once again my pieces and also an email interview we did are featured.
There are two questions which bother me about this whole issue, at least the way I’ve been involved with it.
The first is this: why are secular publications seemingly more interested in this topic than Christians are? I think the answer is that churches and ministers, thinking that people are more interested in the immediate benefits of following Jesus Christ in this life than the reward on the other side, have emphasised the former at the expense of the latter. The interest in this topic by secular publications such as these challenge this assumption.
This isn’t the first time that a topic of interest has had secular people call out those who profess and call themselves Christians; it happened in 2007-8 when Brendan O’Neill called out Rowan Williams on environmentalism, which I documented in my piece Messing in Our Own Box.
The second is this: am I the only Christian to actively oppose the idea of working in heaven? Or are there other closeted saints who read the Scriptures the same way that I do who are afraid to voice their opinion? That, by definition, is a form of cancel culture.