Question #4: Why is the New Creation Model concept important?
I think discussion of the models of eschatology including the New Creation Model and Spiritual Vision Model challenge us to make sure that our assumptions and beliefs about God’s purposes are biblical and not tainted with unbiblical beliefs and ideas.
Many over-spiritualize God’s purposes and in doing so do not see what the Bible has to say about important areas—including eschatology. Many people incorrectly believe some of the following:
--The physical realm is bad and must be annihilated.
--God’s kingdom is spiritual not material.
--Our eternal home is out there in a mystical heaven that is totally divorced from the earth.
--Our primary activity in eternity is mostly passive and contemplative
--There will be no diversity in the future. There is one generic people of God but no national or ethnic diversity.
--There will be no work or anything to do.
People who think these things have had their thinking tainted by a worldview that they may think is biblical but is not. These ideas are more in line with Platonism than the Bible. Randy Alcorn is right when he states that mixing Christianity with Platonism leads to what he calls “Christoplatonism” which is not a good thing.
A New Creation Model approach, though, shakes off the remnants of Platonism and embraces what the Bible has to say about God’s purposes. Yes, spiritual salvation is the basis of all blessings but the blessings God pours out on His people include spiritual and physical blessings. There is nothing unspiritual about land or the earth. There is nothing unspiritual about God working with nations, even the nation Israel. There is nothing unspiritual in realizing that our resurrected bodies will inhabit a resurrected, restored earth.
So in my view, the New Creation approach is not an outside grid imposed on the Bible but a recognition that God’s purposes for His creation are holistic—they include all aspects including the spiritual and physical.