This is part 2 of our new podcast series prepping for our video release on the Exile theme in the Bible. In part 1 (0 - 5:30), Jon and Tim recap their earlier conversation in the first episode. Tim explains that when the Hebrews returned from exile to Jerusalem under Persian rule, their empire and city was in shambles, but they kept clinging to this promise that God had given their ancestral father, Abraham.
In part 2 (5:30 - 18:10), Tim explains that the exile metaphor became a theme that runs through the entire Bible. The Hebrew Bible authors wrote Genesis believing that humanity has been exiled from the Garden of Eden and perfect unity with God. The Hebrews believed that their exile represented all humanity’s exile of heaven and earth being separated from each other.
Jon comments about how often times people feel displaced in life. Many people feel melancholic, knowing they should be at home here on earth, but often times wondering why life can be so hard and why humans make it harder with how they behave. Tim summarizes Walker Percy and says the fundamental mystery of the universe is why we feel so alone in the world.
Tim explains that the Bible states that the solution to both Israel’s exile problem and humanity’s exile problem is the same solution. A king who will come and deliver them and reunite heaven and earth for all.
In part 3, (18:10 - end) Jon comments that this conversation is totally different than how he thought of it growing up. He recalls a book by Randy Alcorn, Heaven On Earth, and says that the point is not to magically escape the world to an ethereal heaven, but to work for and hope for a new heaven and a new earth.
Tim explains the oddity of the 1 Peter introduction. Peter chooses to address the people in the letter as “immigrants and exiles.” Peter chooses to identify Christians as exiles in a world that is waiting to be redeemed. Tim explains when a person becomes a Christian they shift their allegiance to the kingdom of God, not the earthly kingdom of Babylon. Tim says that words like “immigrant, and exile” and “citizens of heaven” becomes a type of code language that the Bible writers use to continue the metaphor and theme of the exile of humanity.
Tim and Jon recap the biblical idea of evil - a force that both rules the world and is somehow ingrained in human nature. The biblical hope is that Jesus has come and broken that power. Tim says that Jesus modeled for humans what it’s like to live in and build the kingdom of God on earth.
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Walker Percy: Lost in the Cosmos: Humanity’s Last Self Help Book.