On Christian Theology

Heaven and earth are primary domains of existence in the ancient Judeo-Christian worldview. As the story goes, heaven and earth originally existed in a unified state of harmony, but now they exist in a state of disharmony. While the two domains still dynamically overlap and interact, heaven and earth are now at odds, existing in a state characterized by the many conflicts and divisions and separations between them.

One of the most significant truths for us to see in this story is how the disunity between heaven and earth relates to our own condition. According to the story, the division in the cosmos is also reflected in our human experience. For we human beings are dynamic compositions of heaven and earth, of mind and matter, of the spirit of God and the dust of the ground. And in our present state of experience, the heavenly and earthly aspects of our being are often conflicted and divided. More specifically, heaven as the realm of our ideal values, goals, and aspirations, is a transcendent state of divine perfection where the presence of God fully dwells, uncorrupted by evil and imperfection. Earth, on the other hand, is a state of mundane realities and struggles, a place where the pains of our vulnerabilities and imperfections are constantly felt. Earth is where we currently find ourselves, as we are caught in between our visions of heavenly perfection and our earthly deficiencies and miseries.


Inasmuch as our heavenly ideals become our earthly realities, heaven and earth are unified as one. But inasmuch as our ideals remain unrealized, and inasmuch as we do not live up to our ideal visions and standards of perfection, distance and divisions develop between heaven and earth. This is the state of our experience when our ideals and our behaviours are out of sync, when what we know we should do is inconsistent with what we actually do. It is a state characterized by separations, conflicts, and oppositions, within ourselves, between ourselves, and in relation to the heavenly ideals we find above ourselves. Feelings of guilt and shame often signal our lack of integrity, as we sense disintegration in the core of our being.

In view of our present condition, the biblical story ends with a vision of the reunification of heaven and earth. It is a state of existence where what is ideal and what is real are fully and finally one. This vision resonates deep in our being, beyond our inner conflicts and divisions, down to a place of original unity. It is the ultimate goal that we seek, the ideal state that we desire: for peace between heaven and earth; for unity and wholeness in our entire being.




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