By Henry Christopher, UTS Class of 1980
The scholarly study of religion and theology helps us to understand concepts of God, as well as beliefs, traditions, institutions, and behaviors of the various world religions. Many of these religions have some concepts about the coming of an ideal world, a “Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.” However, it seems that religious scholars, for whatever reason, steer wide of describing what that world will be like, and how people will transition from this world of suffering to a world of peace and happiness.
Some day it might be interesting to find a graduate level course in a seminary offering an Introduction to an Ideal World. It would have great appeal for someone who has been wondering what life would be like—from a Judeo-Christian point of view—if Adam and Eve had obeyed God, and an ideal world had begun. Is that world still attainable?
The course would be based upon discovering what the nature and character of an ideal human being originally was meant by God to be like.
The ideal human being might be likened to a golden urn, discovered on the ocean floor, and encrusted with so many layers of seashells and sand, that when first found, would be nearly unidentifiable. It would be the work of this course to carefully remove, layer by layer all the debris encrusted over the hearts and minds of fallen humankind, until the original character of the true sons and daughters of God was revealed, and could shine in its natural beauty.
What would “a day in the life” be like, if humans were truly loving, honest, trustworthy, patient, humble, happy, secure, confident but not arrogant, good, moral, pure of heart, and decent? What would the world be like if we lived by the tenets: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind, and love your neighbor as you love yourself,” “It is better to give than to receive,” or “Live for the sake of others”?