Wednesday, January 21, 2015

THYME Magazine: The Power of Inspiration II

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume IX, Issue III

A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow?

Is it  Realistic to even think of "Great Big Beautiful Tomorrows?" Certainly much of the promise of the Twentieth Century has not materialized as hoped for. C.S. Lewis was a man of the modern age. He dismissed the faith as a young man, embracing the Naturalism of his day. As an enlightened Medieval scholar, he nonetheless dismissed the power of story to convey unseen truths. His friendship with men like J.R. R. Tolkien led him to become: "the most reluctant convert in all of England." Lewis, along with his friend Tolkien, discovered the power of the story to convey unseen truths. Imagination for them became the key to discover and share: "a NEW THING!"

"When the Pupil is Ready, The Master Will Appear"

CS Lewis-1
"Imagination is the organ of understanding." -- C. S. Lewis

If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” -- C. S. Lewis

Visions for Tomorrow

We desire a beautiful world where our children are safe and we have our needs met. Beyond that we desire the influence of art and music and green spaces. For the 1839 World's Fair, industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes created an enormous ride through an amazing architectural model... the General Motors Futurama. Here in 1939, a vision for a bright new world was presented. The Futurama takes the viewer on a trip to the world as it would be in 1960!

A great war would be fought and technology would unleash new terrors before the world would again convene in Flushing Meadow Park to view an even more ambitious Futurama. Presented here are the wonderful visions created for the General Motors exhibits.

The 1939-1940 Futurama

The Futurama at the 1939 New York World's Fair's "To New Horizons" presented the world as it might be in the year 1960.

The 1964-1965 Futurama

The 1964 Futurama presents an even more ambitious vision for the future.

Another Vision for the Future

Throughout the ages mankind has yearned for a peaceful world where  the nations were able to "beat their swords into plowshares." Sadly the Modern age did not end hostilities. Mutually Assured Destruction kept the superpowers locked in a stalemate that resulted in an uneasy peace but in recent times nations with philosophies that do not promote peaceful solutions are growing closer to owning the nuclear bomb. When Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatens to destroy America and Israel, it is more serious than Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev's declaration: "America, we will bury you." Khrushchev was playing by the same rules, so to speak, not wishing the destruction of his nation. An unsteady peace prevailed.

Not so with Ahmadinejad. The radical ideologies that prevail in Iran make the likelihood of an attack all the more realistic. Communism might have removed Faith from the culture, but it didn't erase totally the civility it produced in human interaction. The radicals do not mind sacrificing their innocent civilians (or ours) to meet their desired ends. The world today is indeed a very dangerous place.

So are we to throw up our hands in despair? Shall we try yet another experiment in government as solution to the human condition? Looking at the wreckage of past empires that does not hold great promise. Still, there is historical evidence of Faith's role in remaking societies. Faith also holds promise for the future! Revelation 19:6-9 speaks of the time when people of all nations are joined in communion with G-d:

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord G-d omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of G-d."

In Isaiah 60 [1.] and in Revelation 21 Believers look to a New Heaven and a New Earth where a Heavenly Jerusalem descends to join the Earth. Here is a Kingdom that needs no temple, needs no sun to light it, for G-d Himself is the force that illuminates it! [2.]

And I saw a new Heaven and a new earth: for the first Heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from G-d out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of G-d is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and G-d himself shall be with them, and be their G-d." -- Revelation 21:1-3

West_web East_web
Journey to Jesus, a mural depicting the nations coming to Jesus in the New Heaven and New Earth described in Revelation 21. Mural by Kristina Elaine Greer and Bob Kirchman

Journey to Jesus [click to view larger images].

Our Christian hope is that we're going to live with Christ in a new Earth, where there is not only no more death, but where life is what it was always meant to be." -- Timothy Keller.

The hope of Heaven.

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