Plan of Escape
In April 2012 Time magazine ran a cover story titled "Heaven Can't Wait: Why rethinking the hereafter could make the world a better place." In the next issue, Time printed a letter to the editor from Marc Herbert from Walnut Creek, California, who wrote:
Your story [about heaven] says that 85 percent of Americans believe in heaven. That's incredible. They think of heaven as quiet and peaceful, with no need to do anything. [That] sounds pretty dull to me. What do you do with all of that free time? And it goes on forever and ever!
A recent article in Wired magazine makes the same argument. The author points to how boring our media representations of heaven are:
Try thinking of a really good movie that doesn't play the afterlife for laughs. There isn't one …. The only cinematic visions of the afterlife that are worth [anything]are the ones that depict damnation. As long as your hero goes to hell, the audience stays engaged. Move the story upstairs, though, and God help you.
Hell has proven useful to filmmakers looking for spectacle or a great villain. But heaven, which would seem like a great source of the kind of happy ending Hollywood loves, simply lacks drama. (There's a reason the words "And they lived happily ever after" appear right after the credits—happily ever after is boring.)
For the most point I think the authors have a point. [One exception is Terrence Malick’s movie Tree of Life. The glimpse of heaven, where a family is reconciled to each other makes me cry every time.] Still, it’s true. Heaven usually looks boring.
And that’s a shame. Because it’s the best new there is. It’s what makes Christianity the Gospel, the Good News. I can’t talk about the basics of faith without talking about the resurrection of Christ and what it means for us. Because it is the first step down a road that ends for us in all things being redeemed by God the Father.