“Ascension” – Acts 1:9-11 (Class #5: 2-9-09)

Here is the outline for class #5 in our Acts study at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Austin, TX.  The title of the course is “A New Kind of Conquest” (see blog categories below). For the outline of Acts we are using, see here, and for more info please contact Matt.

(Once again I am encouraged by the depth of the discussion last night, as we discussed the meaning of the ascension (“stage 2” of the resurrection) of King Jesus.)

“Ascension”

I. Cosmology of “Heaven and Earth”

A. Gen 1:1 – “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Hendiadys for the whole creation.

B. “Heaven is “God’s Dimension or realm,” not “where you go when you die.”

C. The whole narrative of Scripture, including the resurrection and the ascension (and the incarnation!), is about the coming-together of “heaven” and “earth.”

D. St. Thomas Aquinas on the human person: “a rational animal.” Kind of like animals (body), and kind of like angels (disembodied souls). Human being as nexus of “heaven” and “earth.”

II. Scriptural (ie, OT) Precedent: Dan. 7:9-14 & “The Ancient of Days”

A. Daniel would have been in people’s minds due to the “abomination of desolation” text we have discussed in connection of the sacriledge of Antiochus Epiphanes IV.

B. “… coming on the clouds.” Typology of cloud in OT.

III. Greco-Roman Precedent: “ascensions” of Caesars.

Arch of Titus: souls of emperors going up to heaven.

Share