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how to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

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Andrew,

It also seems to me important for the overall theology of scripture that the creator has the last say

I would say that God did have the last say. God judged both Jew and Gentile in AD 70 and created a “new heaven and earth”, one where righteousness would dwell (2 Peter 3:13) and be ruled by God. A world God created by God that no unclean thing could ever enter. One where only those in Christ would be found. Those not in Christ, those “outside” the gates who continue to practice sinfullness (Rev. 22:14-15), would remain in the final judgement that was pronounced in AD 70. They would remain out of covenant with God and thus in death. Jesus was serious when he stated “My Kingdom is not of this world (Jn. 18:36), and concerning the Kingdom of God, “nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you” (Luke 17:2-21). Daniel was clear that in AD 70 all dominion over the Kingdom of God by pagan powers would be taken away (Daniel 7:12). Sure their lives (the four beasts culminated in the 4th - the iron beast (Rome)) - was prolonged for a season (until the fall of Rome), but it no longer had any power over the Kingdom of God/Christ post AD 70. This was because in the Resurrection Christ established a new heaven and earth and Kingdom where no man or empire could ever touch it.

To look for a future physical establishment of the Kingdom of God in some future physical world (your new heaven and earth - which would allow for one to say “Look, here it is”) goes against the entire Scriptural record. The fulfillment and reality of all past temporal types and shadows are found in Christ (Col. 2:16-17). As soon as Christendom let’s go of the physcial the sooner it will be able to see things as they really are.