During my daily commutes this week, I've been listening to a series of N.T. Wright lectures on "Creation and New Creation in the New Testament." (Courtesy of Regent Radio.) They are quite good, as expected. Perhaps these lectures have raised my awareness, but I've been more prone to notice the fixation on "heaven as our home" within pop Christian-speak. Departed saints are "going home." This world is "not my home." Christ will one day come "to take me home." And so on. And of course, the New Testament does employ the language of "home" to describe being with the Lord after death, ("we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.") especially in contrast to the current fallen state of creation. But as usually employed by Evangelicals, the language of "home" becomes a spiritual reality that is completely divorced from our current existence. "Going home" acts as code for the total escape from the corrupt, evil world. This misused language (and the attitude the fuels it) sadly neglects God's promise to redeem the creation completely from sin's corruption. Our ultimate "home" is the new heaven and new earth, which (in some translations) Peter refers to as "the home of righteousness." Although altered and redeemed, the new heaven and earth are not a complete discontinuity from the original creation.
As it so happens, the following entry at Societas Christiana addresses a similar concern. As Tim Enloe notes, much current Evangelical thought on both the current creation and the afterlife echoes a dualism more at home within paganism than within the pages of Scripture.