John: Because of my verbosity, allow me to interact with your comments in a new post (If you are new to this discussion, the original post and comments may be found here).
1. Heaven’s Already Here: Admittedly, I stated this poorly (the need for clarity was trumped by my desire to reference an early nineties pop song). The assumption was more that the new heavens and new earth are here, being sanctified and purified along with the Church (this is where Josh’s article at The Cedar Room comes into play). I did not intend to say that Heaven is a template for the New Jerusalem.
2. The dominion mandate is a means (through grace) of sanctification: This is related to the first point. The world is cursed, and the world is being sanctified. That certainly includes us humans and our personal sanctification and the Church’s corporate sanctification. But it also includes the rest of Creation. Taking dominion does not mean that all non-human creation is a great big ball of resources. Taking dominion is sanctification. Sometimes this means breaking things down to build them up aright (particularly after the curse). Pruning looks like violence, but it is actually nurture. However, cutting down a healthy tree just because you have the authority to, is not taking dominion: it is abuse of authority, and indeed accomplishing just the opposite of taking dominion. There are of course other factors involved here as well, but equating “taking dominion” merely with the power or ‘permission’ to ‘use’ creation is to denature and ultimately destroy the sanctifying purpose of the dominion mandate.
This “creation as mere resource” approach is what I was attacking with my Prince Albert reference.
A good part of your comment was about establishing permission to eat animals. I’m with you 100% here. However, having permission is not the same thing as having achieved the goal. My question was more about where we should be heading in terms of sanctification.
3. In Glory, the Lion will lie down with the lamb…tigers will eat grass…etc.: If I remember correctly (sorry, I don’t have a Bible on me at the moment), that section ends with something like “they shall not kill in all my holy mountain”. That seems clear enough. Death is the enemy, not just for us, but for all of Creation (I suppose that could be a point of debate).
Peter’s dream about animals had to do with gentiles in the covenant. However, the metaphor means what it means because in some sense it is true in itself. In this case, I’m with you that this dream also meant that those in covenant with God could now eat that which had previously been declared unclean. The type changed because the nature of the archtype had changed.
If the statements about not killing in the New Earth are litteral (and I think we must see it that way, otherwise the metaphor makes no sense), then the implications for what we eat are quite obvious. Unless they get that meat tree thing working.
I agree with you, I think I may miss steak. But I also think I may miss sex with my wife. This is a longing for the shadows and types, which is understandable since the archtype is not yet. We will not be married or given in marriage in Glory, not because marriage will disappear, but because it will be fulfilled. My marriage to my wife is a type and shadow of our corporate marriage to the Christ. How does this work practically for my libido? No idea. But I have faith that the fulfillment will be apparent.
Will they kill in all His holy mountain? Certainly not. What I’m wondering is: Do we wait for the resurrection of the dead for this change, or should it be part of the sanctification of the creation that we are to be about now?
The argument could be made that, while we have not come to our wedding day with Christ (and so I should keep sleeping with my wife), Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice has already been made, and thus the sacrificial imagery of killing and eating animals has been fulfilled.