Q & R: Heaven coming to earth?

Here’s the Q:

Obviously, you’re not NT Wright, but I find your writing easier to comprehend, hence my question to you.
It is my understanding that Wright argues that this world will be redeemed and that Heaven will come to Earth. This I readily agree with, but he then uses this as a basis for care of this creation. Essentially, since this world isn’t just being thrown away, we need to take care of it. Here I want to agree and like the conclusion, but I struggle with the rationale in that can’t God redeem the world to a heavenly state regardless of how bad it becomes? Using Wright’s reasoning, we should oppose the practice of cremation of the dead, right? Since we want to keep everything in as good a state as possible.

Here’s the R:

I see your point. Like you and N.T. Wright, I agree with the importance of creation care. And I agree that the thrust of the gospel is downward (“Your will be done on earth”), not upward; it’s about transformation, not evacuation. And I think N. T. Wright is trying to correct a harmful eschatology of abandonment and evacuation, and sees the importance of that adjustment in unleashing human energy for creation care. But I think the details of eschatology are notoriously complex, and it’s risky to base the call to creation care on any one thing, especially eschatological interpretations. (And of course, N. T. Wright would agree.)
By the way, keep in mind when you speak of “heaven coming to earth” that there are a lot of assumptions about what heaven means. For some, it means a static state, not a dynamic story; it means absolute perfection, not increasing goodness … and I think that’s problematic. But that’s another issue.
Let’s keep working for creation care. Our environmental emergencies are mounting and political leadership is largely AWOL, as is religious leadership. We “in the grass roots” need to green things up, empowered by the Spirit who loves and energizes creation.