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Rick Warren believes dogs and cats go to heaven

16 Apr

The famous (or infamous, depending on your POV) pastor of the Saddleback mega-church was asked this question in an ABC interview recently (Hat Tip: GetReligion):

TAPPER:  A lighter question about heaven.  On Facebook we were asked to ask you do dogs go to heaven?

R. WARREN;  I’ve been asked that 100 times.  And my answer is there’s no verse in the Bible on this — yes.  Absolutely yes.  I can’t imagine God not allowing my dog into heaven.

TAPPER:  What about cats?

R. WARREN:  Sure.  Why not?

GetReligion noted that Christian opinion has been divided on the subject, down through the ages:

But as Oxford theologian Andrew Linzey has noted, there is “an ambiguous tradition” about animals in Christianity. Thinkers as diverse as Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Fenelon, and Kant and have held that animals do not have rational, hence immortal souls. Descartes defended a distinction between humans and animals based on the belief that language is a necessary condition for mind and as such animals were soulless machines (Descartes, Discourse on the Method)

Others theologians, philosophers and writers as diverse as Goethe, St John of the Cross, C.S. Lewis, Bishop Butler, and John Wesley held the opposite view and believed that animals will find a place in heaven. Billy Graham is purported to have said:

“I think God will have prepared everything for our perfect happiness’ in heaven. If it takes my dog being there, I believe he’ll be there.”

Warren noted that the Bible is silent on the matter, but then gave an opinion, without explaining the basis for his opinion.  Too bad; I’d like to know WHY he holds as he does.

The Bible teaches that it is Man who is created in the Image of God, and that Man fell, and Man is in need of a Saviour, and that Christ died and was resurrected so that those who will believe in Him, will not perish, but have eternal life.  Furthermore, Scripture also teaches that all created things exist for the benefit of Man, to use and to be stewards of them.  Adam was even given the task of naming the animals.

It seems fairly clear to me, that animals exist for our benefit; that we get to rule over them; that their existence is merely temporal; that, not possessing consciousness, they are neither capable of sin (and thus not in need of a Saviour), nor belief in a Saviour; that the Bible’s warning about damnation and message of salvation does not apply to them.  Therefore, I see no reason to believe that animals possess souls, and go to either heaven or hell when they die, and am inclined to believe that belief that animals, esp. pets, go to heaven, is mere sentimentality on the part of those holding such beliefs.  That said, since Scripture is officially silent, I see no reason for the Church to take an official position either way; we don’t have to have official doctrines on subjects ignored by the Bible, surely; moreover, the Bible was written for people, and not for animals.

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53 Comments

Posted by on April 16, 2012 in evanjellyfish, on the lighter side, Theology

 

53 responses to “Rick Warren believes dogs and cats go to heaven

  1. Ulysses

    April 16, 2012 at 11:09 am

    It wasn’t till recently, like the past few months, that I realized this was a hot button issue. I don’t have a strong opinion, but I did tell my elder that our cat that died went to Aslan’s country.

     
  2. Will S.

    April 16, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Ha! 🙂

     
  3. Matthew

    April 16, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I’m not convinced that there’s anything to the idea of “going to Heaven”. At some point we will be resurrected with imperishable bodies, presumably to pick up the stewardship of the cosmos where Adam left off. In this I’m following the idea of “life after life after death”, to use N. T. Wright’s phrase. If the life immediately after death is some bodiless existence (BORING), then the new body on the new earth ruled by the new heaven is the life after life after death.

    On topic: Leibnizian metaphysics would allow for the resurrection of animals, as he takes the Aristotelian idea of soul as an organism’s form, or entelechy, and then runs with it. Really really he runs. As I understand Leibniz, the fundamental particle of the universe is the soul. Everything is made out of soul-stuff, with some souls running hierarchies of other souls to form larger structures.

     
  4. Joe

    April 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Who the hell wants to go to a heaven where there’s no dogs or cats or birds or dolphins or elephants or zebras or wolves or polar bears or … Sounds very boring and tedious to me. Are there no forests,or beaches,or alpine meadows,or flowers either ? The human race isn’t that wonderful– even my fellow Christians aren’t that wonderful. Christ remembered the lowly sparrow — and I remembered Christ’s mention of the sparrows as I buried my dog. My canine friend had more love in her heart for everyone she met than anyone I know,including me. The Old Testament is awful.

     
  5. josh

    April 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Animals possess souls in the sense that the definition of a soul is the form (in the Platonic sense) of an animal. However, unlike with humans, it can not be demonstrated by reason alone that any part of the animals soul survives death.

     
  6. Will S.

    April 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    @ Matthew: Indeed, some nebulous place ‘in the sky’ is not what heaven is understood to be, in orthodox Christian teaching; rather, it is an intermediate state of existence, being with God, till the Resurrection on the Last Day, when there will be a “New Heaven” and a “New Earth”, as Revelations puts it, here on this Earth.

    The same is true of hell, of course; the damned enter some intermediate realm known as hell, where they are apart from God; this hell is itself is to be cast into the fiery pit / lake, or Hell 2.0, if you like, on the final day. The resurrection is unto eternal life for the saved, and unto eternal death, for the unsaved.

    @ Joe: It’s not a matter of what we want; it’s what God’s plan is, or isn’t, for us. Yes, God’s eye is on the sparrow, in the sense that God sees every living thing, and through His Divine Providence, looks after all creatures here on Earth. It does not automatically follow, however, that there are animals in heaven; we simply do not know. It may be so, but it isn’t mentioned in Scripture, and really, our debates on the subject are all just conjecture. I don’t know why you find the Old Testament awful; it pointed the way to Christ, and the Bible is one seamless story of God’s People, through the two different dispensations or covenants.

    @ josh: I don’t really put much stock in Plato; he, too, was given to conjecture in his conception of souls. Not that he didn’t have valuable ideas that Christians could learn and borrow from, and have done so; simply that he was in no wise authoritative in the way Scripture is.

     
  7. jewelledcranberry

    April 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Interesting topic, Will, and one I’ve always had in my mind. We are the summit of God’s creation, but not the whole of it. I am a Bear of Little Brain, as Pooh would say, and so I have mined neither the Bible, nor doctrine, nor dogmatic instruction on this matter (yet, you’ve given me yet another project), but it seems to me that a God so good as to create this Earth and all manner of things that be and live upon it, would abandon all of his creation only for the sake of his final opus – the human. He gave Earth and its resources, mineral, vegetable, and animal, to us as stewards of life on Earth.

    All things exist to give glory unto Him, and so I think all of creation will exist in eternity to continue to give Glory. It is our own human failing that causes us to wish for our special dog or cat, or treasured possession(s), to be with us forever. But all life will be forever in harmony with its Creator. If we need to tell ourselves little myths about our dogs being there with us, so be it. Once the true bliss and peace of Heaven is achieved, we will internalize the knowledge that all of creation which has served its true and righteous purpose is with us and finally harmonious with us

     
  8. Will S.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    @ Cranberry: Indeed, the whole of God’s creation reflects His glory, and ultimately, was created for His purposes, which we do not fully comprehend, of course.

    Overall, I don’t consider this a subject of major importance, hence my ‘on the lighter side’ categorization of this post, but it is still something people take interest in, and have thought about.

    I suppose such little myths are ultimately harmless, in and of themselves, yet I’m inclined to think it’s part of a bigger issue, that we remain stubbornly attached to things of this world, through which we are merely travelling; we ought not to project our wishes onto God’s Kingdom, which we really have no idea about, as to what else besides God, His people, and the angels, are contained therein. And we should be willing to let go of anything temporal that God wants us to let go of, which he has only given us in this life. Even our dear animal companions.

     
  9. freebird

    April 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Heaven is the next earth age,one of perfection were the Lions lay down with the lambs,of course it is inhabited with all of earths creatures.
    It’s happened before,explain daffodils found in the mouths of wooly mammoths near the artic zone?
    Archeological evidence points to the idea the climate was very nice up there,long ago.
    Gosh,do your homework people.

     
  10. Will S.

    April 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Ever consider that the lions that lay down with the lambs, might only include those living on the Earth on the Day of Judgment? Sure, all those animals probably indeed will be still around after, but those that have already passed on? We have no idea.

    As for daffodils in the Arctic, and the like: in recorded history, we already know about severe climate changes in Arctic regions; Greenland was once arable land; now it is a bunch of islands covered in ice. No need to imagine that such things as those daffodils date as far back as Creation itself. But if they date back almost that far, so what? What does that have to do with this subject?

    As such, your snippy “do your homework people” taunt is pointless, as is your comment itself.

     
  11. Svar

    April 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    This comment thread is hilarious. I can’t believe some people think that animals actually go to heaven. This isn’t kindergarten anymore, men.

    The Old Testament says that while some animals have spirits, none, except for man, have souls. Only humans have the ability to go into the next life.

     
  12. Will S.

    April 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Indeed, Svar; Scripture gives no reason for us to believe otherwise.

     
  13. Will S.

    April 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    @ Matthew: Re: Leibniz: And what is Leibniz’ evidence for his speculations?

     
  14. Booch Paradise

    April 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I’m not going to speculate on the answer to this question, but I will say that animals most certainly do sin. Every dog I’ve owned has demonstrated guilt and shame over breaking rules. For example if I get back from work and my dog does not greet me, and I find him in some corner or in his kennel, sheepishly backing away or exposing his belly, then I know he got into the garbage or eat something he was not supposed to or something. It’s sometimes even things I wouldn’t have noticed if he were not so distraught with guilt.

     
  15. Will S.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    @ Booch Paradise: I agree that animals CAN possess a rudimentary moral sense of some sort, or so it seems; they certainly seem to possess a sense of guilt; but that is because we teach them what we consider right and wrong, and they learn from us. But those are man-made rules, not God’s; it is us our pets are in trouble with for what we consider wrong-doing, not the Lord. So I shy away from any consideration that wrongdoing on the part of our pets truly constitutes sin; that is a human failing, exclusively, as far as we know.

    And we of course recognize this in law; we have signs asking owners to clean up after their dogs in parks; we don’t punish the dogs themselves; nor do the signs address the dogs themselves. (Well, not normally.)

    And even if a dog is ‘punished’ for something, e.g.:

    The warning is given to the owner, not the dog. People, not pets, are held morally responsible for their pets’ public behaviour.

     
  16. Matthew

    April 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Will, I’m not sure what evidence one can educe for any metaphysical theory. Leibniz was trying to develop a metaphysics that would reconcile the scholastics with the determinists with the Roman church with the Protestant churches.

    I can’t follow some of his leaps, but that may not be because they are leaps of logic. He never actually wrote down a single, coherent explanation of his system. We have a few tracts and pamphlets, and an amusing amount of letters. He also usually assumes that the reader knows the basic scholastic premises and has a high familiarity with Aristotle.

     
  17. katmandutu

    April 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    “The Old Testament says that while some animals have spirits, none, except for man, have souls. Only humans have the ability to go into the next life.”

    Exactly, Svar!

    This is also one of the reasons that I do not believe man descended from apes.

    Animals do not have souls, as such, we humans do.

    A soul cannot evolve.

     
  18. Will S.

    April 16, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    @ Matthew: “I’m not sure what evidence one can educe for any metaphysical theory.”

    Indeed. Which is why, a legitimate question that can always be put to those who put them forth, “On what basis should we believe your claims?”

    “Leibniz was trying to develop a metaphysics that would reconcile the scholastics with the determinists with the Roman church with the Protestant churches.”

    Quite an undertaking, that.

     
  19. Matthew

    April 16, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    “On what basis should we believe your claims?”

    Where falsifications are not possible (as in most metaphysics), you have to judge based on a theory’s self-consistency, explanatory power, and compatibility with anything you consider axiomatic. Not necessarily in that order.

    But that’s an answer to a slightly different question, perhaps along the lines of “How do you select fruitful candidates from among the variety of metaphysical theories that have been presented?”

     
  20. Matthew

    April 16, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Svar, katmandu: our understanding of the terminology of spirits and souls is highly confused; worse, the words mean different things to different writers, at different times.

    Some philosophers (Aristotle, Leibniz) would disagree with the statement that animals do not have souls. Of course they do! for they have a living nature that expresses itself in the world by being drawn toward a particular form, or entelechy, such as the dog-form, or the mosquito-form. The soul, the psuche, is a being’s form in time.

    Clearly, though, the beasts lack something men have; we often call this something “spirit”. Most words for spirit are etymologically rooted in the word for “breath”: animus, pneuma. Despite its accepted etymology, I would argue that geist is probably descended from some similar windy word, as it is cognate with “gust”.

    Many animals breathe, so why is it that only humans have spirits? My best guess is that “breath” was used as a metonymy for speech.

    Now, as stated above, I think the problem of “going to heaven” is of little concern. A more interesting question is whether individual animals can be resurrected come the day. If the idea that all living beings have a soul/form/entelechy of some sort is correct, then it makes sense to me that dogs we know here could be given new flesh.

    But if cats get resurrected? I may have to join the other side.

     
  21. Svar

    April 16, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Well, Matthew, all creatures have bodies. Some have bodies and spirits. But only one has a body, a spirit and a soul: Man. A physical body, in the Christian sense, is not a soul. I have no clue what a spirit is, besides the fact I, other humans, and some other creatures also have one. I do know that only I and other humans have souls and no other types of creatures do.

    People believe many things. Truth isn’t relative and while people may believe faulty things, doesn’t make them right.

    Also, if bodies were souls, wouldn’t it be immoral for us to kill and consume other creatures?

     
  22. samsonsjawbone

    April 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    You guys have already said most of what I would say (especially Joe’s sentiments!). Just two things:

    I can’t believe some people think that animals actually go to heaven.

    I would agree that they don’t go there (or anywhere) of necessity, Svar, but that doesn’t preclude God from re-creating them.

    Also, a good book on the topic of heaven in general is Randy Alcorn’s Heaven. Perhaps nothing a lot of you don’t already know but it’s a good one to share with less well-read friends.

     
  23. Matthew

    April 16, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Svar, the soul as used to translate the Greek psuche is not the body (soma), nor is it considered to be separate from the body, as in Cartesian dualism. Maybe: a body is an expression of the soul’s form into and using the substance of the world.

     
  24. katmandutu

    April 16, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    “But if cats get resurrected? I may have to join the other side.”

    Lol, Matthew. I take it you are not big on cats then?

    You,d probably enjoy this, then. 🙂

     
  25. Svar

    April 16, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Yes, Samson, I agree that nothing precludes God from recreating animals. If Heaven is anything like the Garden of Eden(which is not an unreasonable assumption), then I do expect that there will be animals in Heaven. Not necessarily the ones that have died on this Earth, though.

     
  26. Will S.

    April 16, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    @ Matthew:

    Where falsifications are not possible (as in most metaphysics), you have to judge based on a theory’s self-consistency, explanatory power, and compatibility with anything you consider axiomatic. Not necessarily in that order.

    But that’s an answer to a slightly different question, perhaps along the lines of “How do you select fruitful candidates from among the variety of metaphysical theories that have been presented?”

    Fair enough.

    A difficulty arises, when an explanation is internally consistent, and can plausibly enough explain the facts as observed, yet conflicts with another internally consistent, seemingly equally plausible, alternative explanation. The complicated geocentric model that purported to explain the movement of the sun around the earth, with the multiple-loops-within-an-overall-circle pattern, seemed plausible enough, and was believed for quite a long time – until Galileo. Galileo’s explanation was much simpler, satisfying Occam’s Razor, of course.

    My point is, someone such as Leibniz could come up with a complex theory that appears to make sense and explain a lot, one which seems internally consistent, but which is based on entirely faulty presuppositions, in which case, no matter how elegant, the flaw in the reasoning is fundamental, thus invalidating the entire thing. I’m not suggesting this is or is not the case with Leibniz, as I’m unfamiliar with his work. But it’s something that gives me pause, whenever I hear complex explanations, that seem like overthinking things, compared to the relative simplicity of Scripture (which can be complicated itself, obviously).

     
  27. Svar

    April 16, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Both Aristotle and Galileo were wrong with their Geocentric Theory and Heliocentric Theory, respectfully.

    Evolutionart Theory is the most contentious theory today. If God can turn wine in water, raise the dead, part the sea, walk on water, make a man out of mud and woman out of rib, and do the bread and loaves trick, than it is more than possible that he created the world and all of the Earthly creatures in only 6 days.

    The only problem is the 6000 year timeline since Creation to the present. It seems that this Earth is much older.

     
  28. Will S.

    April 16, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    “Both Aristotle and Galileo were wrong with their Geocentric Theory and Heliocentric Theory, respectfully.”

    Uh, Galileo was correct that the Earth orbits the sun, rather than the sun orbiting the Earth as previously believed; what do you mean, Svar? Where was Galileo incorrect?

    “Evolutionary Theory is the most contentious theory today. If God can turn wine in water, raise the dead, part the sea, walk on water, make a man out of mud and woman out of rib, and do the bread and loaves trick, than it is more than possible that he created the world and all of the Earthly creatures in only 6 days.”

    My sentiments, exactly.

    “The only problem is the 6000 year timeline since Creation to the present. It seems that this Earth is much older.”

    Yes, if one ignores the Biblical teaching, not starting from the basis that it is true, and instead attempts to work backwards empirically, through radio-carbon dating, etc., one can arrive, as secular scientists do, at the conclusion the world is much, much older, on the order of billions of years.

    You mentioned Adam and Eve: they were created as full-grown adults, rather than as children; might not the world be created, likewise, “fully grown-up”, i.e. apparently billions of years old, at its beginning?

    That is how I am able to reconcile, without difficulty, the supposed findings of modern science, with Scriptural truth.

     
  29. Svar

    April 16, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    “Uh, Galileo was correct that the Earth orbits the sun, rather than the sun orbiting the Earth as previously believed; what do you mean, Svar? Where was Galileo incorrect?”

    The Geocentric Theory stated that the universe revolved around the Earth while the Heliocentric Theory said that the universe revolved around the Sun.

    Both are obviously wrong; the universe revolves arounds my penis.

     
  30. Will S.

    April 16, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    🙂

    It’s not about the universe or your penis, Svar; it’s about the sun. The Geocentric Theory posited that the sun orbited the earth, in a complex looping circle; the Heliocentric Theory posits that the earth orbits the sun, in a fairly simple elliptical, basically circular, motion.

    The Roman Catholic Church has more or less recanted its previous position, under JPII:

    In 1992, it was reported in the news that the Catholic Church had turned around towards vindicating Galileo[51]:

    Thanks to his intuition as a brilliant physicist and by relying on different arguments, Galileo, who practically invented the experimental method, understood why only the sun could function as the centre of the world, as it was then known, that is to say, as a planetary system. The error of the theologians of the time, when they maintained the centrality of the Earth, was to think that our understanding of the physical world’s structure was, in some way, imposed by the literal sense of Sacred Scripture….

    —Pope John Paul II, L’Osservatore Romano N. 44 (1264) – November 4, 1992

    In 2000, Pope John Paul II issued a formal apology for all the mistakes committed by some Catholics in the last 2,000 years of the Catholic Church’s history, including the trial of Galileo among others.[52][53]

    Just so you know. 🙂

     
  31. Booch Paradise

    April 16, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Another thing you have to take into consideration when making the point that guilt and shame in animals is a learned behavior is feral children. They are raised without other humans and literally act more like animals than humans. They also can have no sense of shame or guilt. And at least initially interacting with them as a human is not possible.

    Also, even if it is a learned behavior, I still don’t think you can separate shame and sin. One of the signs of Adam’s sin was that he was ashamed and hid himself. So if a dog does that same thing, then it is hard to say that it is not at least similar.

    Plus I would say that it is not a learned behavior. I have never taught a dog to hide, or to hang its head, or to avoid eye contact. Nor have I ever rewarded this behavior. So I’m not sure how it could be learned.

     
  32. Svar

    April 16, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    “your penis, Svar”

    Finally. We’re talking about something that actually matters.

     
  33. Svar

    April 16, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    “Another thing you have to take into consideration when making the point that guilt and shame in animals is a learned behavior is feral children. They are raised without other humans and literally act more like animals than humans. They also can have no sense of shame or guilt. And at least initially interacting with them as a human is not possible.”

    Man is inherently fallen, so I wouldn’t be surprised that feral children act like animals; the Germans used to believe children were evil, you know, Grimm Brothers and all. I’d say that they are mostly right.

    It is possible to deaden your conscience and I feel myself slipping at times; the only thing that keeps me from losing it is prayer and trying my best.

    “so, even if it is a learned behavior, I still don’t think you can separate shame and sin. One of the signs of Adam’s sin was that he was ashamed and hid himself. So if a dog does that same thing, then it is hard to say that it is not at least similar.”

    Perhaps this was because he was born without Original Sin. I do not think that animals are born with Original Sin, but they, just like all creatures, are marred with Death.

    I would say the story of you dog is intriguing. Most dogs act this way as well. I will sum this up to the fact that dogs have spirits. Maybe this behavior is learned, but it is possible that it is innate.

     
  34. Will S.

    April 16, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    @ BP: Hmmm. Yes, some behaviours in animals are instinctive, like the eye contact avoidance thing. Not all their behaviours are learned, certainly.

    You’ve given me some food for thought. Certainly, we don’t teach shame. Yet, it remains the case that our standards for pet behaviour are our own, since we own pets and teach them how to behave. So they only know any ‘morality’ they may have, because we bestowed on them such.

    @ Svar: I think this sentence is really the last time I’d like to refer to that subject (your penis); not exactly something that particularly interests me, for some reason. 😉

     
  35. Svar

    April 16, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    “@ Svar: I think this sentence is really the last time I’d like to refer to that subject (your penis); not exactly something that particularly interests me, for some reason. ;)”

    Will, there are women who read this blog. Let’s be considerate to them and consider what they might be interested in. Like my penis.

     
  36. Matthew

    April 16, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Galileo was an intellectually dishonest prick, an early-day Richard Dawkins, and the Copernican system he championed, while totally ignoring that proposed by Tycho Brahe, was not actually correct.

    By the early 1630s there were only three serious contenders still battling it out for the cosmic championship, Kepler’s and the Tychonic systems with and without diurnal rotation. At this point in the contest the Tychonic system with diurnal rotation was well ahead on points. This is the point at which Galileo published his Dialogo in which he presents a contest between the Copernican and Ptolemaic systems blithely ignoring the fact that both were effectively already out of the running.

    http://thonyc.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/galileo’s-great-bluff-and-part-of-the-reason-why-kuhn-is-wrong/

    The Tychonic system has been called geo-heliocentric. In it, the planets revolve around the sun, and the sun revolves around the earth.

    It can be shown that the motions of the planets and the Sun relative to the Earth in the Tychonic system are equivalent to the motions in a heliocentric system.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tychonic_system

    The Tychonic system would still be a contender if we had not finally been able to detect parallax for certain of the fixed stars.

     
  37. Will S.

    April 17, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Well, we know now that the orbits are, as I said above, elliptical rather than circular, but apart from that, the Copernican theory, thus modified, has not been falsified yet.

     
  38. Matthew

    April 17, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Will, heliocentrism is not the sum total of the Copernican theory. The article I linked claimed that the Copernican system required more extra circles than the Ptolemaic, AND that its astronomical predictions were worse. The Copernican system was trash before Galileo ever defended it.

     
  39. Will S.

    April 17, 2012 at 1:19 am

    Interesting. I need to do some more reading, perhaps.

     
  40. Matthew

    April 17, 2012 at 1:32 am

    So say we all.

    I’m asymptotically approaching the conclusion that all consensus beliefs are false, and probably propaganda.

    Why would Kuhn pick Galileo as his hero, if not for the conflict with the Roman clerisy? Surely Tycho Brahe cuts a better figure as a scientist.

     
  41. Will S.

    April 17, 2012 at 1:43 am

    “Everything you know is wrong”, a la U2, ZOO-TV tour electric-light billboards / TV screens, c. 1991? 😉

     
  42. Will S.

    April 17, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Just learned about the “Rainbow Bridge” (not to be confused with the bridge between Niagara Falls and Niagara Falls)…

     
  43. canecaldo

    April 19, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I think it’s safe to bet there will certainly be animals on the New Earth. If dogs, horses, and doplhins are resurrected, that would seem a pleasant surprise, but perhaps upon heavenly reflection we won’t find it surprising at all. Maybe it’s not just humans, and yet not all animals. The fact that dogs dream has always piqued my curiosity about their mental and eternal states.

    Any rainbow bridge that isn’t Bifrost is not worth talking about.

     
  44. Will S.

    April 19, 2012 at 11:45 am

    A commenter above brought up the lion laying down with the lamb, in Revelations, and I’m inclined to agree: if that part of Revelations is descriptive, then certainly, in the New Heaven and the New Earth, there will be animals, as now. But as for family pets, being resurrected, not so sure about that… Seems like wishful thinking, to me.

    “Any rainbow bridge that isn’t Bifrost is not worth talking about.”

    Ha! Good old Nordic paganism, eh? Yeah, that other ‘rainbow bridge’ is just to shut kids up and stop them from being sad and crying.

     
  45. Svar

    April 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Wait a minute, if the Lion lays down with the Lamb, does this mean we can no longer eat meat after Ressurection? I don’t think I can live in such a cruel world.

     
  46. Will S.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    We won’t need to even eat, Svar; that way, we’ll even spare the plants’ feelings.

     
  47. ray

    June 12, 2015 at 1:56 am

    Some in Christ’s millennial kingdom will need to eat, and some won’t. Those that won’t NEED to eat can still eat if they wish, and often they will. But they won’t metabolize and digest food the way we do currently. There is indirect Scriptural evidence for this.

    Scripture makes clear that animals (and all elements of Earth, including minerals, plants, water) fell into a type of degradation and suffering after the choice to rebel against God, and to share (Adam) in that rebellion. So Yahweh said you wanna live on satan’s planet? here you go.

    As you note Scripture doesn’t address animals and afterlife directly. But our Lord is extremely conservative when it comes to love, and doesn’t break such bonds casually. When he does break them, he often puts them back together later, in an ever more felicitous way.

    I’ve had enough unusual experiences with animals during my life to guess, and it’s only a guess, that certain animals are re-united with certain persons. I could be wrong on this, no biblical referent. But we have a God of Love, and he can do anything he wants.

    Cheers.

     
  48. Will S.

    June 12, 2015 at 5:47 am

    I wonder, whether, once we’re with the Lord, whether we’ll still care about such things as we do here. I can’t even begin to imagine how wonderful it will be to be in the Lord’s presence; I wonder whether the joy of such might not overshadow everything else, to the point where we no longer concern ourselves with anything else we previously obsessed about, in terms of wondering what heaven might be like. I don’t know, but I agree that God is love, and can do whatever He wishes.

    Cheers.

     
  49. ray

    June 13, 2015 at 1:57 am

    Yeah I’d agree there. For example, Scripture says in Jeshua’s Kingdom that people won’t talk, wonder, or speculate any more on the ark of the covenant. A topic of global non-interest! :O)

    The Whole Covenant will be living and interacting with them so, who needs last millennium’s newspaper?

    When we go see a special concert, something truly unforgettable, how many of us remember the guy who walked onstage for ten seconds and introduced the main course? Well nobody, unless mebbe you’re a relative of the M.C. An hour into the concert, and most folks couldn’t tell you what the introducer even looked like. Much less what they said.

    Especially for those chosen to live in the environs around Christ (near geo-physical Jerusalem) it’ll be as you described. It will be far, far unlike anything ever experienced before, spiritually physically emotionally, in all ways really. Nor is it describable for us now. Can’t be reduced to words. But he will emit some type of essence of himself, same as he will do with the restorative waters underneath his throne. That constant essence will produce bliss in those nearby. It’s not exactly heat, not exactly light. It’s much much more. Bible says the sun and moon will be ashamed at their own paltry ‘light’.

    Aside from all the other wonderful promises made to his faithful, this ‘bath of essence’ may well be the most marvelous of all. Definitely worth waiting for. You will NOT want to miss it.

    Cheers.

     
  50. Will S.

    June 13, 2015 at 5:11 am

    “When we go see a special concert, something truly unforgettable, how many of us remember the guy who walked onstage for ten seconds and introduced the main course? Well nobody, unless mebbe you’re a relative of the M.C. An hour into the concert, and most folks couldn’t tell you what the introducer even looked like. Much less what they said.”

    It occurs to me, if we’re there for eternity, eventually, we may well end up forgetting what our time here on this Earth pre-resurrection was even like; it might be as faint a memory as that of the intro guy! 🙂

     
  51. infowarrior1

    June 13, 2015 at 8:59 am

    @Will S.

    ”It occurs to me, if we’re there for eternity, eventually, we may well end up forgetting what our time here on this Earth pre-resurrection was even like; it might be as faint a memory as that of the intro guy! :)”

    Assuming that our resurrection bodies do not give us unlimited memory.

     
  52. Will S.

    June 13, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Good point, infowarrior1. 🙂

     
  53. nwkat47

    January 28, 2016 at 2:49 am

    I don’t know how old this article is, but if anyone is listening here is a twist.
    God created Man in his likeness etc. He created and gave dominion over all creatures on earth to Man. Man sinned in the Garden and needed redemption. The other creatures obviously could not or did not sin.
    Man now exiled from the Garden needed direction or perish, until Redemption (no GPS in those days) which God supplied in many ways that were recorded by receivers of the Directions and later compiled into what we know as the Bible.
    The other creatures did not need direction, but they do have something similar called instincts. Humans have conveniently determined that other creatures are lacking souls because they just aren’t as smart as us humans. Humans even determined that about other humans which they labelled as Pagan and therefore “less than and under” Man’s dominion.
    As we are learning more and more about animals we find many to be inventive, emotional, communicative, teachable not just trainable. True of other humans too. Animals are restricted by their bodies. For example lacking the voice mechanisms to speak humanly.
    However animals can express love and kindness, we have observed scientificalky. And some animals can be downright nasty purposefully, Jane goddard first observed and recorded.
    If you have experienced close relationships with animals, you may have observed remorse and grief expressed by them. Thinking, inventing, acting purposefully, expressing emotion, having sone innate sense of right fron wrobg, demobstrating empathy sure sounds what Man has determined to bevsigns of a soul. Either way, Man has been incorrect many times during its history.
    The other creaturea (animals) didn’t have to know Jesus as Man does because they had not alienated themselves from God. They did not need to acknowledge or even be aware of Redemption because it didn’t apply to them.
    So the argument that animals can’t go to heaven because they cannot know Jesus and accept His Redemption is preposterous (as this whole topic might seem to many) because none of them had participated in the Original sin.
    In a different stream, if the the diversity and beauty, and lovingness of the countless animals on earth are believed to be a creation of God and God sees them as good, in my mere thinking it seems likely the animal realm, differentiated from humans, would be something the Creator would want to retain, not toss out with the reorganization
    As for humans, God must be continually shaking His Omnipocent Head. But that is just “human thinking” as is all the rest of this.
    I have to euthanize my long time canine buddy this week. How I wish someone could guarantee we would be reunited again.

     

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