5 results
February 27, 2015

Then Cardinal Ratzinger, in his book, Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life, published in 1988, warns against depicting heaven as an extension of this life prettied up with depictions of “lions laying down with lambs,” and eternal picnics. Not only do we have the real problem with the fact that most of the world lives in abject misery, materially speaking—we forget that living in our modern United States of America where “the poor” often means not being able to afford all 2,000 cable...

August 6, 2014

Christian apologists have long used theological fantasy to engage the reader in speculating on points of the faith that can be difficult to discuss in didactic form. When I first published the narrative below, a reader told me it reminded him of The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis. Although I...

May 7, 2013

In the Divine Comedy, Dante is guided through the heavens by his courtly love, Beatrice.

These heavens are based on the astronomical ideas of the day, and she takes him through nine of them before they arrive at the ultimate dwelling place of God.

The idea that there are multiple heavens is not a concept that originated with Dante. Various ancient sources, including passages in the Bible...

February 15, 2013

While discussing the exclusivity of salvation through Jesus Christ in her helpful book titled The Misunderstood Jew, Jewish New Testament scholar Amy-Jill Levine sketches an amusing scene of her anticipated future arrival at the Pearly Gates. Levine imagines herself immediately peppering St. Peter with all her unanswered academic questions, only to be told to take up her...

February 5, 2013

Like the dyslexic atheist, I don’t believe in dog.

This can be a perilous position, for among those who expect to see their pets in heaven, few other subjects seem to arouse as much passion. I think I’d rather debate Android versus iPhone, or pitch the merits of baby formula to the La Leche League, than tell people that they won’t be spending the hereafter cuddled up with Fido.

Advocates of heavenly hounds tend to make one of...