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Dan Story
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Today (Sept. 4th) I just posted my eighth blog on my my new blog series, ENCOUNTERING GOD IN THE WILDERNESS: A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY OF DISCOVER. You can read all of them at www.danstory.net. Click on "blog" top of home page. If you wish not to miss any weekly post, you can be added to my personal blog email list and receive notices on that day I post. Click on "contact" top of page and send me a request. I don't share email addresses.
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All my blog series can be read at www.danstory.net. Click on "Blog."

My present series is titled, "What Will It Be Like in Heaven?" It is adapted from my newest book, WILL DOGS CHASE CATS IN HEAVEN?: PEOPLE, PETS, AND WILD ANIMALS IN THE AFTERLIFE, which is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other outlets. If you go to my homepage and click on the cover photo, it will take you directly to my author page on Amazon.
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Part Eight: WHAT DOES THEOLOGIAN RICHARD BAUCKHAM AND APOLOGIST JOSEPH BUTLER HAVE TO SAY ABOUT ANIMALS IN HEAVEN?Richard Bauckham

A few years ago I wrote a review of two books written by this British scholar and theologian for the Christian Research Journal: The Bible and Ecology and Living With Other Creatures. Although Bauckham did not outright state in either book that animals would be resurrected, he did make tantalizing statements that implied they would. For example, in Bible and Ecology he wrote, “If the new creation is the transformation of the whole of this material creation so that all creatures may share in the life of the divine eternity, then Jesus’ resurrection must lead the way to new creation for the whole community of creation, not just humans” (171).

In order to get clarification, I emailed Professor Bauckham and asked this question: “What’s your belief (and why) on whether or not pets and other animals alive today will be in the new heaven and earth?” Bauckham replied, “I take seriously that the new creation is the new creation of all things. So plants too and rivers and mountains! God will take everything of value into the new creation. Redeemed from all evil and suffering.”

It appears certain that Bauckham believed, as John Calvin put it, that all creation “aspires to the hope” of resurrection (see part three). ©

Joseph Butler

Eighteenth century English bishop, theologian, and moral philosopher, Joseph Butler, is probably best known for his apologetic refutation of Deism in The Analogy of Religion. Butler argued that the evidence for an Intelligent Being (i.e. God) is reflected in the design and creation in nature. He further believed that evidence for Jesus’ miraculous resurrection can be drawn from analogies with nature, such as caterpillars dying and resurrecting as butterflies. As such, in the case of animals, Butler argued that nothing in the whole analogy of nature gives the slightest indication that on the future restored and transformed New Earth earthly animals will not survive physical death. In short, Butler believed that just as Jesus’ resurrection guarantees human resurrection, so too animal resurrection is an effect of Christ’s resurrection. ©

Note: The sources for all the quotes and comments by the theologians and apologists referenced in this series are cited in my book, Will Dogs Chase Cats in Heaven?: People, Pets, and Wild Animals in the Afterlife.
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Part Seven: WHAT DOES RANDY ALCORN HAVE TO SAY ABOUT ANIMALS IN HEAVEN?

This popular writer, conference speaker, and author of the highly acclaimed book Heaven clearly expects animals to be resurrected. In his book he writes:

"Why [do] so many people find such companionship, solace, and joy in their pets?. . . I believe it’s because of how God has made animals, and us. . . . It would be simple for him to re-create a pet in Heaven if he wants to. He’s the giver of all good gifts, not the taker of them. If it would please us to have a pet restored to the New Earth, that may be sufficient reason” (emphasis included). . . .

We know animals will be on the New Earth, which is a redeemed and renewed old Earth, in which animals had a prominent role. People will be resurrected to inhabit this world. As we saw, Romans 8:21-23 assumes animals as part of a suffering creation eagerly awaiting deliverance through humanity’s resurrection. This seems to require that some animals who lived, suffered, and died on the old Earth must be made whole on the New Earth. Wouldn’t some of those likely be our pets?" (385-386)

I look closely at the Romans 8:21-23 in my book, Will Dogs Chase Cats in Heaven?, and quote other theologians, including John Calvin, who used this passage to confirm animal resurrection. In the Romans passage, the Apostle Paul clearly tells us that all creation (which, of course, includes animals) is waiting “eagerly” for its redemption along with saved humanity.

But why would animals be waiting eagerly for their redemption if they were not going to join God’s people in Heaven? The obvious and biblical answer is, they will join God’s people in Heaven! ©
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WHAT DOES MARTIN LUTHER HAVE TO SAY ABOUT ANIMALS IN HEAVEN—IN PARTCULAR HIS OWN DOG?

Continuing my series on “Christian Apologists and Theologians Who Believe in the Probability of Animal Resurrection,” this week’s blog article (part six) reveals what the great Reformation theologian, Martin Luther, had to say about animals in the afterlife—in particular his dog Tólpel. Luther has an imaginative—if not creative—way of describing what a heavenly Tólpel will look like. Not what you might imagine. This blog can be read at www.danstory.net/blog.

This series of blog articles are adapted from my book, WILL DOGS CHASE CATS IN HEAVEN?: PEOPLE, PETS, AND WILD ANIMALS IN THE AFTERLIFE. In terms of apologetics and evangelism, the book is a subtle way to introduce unbelievers (especially pet owners and wildlife advocates) to the love of Jesus and the wonders of Heaven. I give a description of the book at my website: www.danstory.net. Go to my home page and click on “Description” at the bottom of the page.

In my next blog, we’ll see what Randy Alcorn, author of the acclaimed book, Heaven, has to say about animals in the afterlife. However, it will not be posted until after the first of the year, since I’ll be taking my annual Christmas celebration break.

If you would like to receive a personal email notice when I post a blog article—or other writings and teaching activities—please go to my website, click on the “contact” button, and send me a request. I do not share email addresses.
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WHAT DOES HANK HANEGRAAFF (a.k.a. THE BIBLE ANSWER MAN) SAY ABOUT ANIMALS IN THE AFTERLIFE?

The president of the Christian Research Institute (a.k.a. The Bible Answer Man) supports the possibility of animal resurrection. In his book, Resurrection, he writes:

'Scripture does not conclusively tell us whether our pets will make it to heaven. However, the Bible does provide us with some significant clues regarding whether animals will inhabit the new heaven and the new earth. . . .

[T]he Garden of Eden was populated by animals; thus, there is a precedent for believing that Eden restored [the new heaven and earth, Isa. 65:17; Rev.21:1] will be populated by animals also. . . .
Furthermore, the Scriptures from first to last suggest that animals have souls. . . . It wasn’t until the advent of the seventeenth-century Enlightenment and the thought of Descartes and Hobbes that the existence of animal souls was even questioned in Western civilization. . . .

Finally, while we cannot say for certain that the pets we enjoy today will be “resurrected” in eternity, I, like Joni [EarecksonTada] are not willing to preclude the possibility. Some of the keenest thinkers from C. S. Lewis to Peter Kreeft are not only convinced that animals in general but that pets in particular will be restored in the resurrection. . . .

In the final analysis, one thing is certain: Scripture provides us with a sufficient precedent for suggesting that animals will continue to exist after the return of our Lord' (p. 120-122).

Next week we’ll read what the great Reformation theologian, Martin Luther, has to say about animals in Heaven. ©
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AN IDEA FOR A CHRISTMAS GIFT

“A powerful case for animal immortality, well-researched and well-written.”
Dr. John Warwick Montgomery
I hope you’ll indulge me here. After almost four years posting weekly blog articles—and since others in this group sometimes promote their talks and activities—I thought (in lieu of this week’s blog) it would be permissible for me to shamelessly squeeze in a suggestion for a Christmas gift: my new book, WILL DOGS CHASE CATS IN HEAVEN?: PEOPLE, PETS, AND WILD ANIMALS IN THE AFTERLIFE. (Actually, the idea of my book being a Christmas gift was made by some of my readers.)

With more than 40 million households with pets in the U.S., I can imagine my book being a great Christmas gift for pet owners and other animal lovers. It would be especially helpful for people who have lost beloved pets, or would simply like to have an answer when their kids or friends ask if their deceased pets will greet them in Heaven. (Many children have asked their parents—and I’m told their pastors—this very question.) The book can also be a subtle point of contact with non-Christians to the amazing love of Christ and wonder of Heaven.

You can read a description of the book at my website, www.danstory.net, by clicking on “Description” at the bottom of the home page. The book can be ordered at Amazon.com or by going to my homepage and clicking on the cover photo or title. Either one will take you directly to my Amazon book page.
Next week, I’ll resume my series on “Christian Apologists and Theologians Who Believe in the Probability of Animal Resurrection.” We’ll see what Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute, has to say about animals in the afterlife.
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