This is a guest post by blogger Dan Story. Dan looks at the question, “Do animals have souls”? Dan is well qualified on the topic and has a BA in theology and an MA in Christian apologetics. He is the author of seven books and dozens of articles, and is a contributing writer for the “Christian Research Journal”. Dan has taught apologetic classes in Bible college, spearhead apologetic workshops, and has given presentations on Christian environmental ethics as well as his newest book, Will Dogs Chase Cats in Heaven?: People, Pets, and Wild Animals in the Afterlife (at right). Dan can be contacted at www.danstory.net.
What Happens to Our Pets
Having loved and lost several dog friends during the past thirty-plus years, like millions of other pet owners, I wondered if I’d see them again in the next life. So I embarked on research journey to learn what the Bible, Christian theologians (past and present) and even science had to say on the subject. I came away convinced that is there is a huge amount of compelling evidence that pets and (at least) sentient wild animals will join God’s people in Heaven. I demonstrate this in my new book,Will Dogs Chase Cats in Heaven?: People, Pets, and Wild Animals in the Afterlife What follows in this blog is an excerpt relevant to that conclusion, which rests on the accumulated evidence of the previous seven chapters.
I demonstrate in my book that many Christian scholars believe that animals have souls and will inhabit Heaven. The question I address here is what is their origin? As I see it there are only three options.
The first option is that the animals inhabiting the New Earth are the same kinds of animals dwelling on Earth today, but recreated anew for Heaven. In other words, the same varieties of animals, but not the same ones actually living today and later resurrected to dwell in Heaven. This view, however, seems inconsistent with God’s righteous judgment. Rather than recreating the same kinds of animals now living on Earth and placing them in Heaven, it seems more likely that God will resurrect existing animals, which for no fault of their own are innocent victims of mankind’s sin (the curse—Gen. 3). Furthermore, nowhere does the Bible suggest that God will recreate the same kinds of animals now living on Earth to populate the restored New Earth.
A second possibility is that the animals destined to inhabit Heaven are different kinds of animals than today’s earthly varieties. God could create entirely new species of animals specifically designed for Heaven. The problem with this theory is that there is no biblical precedent for making such a claim; the animals the Bible mentions that will dwell in the new heaven and earth are the same kinds of animals presently inhabiting Earth today (e.g. Isa.11:6-8). When Jesus returns to make His grand appearance in the last days, He will be riding on a horse—not a unicorn!
We can Logical Conclude Animals have Souls
The third option is the most probable. The animals that will reside in Heaven are those that have died under the curse, redeemed with saved humanity and the rest of creation (Romans 8:19-23), and resurrected at the end of this age. Why else would God give animals’ immortal souls and redeem them alongside save humanity at the end of this present age, if they are not going to be resurrected in imperishable, physical bodies? In other words, if the redemption of God’s people includes resurrected bodies in the age to come, it is consistent with God’s great love for and enjoyment of the animals He created that they too will be blessed with resurrected bodies (see Job 39; Ps. 50:10-11; 104).
You can read a description of Will Dogs Chase Cats in Heaven? at www.danstory.net. Click on “description” at the bottom of the home page.
Click Will Dogs Chase Cats in Heaven?: People, Pets, and Wild Animals in the Afterlife to learn more about the book and discover read for yourself if animals have souls.