Will People Have Disabilities in the New Heaven and Earth? Part 2

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Last week I explored the question of disabilities in the afterlife through personal reflection on my mother's and my daughter's disabilities. Several readers offered insightful comments in response. If you have not read them, please do; you’ll be richer for it. Please feel free to offer your comments again to today’s blog.

The late Nancy Eiesland lived with significant physical impairment all her life. In an article, she describes her struggle with the meaning of disability. One day, she was given an insight while reflecting on Luke 24. In this passage, the followers of Jesus do not recognize their resurrected Lord when he first appears among them. Then, he shows them his hands and his feet. In the marks of his crucifixion, they recognize their Lord.

As Eiesland thought about the import of that moment, she came to a new insight about her own disability. “The foundation of Christian theology is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet seldom is the resurrected Christ recognized as a deity whose hands, feet, and side bear marks of profound physical impairment. In presenting his impaired body to his startled friends, the resurrected Jesus is revealed as the disabled God. Jesus, the resurrected Savior, calls for his frightened companions to recognize in the marks of impairment their own connection with God, their salvation.”

Jesus still bears those marks today, as he will throughout eternity. Ever since his crucifixion and resurrection, these are marks of his identity. If Jesus, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep, will bear these marks, we can expect that his followers will bear the marks of our own disabilities and challenges throughout eternity too. As jheyboer says in a comment to last week’s blog, it’s all a matter of our identity.

Our identities are formed by a variety of factors including our experiences. In another comment, Bev Roozeboom talks about living with a birth defect in her left hand: “I believe He [God] used my simple birth defect to mold and shape my heart into one that more closely resembles His. He has given me a heart filled with compassion and love for the marginalized in our society. My hand is such a part of who I am -- who I've become.”

However, in another comment, she longs for that day when her son Kyle no longer will have to live with mental illness. “Even as I type these words I envision what the New Earth will be like for Kyle. No anxiety. No rages. No pain (real or imagined). No confused thinking. Peace, happiness, wholeness, joy. Life as God originally created it.”

Will there be disabilities in heaven? I couldn’t say it any better than jheyboer who wrote, “The question then isn't so much if there will be disabilities in Heaven. But whether or not a person is humble enough to accept the true and complete person God has intended for them to become, of which we are only shadows of now!”

Frankly, none of us has a clue what heaven will be like, except that it will be good beyond our wildest dreams. But here’s an expectation of mine: our experiences here on earth will shape our identities in heaven.

Kyle, Bev, Nancy Eiesland will bear the marks of their disability in heaven, as will my mother and daughter. What will that look like? I don’t have a clue, except that it will be wonderful. Each of them will bring to heaven a unique wisdom and richness.

Likewise, every child of God will bear the marks of our experiences here on earth throughout eternity – the joys and delights, the sorrows and horrors. God will make all things new, not with a “scorched earth policy” of throwing out who we were while here on earth and starting over, but with an eternal springtime in which each of us awakens to be exactly whom God intended us to be.

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Participant

I think we need to be very careful here.  It's true that the only record we have of a resurrected Person mentions that Jesus could be recognized by the wounds in his hands and feet and his side (John 20:26-27).  But is it not true that the wounds in Jesus' side were made by the Roman soldier (John 19:34)?  In other words, the hands and feet were pierced while Jesus was alive, but His side was pierced after He had died.  If we say that Jesus will carry these marks "throughout eternity," and assume that the same applies to us, that our infirmities will be carried "throughout eternity," then the same must apply to any damage done to our bodies after we have died.  In other words, anybody who was executed by guillotine during the French revolution can then be expected to be headless "throughout eternity." And where does this then stop?  Is there some cut-off time when deterioration to our bodies (natural decay) is not reflected in our new bodies?

I appreciate that some people with disabilities may want to carry their disability into eternity; I'm not one of them.  I'm partially colorblind and would hope not to have to deal with the inability to see cardinals in a tree or ripe raspberries on a raspberry bush throughout eternity."

What I agree with is fhe author 's statement that "[f]rankly, none of us has a clue what heaven will be like, except that it will be good beyond our wildest expectations."  Maybe we should leave it at that, rather than to speculate about things for which we will never, on this side of eternity, have sufficient information.

Guide

Tyl,

Thanks for your comments. A couple thoughts in response:

1. Eiesland's (and my) point is that Jesus bore the marks of his wounds in his glorified body. After his resurrection Jesus had a glorified body which was more unlike than like his body before his suffering and death, so unlike that his disciples did not even recognize him. I believe that we can assume that the same will be true for all who live with glorified bodies in the new heaven and earth. And I believe that we will bear the marks of our lives while here on earth. We will have new identities in Christ, and those identities will not be completely separated from who we were while here on earth. We will be transformed, but we will not be annihilated and turned into something completely different than what we were on earth. Will you see colors in heaven? Like you, I expect that you will, and you will bear the marks of your color-blindness in the new heaven and earth; you'll carry with you a wisdom and insight from living with color blindness now that will enrich your life in the new heaven and earth. Bev's comment last week about living with a deformed hand makes this point much better than I can.

2. The value in speculating about life in the new heaven and earth is to change our behavior and attitudes today. Raising this topic helps us think about the nature of disability, identity, and the value of people today. If it is true that people will bear the marks of their disability throughout eternity, as Jesus bears the marks of his suffering, then it means that God places a high value on our experiences while here on earth, and he values the people having those experiences. Too often, people with disabilities feel as if other people discount them and the contributions they make to life and society. But that's not God's perspective. If we said that God annihilated people and started all over, then who we are on this earth doesn't really matter. But if God values people so much that we bear the marks of this life in the next, then we and our experiences are valuable right now because God values people and their experiences and the wisdom gained through that experience including disabilities and the people who live with them.

Blessings, Mark

Participant

Mark,

 I appreciate your concerns about the disabled but I take issue with your points.  In the first place, the disciples did recognize Jesus.  True, Mary Magdalene did not recognize Him, but that may have been because she was crying.  She did recognize Jesus when she called him "Rabboni" when He spoke to her [John 20:15-6].  The disciples recognized Jesus when He showed them His hands and side [John 20:19].  In the second place, you make the assumption that our glorified bodies will bear the marks of our lives on earth.  Making assumptions is always dangerous because they are based on an imperfect understanding.  The Bible is quite silent on these matters.  In fact, I am surprised how little the Bible speaks of specific aspects of life after death.  My guess is that words cannot express this concept.  I have not stated that I expect that we will be "annihilated and turned into something completely different than we were on earth" and I will accept that the concept of annihilation may suggest that "who we are on earth doesn't matter."  Still, it's cold comfort to me that I will still not be able to see the red cardinal in a leafy tree.

You have not addressed my comment about the difference between wounds inflicted before death (in the case of Jesus, pierced hands and feet) and those inflicted after death (pierced side).  I mentioned victims of the guillotine who would, if your assumption is correct, have glorified, but headless, bodies.

Let me give you an example.  In our recent federal election, a quadriplegic member of parliament was re-elected.  He was seriously injured when his car hit a moose 15 years ago.  Are you suggesting that he can look forward to remaining a quadriplegic for all eternity?  Of course, it can be argued that he can praise God with his infirmity but I should also point out that he also has memories of having been a provincial kayaking champion before his accident.  Are you suggesting that, when we receive our glorified bodies, our memory will be wiped clean?  How will this be seen by believers whose mind has become clouded by old age?  Will they receive glorified bodies with this diminished mental capacity?

I appreciate your concern for the disabled and it may well be that God places a high value on our experiences and that He values the experiences of people with disabilities.  But to speculate on things that we cannot know to change current attitudes is, to me, putting the cart behind the horse.  Yes, your assumptions may raise the self-worth of the disabled (and I value Bev's comment about her deformed hand) but do little for those of us who hope that our bodies and mind will be restored.

Shalom

Tyl

Guide

Tyl,

Thanks for this discussion. It's good to think carefully about this, and your insights help.

As I said in my comment above, I assume you will see colors in the age to come. Your and my longings are the same. As I wrote in my first blog about my daughter Nicole who lives with severe multiple disabilities today, "Of all the things I long for in the new heaven and earth one of the deepest is this: to see Nicole come running up to me, and say, 'Hi dad, let’s talk.'" Furthermore, I long for the time when I can have a clear-headed discussion with my mom once again; that's impossible now because she lives with severe dementia.

From the little the Bible says, the new heavens and earth will be familiar to us, yet will be dramatically better. Likewise, our identities, which God has shaped while here on earth, will be ours in the new heaven and earth, and those identities will be made new in Christ. Somehow, in the age to come, God will embrace and affirm all that Nicole and my mom are in this age, AND he will make them wonderfully new. To say it another way, in the age to come, we will all "bear the marks" of our lives in this age, and we will be renewed.

I agree with you that the followers of Jesus did recognize him, but the Scriptures seem to indicate that they needed something from the past to recognize him in his resurrected body. With the disciples (Luke 24) it was in the marks of his crucifixion, with Mary Magdalene his voice, and with the couple on the way to Emmaus in the breaking of the bread. Once again, it seems that the age to come will somehow embrace all of this age, and it will be wonderfully different and better as well.

Your question about Jesus showing the disciples his side (John 20) is a good one, and the Scriptures indicate that his piercing is a significant part of his identity (even though it happened after his death), so that he bears that mark in his resurrected body. Isaiah 53 and Zechariah 12 prophesy his piercing, and the apostle John makes sure to show how scripture was fulfilled. I assume that for the rest of us, what happens to our bodies after we die will not be part of our identity in the new heavens and earth.

I mentioned one application to you of value in this discussion, namely, to affirm the value of the lives of people with disabilities today. As I have been thinking about your comments, I think of a second application as well: how pastors conduct funerals of people who had disabilities when they died. When someone dies who did not live with disabilities, pastors usually focus on all the positive aspects of their lives. But when someone with a disability dies, pastors often focus on how they will be made new and different and better in heaven, using words like "freed" and "released" and "made whole." The danger with this emphasis is that it implies that people are better dead than disabled. (See Ben Mattlin's commentary for a pointed illustration.) That's the message of Peter Singer and his ilk, as well as the whole "right to die" movement, but not one that we Christians would want to communicate. Not at funerals or anywhere else. Each life is precious in this age and the age to come, and we Christians need to affirm that truth everywhere, perhaps especially at funerals.

Peace to you too,

Mark

Participant

Mark,

Thanks for your response.  I suppose we'll have to "agree to disagree."  In your initial response, you wrote that "Like you, I expect that you will, and you will bear the marks of your color-blindness in the new heaven and earth."  Yet, in your second response, you assume that I "you will see colors in the age to come."  That was not my comment; I mentioned color-blindness.  But, more to the point, you seem to consider "recognition" as we currently understand it.  And, right away, this creates an intractable problem because we change over time and those who will "recognize" us won't have the same image of us, so we may be 'recognizable' to others in different ways, somewhat along the lines that the colors of a butterfly wind change depending on which angle you look at them.

You have already stated that one of your wishes is that your daughter will come running up to you and say, 'Hi dad, let's talk.'  In other words, you hope that your daughter will be made whole. Likewise, you hope you will be able to communicate with your mother who now has dementia.  Here we have two individuals, one with a disability since birth and one with an acquired disability.  Will they both have the marks of their disability?  I would think not.  What about the recovered drug addict whose body is a road map of tattoos?  He or she may be known by these tattoos.  Will they prevail into eternity?

Now let's get back to the wound in Jesus' side, acquired after His death.  Note that not all disciples were at the foot of the cross and may not have been aware of the desecration of Jesus' body after death.  Unless word got around, it's not likely that the disciples would have been aware of this wound.  And, considering how dense the disciples were, they may not have made the connection between Isaiah 53 and Zechariah 12 and the crucifixion.  Therefore, I think that the extrapolation to what our bodies may or may not look like is extremely tenuous and gets into the realm of speculation.

I see nothing wrong with pastors using terms such as 'freed,' 'released,' and 'made whole' at funerals.  Maybe these terms should be used in every funeral because we are freed and released from the bondage of sin.  This does not mean that life has no meaning or that we're better off dead than 'disabled' or 'in the bondage of sin.'

In conclusion, I don't disagree with you on the value of life and the value of disabled individuals.  What I have problems with is the - to me- questionable extrapolation of the marks that Jesus showed after His resurrection to our appearance in the life to come. But I'm not a theologian.

Shalom

Tyl

Guide

Tyl,

The give and take of this confirmation helps me to clarify my own ideas. Thank you for sticking with it. (To avoid repeating the same phrase over and over, I'll use "the age to come," "the life to come," and "the new heavens and earth" as synonyms.)

I'll try to explain again what I mean by "bear the marks of one's disability." I assume that God is a God of economy. None of our experiences gets wasted. Instead our experiences conform us more to the image of Christ. The image of Christ is so big and broad, that no human can do so by him or herself. But we bring our own unique gifts to the body of Christ both in this life and in the life to come. As we listen to each other and value each other and value the unique gifts and perspectives that each member of Christ's body brings to the body of Christ, then the body of Christ becomes more complete, more whole, while here on this earth. But that is only the beginning of the process; the real completion and wholeness will come about in the life to come.

So for example, my daughter is a part of the body of Christ now, and she brings a unique contribution to the healthy functioning of the body that would not be there without her. I do believe that she will walk and speak in the new heavens and earth, but I would not want to say that she will be made "whole" in the age to come, unless we also use that same language about all of us who are members of Christ's body. Rather than say that Nicole will be made whole in the age to come, I would rather say that she makes the body of Christ more whole in this age, and she will make the body of Christ more whole in the age to come. She brings a unique perspective and gifts and presence to the body of Christ as she is today. Her unique perspective and set of gifts and presence comes to the body of Christ now because Nicole is as she is, not in spite of her disabilities but through her disabilities. (God is a God of economy.) And I believe God works in her life now and will do so after her death so that her unique perspective and gifts and presence will be brought into the age to come as well. And that's what I think of when I say that she will bear the marks of her disability in the age to come.

Mark

Tyl,

   Mark is pointing out the how disabled people are judged incomplete persons with those kind of statements at funerals. We all know about our spiritual incompleteness but these statements reflect added emphasizes to the view of disabled individuals. If they would say this at everyone's funeral that would be different. Remember, this isn't about what pastors say at funerals but hidden bias in our every day thought that create false images of value. These things seem innocuous until your on the receiving end.

Ken

Mark and Tyl,

The debate around what "marks" of our life on earth will persist in glory is confounded at times by what I believe are mistaken comparisons between our scars and Christ's.  I have a colleague who says regularly that like Christ, the scars that "glorify God" are the ones we'll bear in eternity.  For me this is problematic.  What scars of mine will ever measure up to the one who has, as mentioned in Hebrews, been "sawn in two" for her faith?  That's a God-glorifying scar.  Will she appear in glory knit together with a big line around her middle, or as two halves? 

It may be more helpful to remember that Christ's scars are essential to Christ's eternal identity.  Our scars (physical and emotional) are simply the evidence, here and now, of that which God may have used to make us more Christlike.  Will the evidence of physical and emotional hurt and struggle remain?  Or will the Christlikeness God used those things to bear in us be the remnant of that work God did this side of glory?  In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul dispels the idea that these bodies are the ones we'll have in glory.  He compares them to seeds that are planted in the ground.  The seed that is planted contains the stuff of the new thing God will raise to new life.  But the new being will be so different as to be almost unrecognizable.  And Paul asserts that the new body will be of new "stuff" - a "heavenly" or "spiritual" body, not an earthly one.  This passage gives great comfort to those whose loved ones' bodies have been obliterated in or after death.  It is, I believe, also a great comfort to those of us who have struggled with the limitations a broken world have placed on our spirits, senses, bodies and wills.  Christ's scars are inextricable from his eternal identity.  Ours are the reminders, right now, of the stuff God's using to generate the eternal in us: greater and greater Christlikeness.  We are all people who long for the resurrection, when we are indeed made new

Guide

Ben,

Yes, as Scripture teaches, our new bodies will be "sprouted" from the seeds of who we were while here on earth. And who we will be will be absolutely wonderful and made new. However, when you say, "But the new being will be so different as to be almost unrecognizable," do you mean that we will be almost unrecognizable to ourselves? Do you mean that I will lose my current identity as a male, as the husband of Bev while here on earth (though of course not married to her in heaven), as the father of our children, as one who buried one of our children and raised another who has severe disabilities? I hope not, because these are a few of the facts of genetics and of experience that God is using to make me more Christlike. I will be forever indebted to my wife for the ways that she has been helping me grow in Christlikeness, and I hope that I can carry that appreciation throughout eternity. I firmly believe that these will be part of my identity in the new heavens and earth, sprouts from which the new me will grow. I don't see anything in Scripture that suggests that I will lose all that God is making me now. I will "bear the marks" of my life in this age when I am made new in the age to come. Likewise, with all of his children, including his children who live with disabilities. We will bear the marks of our lives in this age when he makes us new in the age to come. It seems like it would be wasteful of God to throw out all that he has been making us in this age when he ushers in the age to come.

What will our "scars" look like in the age to come? They'll be beautiful. You mention the saint who was sawn in two for her faith. The scars that she will bear from her martyr's death in the new heavens and earth will add to her beauty, like the pearl in the oyster. All those ways in which God has been shaping and forming his children while here on earth will add to the beauty and richness of heaven, we'll bear these marks throughout eternity. But I certainly don't believe that we'll stop growing and that the new heavens and earth will be a static existence. We'll keep on growing in relationship with God and his people and creation. The few years we spend here on earth will be part of us in heaven, but an increasingly smaller part as we live with Christ and his people in the new creation for eternity.

Mark

Mark,

I believe that there will be swathes of who we are and who/what we know here and now that will in fact be forgotten by us as we enter glory.  Now I arrive at this in response to some of these dilemmas:

-will we remember sin and its effects in glory?

-will we marry/be given in marriage at the resurrection?

-will we be heartbroken in glory at those who are "missing"?  (e.g., what if the spouse and kids whom God used to make you more Christlike don't themselves embrace Christ as Lord and Savior)?

I wonder if our frame of reference for what matters and what will last is so rooted in a sin-corrupted world that we can't possibly know what we'll keep as we enter glory.  This side of the grave we can't fathom not knowing our spouses and kids and even our own bodies the way we do now.  But perhaps even these most precious things are ones God will ask us to exchange for the better thing he has for us in eternity.  When Jesus calls disciples he says,

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.  And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple."

I don't think this is a command to hate any of these good things per se.  It could however be an acknowledgment that we can't be disciples of Christ unless we're willing to let everything else serves as a means of communion with him rather than an end to itself; and that in the end, he's the only thing we'll be guaranteed to keep.

I appreciate your perspective, and would welcome your thoughts about some of these other questions.

Ben

Participant

Mark and Ben,

It's been a few days since I was able to respond to Mark's recent comment, first to my most recent comments, and then to Ben's. I welcome Ben's contribution to this interesting debate.

I maintain that this discussion is, to a large extent, conjecture: we don't have much of a clue as to what, as Mark calls it, "the age to come" will be. To save keystrokes, let's use the acronym "TATC."

First of all, the Bible says very little about TATC and that forces Mark to use the word "assume" a lot ("I assume that God is a God of economy"). Second, I am convinced that it's going to be a lot better than we can even assume (how's that for using "convinced" and "assume" in one sentence!). But I use these terms to show how little we know about TATC. Yet, in his most recent response, Mark is quite certain that some of us will have marks identifying us as martyrs.

Now let's get back to the initial point that Mark made, that, somehow, the marks that Christ showed in His resurrected body is a precursor of how we will be identified in TATC. I took issue with that and am pleased that Ben appears to share my views.

Mark also maintained that our disabilities will be evidenced in TATC. In his first entry in this series, he wrote, "we can expect that his followers will bear the marks of our own disabilities and challenges throughout eternity too." I disagree and want to push the envelope a bit here. What about conjoined twins? There is a pair of twins in Vernon, BC, that shares part of their brain. Will they retain a mark of this disability in TATC?

Let's take this one step further. With the exception of dementia and mental problems, the discussion has dealt primarily with physical aspects and how we are recognized by outward appearance. What about the acid tongue, the pettiness, the intolerance, by which many of us are recognized? What about pedophiles, some of who apparently are "hard-wired" that way? Will they retain a mark of this disability? On the one hand, we expect that sinful traits will be removed, initially gradually as the sanctification process evolves and then by a quantum step when we enter TATC. How is this different from physical shortcomings? I would argue that, just as our sinful nature will be cleansed, our physical dimension will be made whole as well.  Any "mark" would undoubtedly remind us and others of the saving grace effected by Christ but against a backdrop of the evil from which we were released.

Mark mentions that" God is a God of economy" and that "[n]one of our experiences gets wasted." I'm not familiar with the "God of economy" concept but there are experiences that we prefer not to bring into TATC. To assume that these experiences "conform us more to the image of Christ" presupposes that they were all positive.

As to recognizing each other, will my grandfather who died when my grandmother was 27 recognize her in the same way as I will, when she was in her early sixties? I doubt it and that makes me think (assume?) that, in TATC, we will recognize each other in an appropriate manner. If a wayward child does not enter TATC, its parents may not remember his or her existence but this, I admit, is also conjecture.

I think that part of our problem may be that we tend to be self-centred: will we recognize, will we marry, will we, will we? Now, if you really want to put the cat amongst the pigeons, will we need to wear any clothing? My answer to this is that God, through Jesus, will have the best in store for us and we can "take that to the bank." As the old Dutch hymn has it, "Take my hand in Your hands and lead me like a child." That's good enough for me. I realize that this does not resolve the issue of worthlessness that some disabled individuals may feel but to invoke the marks on Christ's resurrected body is, to me, not the way to go.

Shalom,

Tyl

Guide

Tyl and Ben,

Good questions which have me searching the scriptures to better understand why I believe we will maintain our earthly identities in the age to come:
1 Samuel 28: When Saul consulted the spirit of Samuel, Saul spoke with Samuel whose body had died. His identity was maintained after death.
Luke 23: Jesus told the thief on the cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Jesus refers to him as “you”, implying that the you on this earth was maintained after the thief died.
Luke 24: Jesus was still Jesus after his death and resurrection, and he bore in his glorified body the marks of his suffering.
Revelation 7: The great multitude standing before the Lamb was people “from every nation, tribe, people and language.” They maintained their identities as they were also joined together into one body in Christ.

And one reference from the Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 49 which says, “How does Christ’s ascension into heaven benefit us? . . . we have our own flesh in heaven – a guarantee that Christ our head will take us, his members, to himself in heaven.” Christ’s flesh, bearing the marks of his suffering, is now in heaven, so I believe that we too who are his children will bear the marks of our own earthly lives, including our sufferings, in the age to come because we will maintain our identities. Even the greatest challenges that we face on this earth, I believe, will be part of who we are in the age to come, because God uses our experiences to shape us to become more Christ-like.

As Tyl says, we have to make a lot of assumptions because Scripture doesn’t say much at all about heaven or the age to come except that the whole creation will be renewed including we ourselves. Just how we will bear the marks of our earthly lives in the age to come is something we can only guess at, which is what we have been doing in this dialogue. We don’t know the answers to most questions we have raised. I apologize that some of the statements I made sounded as if I were sure when in reality I have been guessing.

We keep on raising more good questions for which there are no clear answers. Will conjoined twins on this earth be conjoined in the age to come? Will we remember sin and its effects? Will we remember (and grieve) those who aren’t there? How will the fact that my mother lived the final years of her life with dementia affect her life in the age to come? What will our new lives in Christ be? Will we know how people died (in some cases martyr’s deaths)?

Here are couple things that Scripture does teach clearly.

Matthew 22: Scripture clearly teaches that we will not be married to those who were our spouses on earth.
1 Corinthians 15: Death will be vanquished, and all who are in Christ will rise from the dead with immortal bodies.

In thinking about our discussion, I think that we would agree that we will maintain our identities in the age to come. I’ve given a few Scripture passages to back up that assumption. It seems that our disagreements have rested on just what of our identities will be carried over from this age to the next.

Beyond that, we can’t say much, except as Tyl says so well, “I am convinced that it's going to be a lot better than we can even assume (how's that for using "convinced" and "assume" in one sentence!).” Amen to that!
 

Gentlemen,

  This actually, brings up a lot of profound questions. Like what are we now?(brain,body,soul) Remember, depended on senses that available determines what we know. Imagine a human without any input. Lots of questions about what we will be in Heaven are important to the decisions we make now.

Guide

Ken, what do you think? How would you answer your own questions? Mark

Guide

I'm not going to comment on this further, but here's another question that Roman Catholic ethicist and philosopher Peter Kreeft asks and answers, "Will there be sex in heaven?" His answer to that question is reproduced on the Culture of Life Foundation website from his book Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Heaven in Part 1 and Part 2.

Participant

Mark,

I agree that it is probably best to put this matter to rest. It's been an interesting discussion. As to Peter Kreeft's question about sex in heaven," I focus more on life on a new Earth and have found [Bishop] N T Wright's "Surprised by Hope" very interesting.  As he writes, "our hope is not 'going to heaven when you die' but rather in life after life after death." Brings to mind Martin Luther and his peach trees.

Shalom.

Tyl

Community Builder

The impression I get from the excerpts of The Disabled God is that Jesus' stigmata somehow still affect His ability to use His hands and feet as though He were limping along or would have difficulty using His hands to open a jar or drive a nail through a plank of wood.  Yet He doesn't seem to have had any difficulty breaking the bread when He was having dinner with the two disciples at Emmaus.  So,if Christ's scars don't impede His functioning after His resurrection, in what way is He disabled?