Thursday, August 18, 2011

Animals in Heaven, Pets in Paradise

Animals in heaven, Pets in Paradise
by Peter M. Kurowski
This book answers the tough questions parents and pastors often face when a child’s pet dies, and does so in a positive, gospel centered, scripture centered answer that not only comforts a child, or adult, concerning their lost pet, but also teaches them the importance and necessity of Christ’s death on the cross for the salvation of sinners and the redemption of the cosmos. In answering what many might think is a trivial question, Peter drives home the gospel, the forgiveness of sins and explores all its ramifications according to scripture.
Not two weeks ago, I myself had to interrupt a conversation to correct a well meaning adult telling a child that animals don’t have souls so they won’t be in heaven. It stunned me right away. I had heard people say such things before. I think I have parroted them before. But it struck me that this is a very Gnostic way of thinking. Aside from the fact that we have no idea what animals do and don’t have. Souls are not necessary for entrance into heaven. This whole idea stems from the tendency for Christians today to talk of our souls going to heaven, and tacitly if not expressly denying the resurrection of the flesh confessed in both the Nicene and the Apostles Creed. We deduce that it is only our souls that go to heaven, and not our bodies that have been laid in the ground, so animals which we presume to not have souls, don’t go to heaven, or so we think. Yet Scripture tends to pain an entirely different picture and if we were better at preaching the bodily resurrection, as indeed Jesus is the prototype who was raised in the flesh pointing out to his disciples that ghosts do not have flesh and bone, we might not be so quick to dismiss animals in heaven. On the flip side, if we took the time to study scripture and comfort children with the teaching that animals are in heaven, and our pets will more than likely, more than likely be there too, after all humans are the sinners not the animals, even if they have been infected with sin, we might end up doing a better job of teaching the true gospel message that is a resurrection of the flesh, and safe guarding that all important teaching.
Peter does a fine job of mining scripture and bringing out all that scripture has to say concerning animals in heaven and pets in Paradise. It is a must read for any parent before they have to answer the fateful question of, “what happened to Fluffy?” Pastors do well to read it too, as they more often than not are called on to answer that question for parents who are equally distraught.

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