Sunday, November 28, 2010

After Death, What Will We Be Like?

African grey hornbill, in Kenya
Scot McKnight pointed me to Randy Alcorn's writings on heaven, especially as they understand our ultimate destiny of the restoration of all things and the new heaven and new earth.

On his website Randy gives a brief answer to the question: After death but prior to the resurrection, what will we be like? His answer:

"Between our entrance to heaven and our resurrection, we may have temporary pre-resurrection bodies. This is strongly suggested by the account of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19ff.), as well as passages showing pre-resurrected people doing physical things, such as wearing robes (Rev. 6:11). Unlike God and the angels, who are in essence spirits though capable of inhabiting bodies (John 4:24; Heb. 1:14), man is by nature both spiritual and physical (Gen. 2:7). Hence, between our earthly life and our resurrection, a temporary body would allow us to remain fully human while awaiting the resurrection. (If true, this in no way minimizes the ultimate necessity or critical importance of the resurrection stressed in 1 Corinthians 15.)"

Note: resurrection life after heaven-life after death is in God's restored creation. "Heaven" is used to decribe life "between our earthly life and resurrection," aka life after death. But, as N.T. Wright has told us, the Christian hope and the dominating New Testament focus is on life after life after death.