The Concept of Heaven

I am pretty skeptical of ideas of an afterlife. So is one of the characters in this SMBC comic. But perhaps we simply aren’t using our imagination sufficiently. Is there a depiction of the afterlife that you have encountered that seems to you particularly problematic? Is there not one that you can imagine that would be [Read More...]

Eternal Darnation

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Proof of Heaven?

I am delighted to be part of the Patheos book club about Eben Alexander’s book, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife. It is an account of the author’s experience while in a coma. It may be appropriate to call it a “near death experience.” But that very term may introduce assumptions that deserve [Read More...]

Dog Heaven

Marc Cortez shared the above comic about dog heaven. Is it just a bit of silliness about dogs and chocolate? Or is there a deeper and more serious element to it? Perspectives from dog owners are especially welcome. [Read more...]

I Love Heresy

The title of this post refers to the class called “Heresy,” which I am teaching this semester. We had a wonderful and interesting conversation in a recent class, on the subject of ideas about an afterlife, based on one of the readings for that class period, which was the Apocalypse of Peter. We discussed notions of retribution and [Read More...]

Attractive Afterlife?

This Far Left Side cartoon makes an important point. Not only have many religions come to focus on afterlife, but they have at the same time failed to offer an attractive picture of what that afterlife is like. At best, they offer something really terrifying as an alternative. But if the best you can say [Read More...]

If Heaven Exists

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Where We’re Spending August

Another funny New Yorker cartoon. But it shows the problems with imaginging an afterlife. Do problems like living far from one's inlaws go away? If so, that raises theological issues of its own. See also Jerry Coyne's post, which makes some important points about the problems of imaginging God as like a vertibrate, as humans [Read More...]

Refuse to Live in Fear

Awkward Moments Children’s Bible shared the image above on Facebook, with the following commentary: What if there wasn’t a heaven or a hell? Would you still believe? What proof do you have of either? Isn’t it more honest to admit doubts rather than to simply “believe” in hopes of earning a prize? Which is more [Read More...]


Hemant Mehta shared the above video, which pokes fun at many of the arguments for an afterlife that people use, pointing out that one can use those same arguments to insist that there must be something beyond an afterlife. UPDATE: Alex McManus makes a related point, based on an analogy from a future involving artificial [Read More...]

Burn in Hell, Good and Faithful Servant

You don't need to have read the Left Behind series to appreciate Fred Clark's slow roasting thereof. His combination of insight and sarcasm regularly has me laughing out loud. His most recent post is no exception. And at its core, it tackles a serious issue: the way the death of the character Jaime in Nicolae: [Read More...]