He argues that there will be no meat at this feast. This question, of course, is a minor one, and yet is a disagreement I have with Alcorn’s theological approach in Heaven that I think is worth discussing. This disagreement ought not diminish how grateful I am for Alcorn and his wonderful book. Throughout his book, Alcorn chooses Eden over Pentecost as a picture of what the new heavens and new earth will be.[iii] Scripture points to both (Eden and Pentecost) in picturing the new heavens and the new earth, but when there is a tension between the two, I believe Pentecost points us more faithfully to what the reality will be.
How was your Independence Day celebration? Was the food delicious? Guess what, our feasts are a foretaste of heaven!
Some of the most surprising and revealing passages in scripture are the glimpses we have of the resurrected Christ. In these snapshots, we have brief previews of what our bodily resurrection will look like. In two of these snapshots, we see Jesus eating fish with his disciples.[i] The resurrected Jesus eats? He sure does.
And with our resurrected bodies, we will eat too! One of the most powerful images in scripture of heaven is tucked away in Isaiah 25:6:
On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine – the best of meats and the finest of wines.
That, friends, is a party! I don’t know about you, but the idea that we get to eat for eternity is very attractive to me. Can you imagine all the new types of food we will taste? Exotic dishes we will experience?
I can smell the steak grilling and the bacon sizzling now.
But wait, will there be meat? In his book, Heaven, Randy Alcorn takes up the question of whether we will eat meat in heaven. He argues that there will be no meat at this feast:
Would God call ‘very good’ a realm in which animals suffered, died, and devoured one another? Surely the repeated redemptive promise that one day animals will live in peace with each other is at least to a degree a return to Edenic conditions, though it’s certainly more than that (Isaiah 11:6-9).
If, as I believe, animal death was a result of the Fall and the Curse, once the Curse has been lifted on the New Earth, animals will no longer die…
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