Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Question For The Weekend


Kenny's new friend's mom is exploring the idea of animals having souls. So what about it......
Do animals have souls? Support your response, please.

10 comments:

Tammy M. said...

All creation was made to worship, if we don't, the rock's even cry out. I think that animals are made with a spirit to love and be loved. Do they have the choice of choosing God or not, I would say no. Only the human's have been given choice.
Support my answer....only my opinion.

Sarah said...

Answer: No.
Support: Because I said so.

My head hurts too much for further discussion, but I'm most curious about all the responses.

Anthony Parker said...

Maybe a theological fine hair, but people do not have souls, we are souls. Even Gen 2:7 in the KJV -- "man became a living soul (NIV, "living being"). The same Hebrew word (nephesh) is used in Gen. 1:20,21,&24 to refer to animals as living creatures. So, yes, animals are souls, too. None of this settles whether or not animals continue some kind of existence after death as people do. My gut opinion is that they do not as individuals, but animals are part of the imagery of the new heavens and new earth (lion lying down with the lamb), so I wouldn't be at all surprised if animals are part of the new creation.

Tammy M. said...

Excellent Anthony. I agree with you.

jessica said...

Well, let's hope so since everytime an animal dies around here we tell the kids they are in a better place.

My husbans's response is "That's not a question that God gave us the answer to." Always the smart alec...

Be sure to let us know what she finds out... I'm curious if there is a yes or no anywhere!

Denise W said...

Thank you, Anthony, our Bible scholar! This mom is a Hebrew teacher at HSU and she doesn't eat meat - apparently because she is questioning if they have "souls."

This info comes from her son - our Episotarian friend.

"Mom, what's the difference between Christians and Epistopalians?" "Honey, they are Christians, too. They believe in God and that Jesus was God's son." We've had to talk about this several times....

Denise W said...

Episopalian? I can't spell that word.....

But they do have a really cool building over on Meander.

the brother said...

the chance that animals have a soul is unlikely for the simple reason that we are not told to go into the world and try to convert them. Animals, like any other part of creation, were made for our benefit - something for us to use. They are a tool in this life for us, if not we would have been told to treat all animals with the same love we are to treat other humans in this life. This is not to say that animal cruelity is right - on the contrary, the way we treat animals is but the mirror image of our ability to love, show mercy, and forgive. Are there animals mentioned as being in heaven? Yes, but only animals that served a purpose, and I think all the animals mentioned in heaven are hybrids of many animals (I'm going to have to look into that). The use of animals in the next life is most likely metaphorical anyway, a device of speech since we would not be able to understand the real nature of heaven and being with God anyway. Like we used to tell David and Candace, if we need something in heaven to be happy, God will provide it for us - Moose the dog, Shadow the cat, or even Puppy Dog and Baby Bear the 'sleeping toys.' Animals were created for a purpose, let's not forget that the first clothes made by God were made of fur.
But what about plants? Do they have a soul? They consume, they grow, they make energy, they produce waste, and in the end they die and decompose. Nobody even thinks twice about the silent screams of that radish. What about the horror of being ripped from your pod and thrust into a cold, noise filled world? Oh, the horror!!! Keep off the grass! Down with salad dressing!

Anonymous said...

Rereading the Genesis account of life brought about by God I was again struck by the phrase, "and God breathed the breath of life into man". (Gen 2:7) It doesn't say that about the creation of animals, the animals were merely "formed" or "created". God also made man in His image, not the animals. The animals are secondary to man in every way. (Gen 1:26) Too, man was made to discern between good and evil. (Gen 3:22) Animals cannot make that distinction. They do what suits them, what feels good. Certainly, they can react to human intentions, but they are incapable of actually making decisions based on good or evil actions/thoughts.

No, for years I've always thought that animals were not allowed in the Heavenly Kingdom as they were not created equally with man. They were not formed in God's image and they were not intimately brought to life as Man was.

As for the imagery in Revelation and Daniel, I put a modern day spin on those particular animal references in the throne room. I think about the movie, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Lion who speaks as the Lamb of God- of the symbolism the life of the Lion exemplifies and examples. God can elevate any specific creation of His for any purpose of His choosing, but it seems highly unlikely that simple animals on Earth will inherit the very home of God who set Man above such and breathed His breath into him and gave man His image and the ability to worship, to choose between good and evil, and to have the ability to use their life to glorify the Creator.

-TMS

Anonymous said...

Well, the question is "do animals have souls." Not, "are animals equal to humans?"

I don't have a problem learning what the original Hebrew wording is - one of my favorite college classes at HU was hermaneutics. Quite enlightening. Should have been a required class.

The lions and the lambs imagery may well be a reference to there not being a need for any hunting in heaven.

S.