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The nature of Heaven

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 Contents - Sep 2015AD2000 September 2015
Refugees: Give priority to Syria’s persecuted Christians: Archbishop Fisher
The Americas: Pope Francis’ challenge to American Catholics - AD2000 Report
The Americas: Cuba: new centre for evangelisation - AD2000 Report
Preview: Mercy and compassion: focus of Synod of Bishops - Peter Westmore
Apostolic Letter: Pope Francis proclaims Year of Mercy - AD2000 Report
Concordat: Catholic Church signs concordat with East Timor - Peter Westmore
Hebrew: The Sign of the Cross - Andrew Sholl
Letters: Victoria stops class-time religious instruction - Arnold Jago
Letters: The nature of Heaven - Frank Mobbs
Letters: Media bias on “same-sex marriage” - Robert Bom
Books: YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOUR: A Homiliary for the Roman Liturgy, Aidan Nichols OP - Paul Simmons (reviewer)
Reflection: The proper celebration of the Mass - Cardinal Robert Sarah

In her letter on the nature of heaven (AD2000, July 2015), Audrey English exhibits once again her habit of producing doctrine without the support of Scripture.

Let us go to basics. We have no reason to believe there is any such thing as heaven, unless God has revealed the fact.

We can know nothing of the nature of heaven unless God has revealed it.

What has God revealed? First we go to the New Testament where God in the person of Jesus has revealed what God wants us to know.

There we find references to heaven such that heaven is highly desirable and will last for all future time but we are given no idea of what it consists, as well expressed by St Paul: “… eye has not seen nor ear heard. Nor has it entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him.” (1Cor.2:9).

Christian theologians have never been content with this, so have offered abundant speculations.

Audrey English subscribes to some of these. She writes that heaven consists of the beatific vision which is: “[A]n intellectual vision” which causes love. The trouble with this description is that we do not know what it means. What is an intellectual vision?

“[W]e shall see each one of the Three Persons” she avers. What would we ‘see’? Three whats? How does she know what we would ‘see’, given that God has been silent on the subject?

Gosford NSW

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 28 No 8 (September 2015), p. 8

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