Author asks “Will we disagree in heaven”?

Randy Alcorn
Eternal Perspectives Ministry
Based in Oregon

Because we’re finite and unique and because we’ll never know everything, we may not agree about everything in Heaven. We’ll agree on innumerable matters and wonder how we ever thought otherwise. But we’ll still likely have different tastes in food and clothes and music and thousands of other things. We will have discussions, perhaps even debates, about things we won’t yet understand. Of course, there will be no personal attacks, no ill-informed biases, and no prideful refusal to grant a valid point.

Some of us will have insights others don’t. Some will have a better understanding in one area, others in a different area. Our beliefs can be accurate but incomplete, since we’ll not be omniscient. Adam was without sin, yet he needed more than himself. Even before sin, surely he and Eve brought different perspectives. Not all disagreement is rooted in sin.

The companionship of other finite beings involves discussion and dialogue, which creates progress through synergy. That synergy involves differences and even disagreements. Could Michael and Gabriel, two sinless beings, have different opinions on a military strategy? Could they think differently enough to disagree? Why not?

C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and other friends in their group called The Inklings often argued ideas with each other. On the New Earth, could Jonathan Edwards, G. K. Chesterton, Francis Schaeffer, Charles Spurgeon, and John Wesley agree on 90 percent of the issues, yet still challenge one another’s ideas in what’s still unknown to them, stimulating each other to a greater understanding? Could they even say, “Let’s think and talk to the King, approach an angel or two, bounce our ideas off Paul, Luther, and Augustine, and then meet again and share what we’ve learned”?

Even though Christ’s insights would be absolutely accurate, that doesn’t mean we’ll always fully understand them. God has made us learners. That’s part of being finite.

If we will always and automatically see all things alike, then why will there be rulers and judges on the New Earth? In a perfect world, why would there be a need for authority? Because that’s the way God has made us. He’s the ultimate authority, but He delegates authority to mankind. It’s not sin that necessitates authority; it’s simply God’s design, existing first within His triune being (John8:28). Since we’re told that we’ll judge angels, will there be disagreements to pass judgment on? If sinless people see differently, might they still need wise counsel?

Uniqueness and differences existed before sin and will exist after it. Only God has infinite wisdom and knowledge. We should expect some differences in perspective, but we should also expect an ability to resolve them without rancor or bruised egos. Imagine the ability to question and challenge without any malice and to be questioned and challenged without a hint of defensiveness.

Wouldn’t that be Heaven?

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