Will non-human Creation be saved? Is the blessed hope of resurrection extended to non-human creation? Jürgen Moltmann believes that God has spoken a decisive Yes to not only humanity but all of Creation, such that nothing will be lost. I was able to ask the arguably greatest Theologian alive today this question today at the 2015 Barth Conference, and here is his answer:
Moderator: What does the Doctrine of Election have to do with non-human Creation? Is non-human Creation elected in the same way as humans are, is that part of God's Yes? We were wondering if you could speak to that?
Moltmann: Oh. [laughter] Do you want a two hour lecture or a short remark? [laughter]
Moderator: A short remark.
Moltmann: Look at 1 Corinthians 15:43-48. Where the resurrection embraces animals and flowers and all Creation. Nothing will get lost in the new Creation. So everything will be coming back.
Here is an expanded quotation of 1 Corinthians 15:35-50 (RSV), where the resurrection of animals, birds, seeds, and celestial objects are sourced:
But some one will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish man! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body which is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is alike, but there is one kind for men, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
Audio and Image Source: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/64428701