On Earth, the Catholic Church teaches that humans are co-creators with God.

To human beings God even gives the power of freely sharing in his providence by entrusting them with the responsibility of “subduing” the earth and having dominion over it. God thus enables men to be intelligent and free causes in order to complete the work of creation, to perfect its harmony for their own good and that of their neighbors. Though often unconscious collaborators with God’s will, they can also enter deliberately into the divine plan by their actions, their prayers, and their sufferings. They then fully become “God’s fellow workers” and co-workers for his kingdom. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 307)

Does any tradition see this concept of humans being co-creative/co-worker extending into heaven? If so, does this mean that we will continue to push technology forward?


2 Answers 2


Matthew 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

This does not specifically refer to co-creation, but then neither does any other scripture in the Bible. So, if we are co-creators here on Earth, as taught in the Catechism of the Catholic church, then Matthew 18:18 may lend some support that this might carry over to heaven.

One might also ask "Why would poets in a glorified state (fully freed from themselves and truly free to fully be themselves) not write poetry and gadget makers make gadgets--as a form of worship integrated with their personalities?" Exposure to the presence of God (and the perfected images, as well as the rest of creation, reflecting that glory) would certainly generate the need for an outlet of worship and being all the creature one is created to be would be a good way to declare "Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts. The whole earth is full of his glory."


Check out N. T. Wright's views on the after-life in Surprised by Hope. The short, short version is that no one really knows what it will be like for sure, but we'll not be playing harps all day. It's a new heavens and a new earth, our glorified bodies will be (at least) physical, and I expect there will be work to do. And it will be done joyfully!

As Jonathan Edwards says in his sermon "The Portion of the Righteous":

There are different degrees of happiness and glory in heaven. As there are degrees among the angels, viz. thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers; so there are degrees among the saints. In heaven are many mansions, and of different degrees of dignity. The glory of the saints above will be in some proportion to their eminency in holiness and good works here. Christ will reward all according to their works. He that gained ten pounds was made ruler over ten cities, and he that gained five pounds over five cities. Luke 19:17; 2 Cor. 9:6, “He that soweth sparingly, shall reap sparingly; and he that soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” And the apostle Paul tells us that, as one star differs from another star in glory, so also it shall be in the resurrection of the dead. 1 Cor. 15:41. Christ tells us that he who gives a cup of cold water unto a disciple in the name of a disciple, shall in no wise lose his reward. But this could not be true, if a person should have no greater reward for doing many good works than if he did but few.

It will be no damp to the happiness of those who have lower degrees of happiness and glory, that there are others advanced in glory above them. For all shall be perfectly happy, every one shall be perfectly satisfied. Every vessel that is cast into this ocean of happiness is full, though there are some vessels far larger than others. And there shall be no such thing as envy in heaven, but perfect love shall reign through the whole society. Those who are not so high in glory as other, will not envy those that are higher, but they will have so great, and strong, and pure love to them, that they will rejoice in their superior happiness.

One might extend this to include differences in roles -- some will farm and make goods or art, while others will rule. None will despise or envy those over them.

If you want to get really far out, we might speculate that the work of the new heavens and new earth could involve colonizing other planets, bringing his image and dominion to all the created universe. The work we may do could require us having new senses and experience new facets or dimensions of reality (what we currently think of as spiritual) in a more direct way. The world itself may be drastically changed -- John Polkinghorne suggests there may be new laws of physics, e.g., no second law of thermodynamics which says all tends toward entropy and chaos. In short, speculations can abound.

  • 1
    +1 for J.E. quote. It is not implausible that the unity and diversity of 1 Cor. 12 will continue. One might also speculate that since creation reflects the glory of God, scientific examination would be integrated with theology and mathematical models of creation would resemble psalms of praise. The unity of redemption (Jn 17:22-23) would seem to extend beyond persons into the various aspects of Creation.
    – user3331
    May 13, 2013 at 22:12
  • John Polkinghorne suggests there may be new laws of physics, e.g., no second law of thermodynamics which says all tends toward entropy and chaos. That's really fascinating. Do you have a source on that? Oct 26, 2016 at 16:48
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    I believe one source for it is "Science and Theology from the Bottom Up", a conversation from Mars Hill Audio, though I think he only mentions it quickly, not in detailed discussion.
    – metal
    Oct 27, 2016 at 19:08

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