Good Omens

There has been controversy amongst some Christians over Amazon Prime Video’s Good Omens. The show is an adaptation of the book of the same name by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett, which is a comedy about an angel and a demon trying to prevent the apocalypse. What are some of the complaints of the petitioners? “God is voiced by a female,” the Antichrist “is portrayed as a normal kid,” and the four riders of the Apocalypse “are portrayed as a group of bikers.” However, Good Omens is not intended to be an accurate representation of the Bible. It’s fiction—obviously fiction. So, while some Christians are greatly upset over the series, others of us perhaps brush it off as a silly show. However, this does not mean that there is nothing troublesome about the series. In fact, there is one thing that the petitioners missed that is far more worrisome than any of their complaints.

In the first episode, the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley are in a park discussing the impending apocalypse. Aziraphale insists that Heaven will win, but then Crowley asks Aziraphale an odd question about how many first-class composers Heaven has. Crowley claims that Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and all of the Bachs belong to Hell and that Aziraphale will never hear their music again. As seen in the trailer above, Crowley states that if Heaven wins Armageddon, there will be “no more fascinating little restaurants where they know you, no more old bookshops”—things that Aziraphale loves. In other words, Heaven will be boring. And thus, he wins Aziraphale to his cause.

Now, is it true that Heaven will be devoid of all enjoyment? Will it be full of dull, boring, goody-goodies? Maybe eternal existence will become tedious and eventually torturous. If Crowley is right, then why would anybody want to go to Heaven?

Will Heaven be Boring?
Once again, Good Omens is fiction, as are all pop culture representations of Heaven. What does the Bible actually say about it? Contrary to Heaven being the bland, stark, monochrome white presented in Good Omens, Revelation chapter 21 describes it as being constructed with gems and jewels and having streets of gold. We will also feast at the “wedding supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9) and once again have access to the tree of life with its bountiful fruit (22:2). We will be filled with joy and “eternal pleasures” (Ps. 16:11). We will not be mindless drones, rather, we will actually reign over creation with God (Rev. 22:5). Our eternity will be spent with the very source of goodness—God.

Much of what nonbelievers think of Heaven are simply misconceptions, like the notion that we will sit around playing harps for all eternity. To this, C. S. Lewis says that if such people “cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them.” Ouch! He continues that much of the description of Heaven is merely symbolic, representing the types of things that the biblical authors thought would portray the wonder, permanence, and beauty of Heaven. Lewis concludes, “People who take these symbols literally might as well think that when Christ told us to be like doves, He meant that we were to lay eggs.”¹

The Glory of Heaven
The image of Heaven being this boring, sanitized, echo chamber of “celestial harmonies” (as Crowley claims) is found nowhere in Scripture. In fact, the ending chapters of Revelation—with the restoration of the tree of life—echo the initial paradise that God created in the opening chapters of Genesis. He created mountains and vegetation, oceans and stars, animals of all kinds, and he called it good. So, why not consider that Heaven will be filled with the same creativity, only better? We will be free to play, to explore, to enjoy the goodness and fullness of God forever. It will be like the joy of falling in love and spending time with your beloved forever, without that feeling ever diminishing or getting old.

Ultimately, should Christians be concerned with Good Omens? Not as long as we understand that it is a work of fiction and is not in any way intended to be a true representation of biblical events. That includes its view of Heaven. The notion that Heaven will be dull and unpleasant is completely false. And note, this idea is advanced in Good Omens by the same demon who tricked Adam and Eve into losing paradise in the first place. So, why not think that he is conning Aziraphale—and us—as well? The Bible teaches that Heaven will be joyous, the culmination of everything we long for but cannot attain until God’s Kingdom arrives in its fullness. No more sadness, no more pain. We will finally be alive, truly alive—with an abundant life full of beauty, joy, and power, infinitely amplified by the presence of our Creator. Forever.

Sign up here to receive weekly Reflect emails in your inbox!

Timothy Fox

Timothy Fox has a passion to equip the church to engage the culture. He is a part-time math teacher, full-time husband and father. He has an M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Biola University as well as an M.A. in Adolescent Education of Mathematics and a B.S. in Computer Science, both from Stony Brook University. Tim lives on Long Island, NY with his wife and children. He also blogs at freethinkingministries.com, and you can follow him on Twitter at @TimothyDFox.