“I think quite a bit of the traditional imagery of heaven comes to us from passages like the book of Revelation. The last book of the Bible, which many people have difficulty interpreting, because it’s really a book written in cartoon and in code which would of been easily interpreted in the first century, which we now rather take literally.
It’s hard to explain this but, if you look at a political cartoon…there’s just been an election in America, and a lot of the cartoons will have elephants and donkeys, because the parties have those 2 as their symbol. If you lived in a culture that didn’t use those animals, as political representations, you would think, what are they talking about? Is there a problem with the elephants in America. Is there… The answer is no.
You’ve got to decode that. So all the language about clouds and harps, this is a way of saying, this is the language we have traditionally used. But we know this language is like a signpost pointing to something else.
And don’t get stuck on the language, get to the reality.”