Biblical Dualism and the Soul Between Death and Resurrection (the Intermediate State)

Death, Resurrection and Life Everlasting DRLE Pt.2

Death involves disintegration of a person’s vital power (nepesh, “soul”; Gen. 35:18; 1 Kings 19:4), cessation of bodily life, and separation of the body and the soul. Does the soul continue to exist after the death of the person? The monist theologian’s answer is “no”. Monism argues that according to the Bible, a human being is not divided into separate parts, i.e. body, soul, and spirit, but he exists as a unified or holistic self. Since the soul and the body are just different aspects of a person, existence entails bodily existence. There is no possibility of disembodied existence of the soul after death. The purpose of this post is to show that monism contradicts the Bible which ascribes to the disembodied soul some forms of consciousness in the intermediate state between death and final resurrection.1This post focuses on the biblical teaching on the soul’s disembodied existence in the intermediate state. For a philosophical defence of the tenability of disembodied existence of the soul, see Paul Helm, “A Theory of Disembodied Survival and Re-embodied Existence,” Religious Studies (1978), pp. 15-26; Richard Purtill, “Disembodied Survival,” Sophia 12 (1973), pp. 1-10. Continue reading “Biblical Dualism and the Soul Between Death and Resurrection (the Intermediate State)”

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    This post focuses on the biblical teaching on the soul’s disembodied existence in the intermediate state. For a philosophical defence of the tenability of disembodied existence of the soul, see Paul Helm, “A Theory of Disembodied Survival and Re-embodied Existence,” Religious Studies (1978), pp. 15-26; Richard Purtill, “Disembodied Survival,” Sophia 12 (1973), pp. 1-10.

Enjoying the Best of Both Worlds—This and the Next (Ecclesiastes 2/5)

Enjoying the Best of Both Worlds—This and the Next (Ecclesiastes 2/5)

Kairos Podcast 7: Ecclesiastes and the Human Quest for Meaning 2/5

Only two out of thirty over English translations of the Bible render the theme of Ecclesiastes as “Everything is meaningless.” Most translations retain the traditional rendering “All is vanity.” Yet most Christians today assume that Ecclesiastes says, “Everything is meaningless.” Since this robs Ecclesiastes of its God-inspired message, this video seeks to defend the traditional rendering. It shows that “All is vanity” is an objective description of reality whereas “Everything is meaningless” is a pessimistic response to that reality. Ecclesiastes itself teaches a realistic response. The Gospel empowers Christians to also have an optimistic response. Hence they can enjoy the best of both worlds—this and the next.

You can watch the full video at
Kairos Podcast 7: Ecclesiastes and the Human Quest for Meaning 2/5

OT Anthropology: Dualistic Holism or Holistic Dualism

Death, Resurrection and Life Everlasting – DRLE Pt.1b

We shall in this post argue that scholars like N.T. Wright, Nancey Murphy and Joel Green are mistaken when they reject substance dualism, the long-held belief that the human being is a compound entity comprising two distinct substances interacting with one another, that is, the body and its immaterial soul. /1/ It is indisputable that this has been the belief of most Christians throughout history. Nevertheless, these scholars claim that this belief owes more to Greek thought than to the Bible. Christians should be mindful that Greek thought and Hebrew thought are incompatible paradigms. Greek or Platonic thought regards human beings partitively since the soul is dichotomizes from the body. In contrast, Hebrew thought views human beings holistically.

However, while these scholars may be justified in rejecting Platonic dualism, they fail to distinguish biblical dualism from Platonic dualism. As we shall see, there are nuances in biblical dualism which should caution scholars from assuming that supporting biblical dualism amounts to supporting Platonic dualism unreservedly. Continue reading “OT Anthropology: Dualistic Holism or Holistic Dualism”

Everything Is Not Meaningless (Ecclesiastes 1/5)

Everything Is Not Meaningless (Ecclesiastes 1/5)
Kairos Podcast 7: Ecclesiastes and the Human Quest for Meaning (1/5)

1) Ecclesiastes is about the human quest for meaning. This quest became pronounced in the 20th century and even more so in the 21st century. Hence Ecclesiastes is needed today more than ever. However, the message is presented in a way so unique that it is often misunderstood. Most biblical scholars see pessimism and contradictions in the book. This has undermined the authority of Ecclesiastes as Scripture inspired by God.

This is the first in a series of five videos which seeks to reclaim the authoritative message of Ecclesiastes. This video introduces the series as well as seeks to remove the immediate obstacles to accepting Ecclesiastes as authoritative Scripture—apparent pessimism and apparent contradictions. It shows that the theme of Ecclesiastes is realistic, not pessimistic, and that the supposed contradictions are indeed apparent, not real.

You may read and comment on the video at
Everything Is Not Meaningless (Ecclesiastes 1/5)

OT Anthropology. The Constituent Elements of Man. DRLE Pt.1

Death, Resurrection and Life Everlasting – DRLE Pt.1

A. Contemporary Criticism Against Biblical Dualistic Anthropology
Our understanding of death and afterlife depends on what Scripture says about the nature of man. However, the OT presents no systematic discussion of the nature of man, any more than it does of the nature of the triune God. Nevertheless, the Bible often refers to human nature as dualistic, that is, human nature is a combination of two distinct and separable entities, the material body and the immaterial soul which survives death.

However, the contemporary intellectual climate is inimical toward the traditional Christian teaching of dualism. The various objections raised against dualism include the following: 1) The theory of evolutionary psychology and scientific naturalism undermines belief in the human soul. 2) New research in neuroscience and behavioristic psychology claims to have identified direct causal relation (although this at best could be correlation) between brain functions and states of consciousness. This has rendered irrelevant the idea of the faculties of the soul & a fortriori the idea of the soul. Continue reading “OT Anthropology. The Constituent Elements of Man. DRLE Pt.1”