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.

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”

Liberty and Ability of the Will in the Westminster Confession of Faith

One common criticism leveled against Calvinism is that its teaching of predestination and original sin undermines human freedom and responsibility. A two-fold response is required to set aside this deeply entrenched misconception. First, we are mindful that the best apologetic is a rigorous dogmatics. In this regard, the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) is more than able in defending itself. Chapter 9 of the WCF, “Free Will”, comprises a series of affirmations which together presents a dynamic and coherent view of freedom and human nature in its fourfold state (Pre-Fall innocence, Post-Fall depravity, Regenerate man, Glorified man). A closer reading this chapter clearly shows that the criticism against Calvinism is misguided as it is based on an inadequate, one-dimensional and static concept of human freedom. Second, we need to demonstrate that the Reformed teaching of freedom is coherent (cf. Michael Preciado and Guillaume Bignon on compatibilism) and that predestination (rightly understood) does not undermine human responsibility (cf. John Martin Fisher-Mark Ravizza on responsibility and control). [We will post expositions of the works of these thinkers if the discussion subsequent to this post requires it]. But let us begin with a simple explanation of the Reformed understanding of freedom in layman’s terms.

The Westminster Confession of Faith: CHAPTER 9 Continue reading “Liberty and Ability of the Will in the Westminster Confession of Faith”

Knowing God With the Heart of Love

𝕾𝖔𝖒𝖊 𝖙𝖍𝖊𝖔𝖗𝖎𝖊𝖘 𝖆𝖗𝖊 𝖘𝖕𝖑𝖊𝖓𝖉𝖎𝖉 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖘𝖔𝖕𝖍𝖎𝖘𝖙𝖎𝖈𝖆𝖙𝖊𝖉 𝖇𝖚𝖙 𝖘𝖔 𝖔𝖇𝖛𝖎𝖔𝖚𝖘𝖑𝖞 𝖔𝖚𝖙 𝖔𝖋 𝖙𝖔𝖚𝖈𝖍 𝖜𝖎𝖙𝖍 𝖗𝖊𝖆𝖑𝖎𝖙𝖞 𝖙𝖍𝖆𝖙 𝖔𝖓𝖑𝖞 𝖈𝖑𝖊𝖛𝖊𝖗 𝖕𝖊𝖔𝖕𝖑𝖊 𝖈𝖆𝖓 𝖇𝖊𝖑𝖎𝖊𝖛𝖊 𝖎𝖓 𝖙𝖍𝖊𝖒. “𝕿𝖍𝖊 𝖊𝖞𝖊 𝖔𝖋 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖜𝖎𝖘𝖊 𝖒𝖆𝖓 𝖘𝖊𝖊𝖘 𝖜𝖍𝖆𝖙 𝖎𝖘 𝖙𝖍𝖊𝖗𝖊, 𝖇𝖚𝖙 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖒𝖎𝖓𝖉 𝖔𝖋 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖈𝖔𝖓𝖈𝖊𝖎𝖙𝖊𝖉 𝖈𝖔𝖒𝖕𝖔𝖘𝖊𝖘 𝖍𝖞𝖕𝖔𝖙𝖍𝖊𝖘𝖊𝖘.” 𝕵𝖔𝖍𝖆𝖓𝖓 𝕿𝖔𝖇𝖎𝖆𝖘 𝕭𝖊𝖈𝖐 (𝟏𝟖𝟎𝟒-𝟏𝟖𝟕𝟖)

“Love must first open the door of the heart so that it may be persuaded of the truth of God’s grace and glory.”

Mine is just a feeble echo of a much wiser, spirited & courageous man – “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑳𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒍𝒆 𝑷𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒄𝒆 Continue reading “Knowing God With the Heart of Love”

Did Albert Camus finally become a Christian?

As the conversations continue, Camus begins to read the Bible, sometimes he confesses not to have done before. In fact he does not even own one; so Mumma gets one for him, and Camus starts with Genesis. This raises the issue whether the Bible is to be taken literally, especially the story of Adam and Eve. When Mumma interprets it as a parable of the origin of the conscience, in short, a tale putting the origin of  evil in the attempt of human beings to make themselves gods, Camus find the story to ring true.

While Mumma’s answers are broadly speaking neo-orthodox, not quite those of an evangelical would likely give, the theology is traditional at heart, and it is in line with Camus’ own understanding of human nature.

Source: Camus the Christian? A pastor describes how the great existentialist atheist asked him late in life, Do you perform baptisms?
by James W. Sire 23 Oct 2000

Often times we find God in our distinctive ways, some intellectually, some emotionally, some through insights of wisdom, some through hard lessons of life and some even find God in ‘silly’ ways. Conversely, maybe it is more accurate to say that God reaches out to us wherever we are and touches us where it matters most. He will then take us further on from there.

** This is a Retro post taken from my Facebook (4 April 2020) which will be closed in due time.

Did Adam and Eve Live Recently? William Lane Craig + Joshua Swamidass

This is a most stimulating & instructive discussion between Joshua Swamidass and William Craig that tries to integrate the latest scientific and paleoanthropology findings, biblical hermeneutics, philosophical and theological anthropology.

Some challenging questions that arise from the discussion include the following:

1) What criteria would a scientific-theological model of human origins need to fulfill before it can be accepted as scientifically plausible and hermeneutically consistent with divinely revealed scripture? Continue reading “Did Adam and Eve Live Recently? William Lane Craig + Joshua Swamidass”

It’s Someone Else’s Fault! Thank you, Freud

I went to my psychiatrist to be psychoanalyzed,
To find out why I killed the cat and blacked my wifie’s eyes.
He laid me on a comfy couch to see what he could find,
And this is what he dredged up out of my unconscious mind.
When I was one my mommy locked my dolly in the trunk,
And so it follows naturally I am always drunk.
When I was two, I saw my father kissed the maid one day,
And that is why I suffer now from klep-to-ma-nia.
At three I was ambivalent toward my younger brothers,
And that’s the reason why, to date, I’ve poisoned all my lovers.
And I’m so glad since I have learned the lesson I’ve been taught,
That everything I do that is wrong is someone else’s fault.

Actually, we can appeal to a more ancient and venerable authority to justify our blame game. Re: Genesis 3:12-13 – The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Continue reading “It’s Someone Else’s Fault! Thank you, Freud”

Who Was Adam? Scientific and Theological Perspectives: Preview

A monkey in the zoo was heard asking the question, “Am I my keeper’s brother?” The theory of evolution answers the question with an unambiguous “YES!”Apes and humans share a common descent. Given below are several evolutionary interpretations of the relationship between humans (hominin) and apes (hominid) based on an unproven assumption – that any … Continue reading “Who Was Adam? Scientific and Theological Perspectives: Preview”

A monkey in the zoo was heard asking the question, “Am I my keeper’s brother?” The theory of evolution answers the question with an unambiguous “YES!”Apes and humans share a common descent.

Given below are several evolutionary interpretations of the relationship between humans (hominin) and apes (hominid) based on an unproven assumption – that any similarities found between them is due to a common ancestor. Continue reading “Who Was Adam? Scientific and Theological Perspectives: Preview”

Original Sin (Part 3/3): Romans 5:12 – An Exercise in Exegesis and Theology

It is common for young seminarians to entertain the strange notion that biblical studies is superior to theology because biblical scholars build their interpretation on objective exegesis while theologians spin theories out of thin air. The notion is misguided as sound interpretation of the Bible requires both exegesis based on rigorous linguistics studies and theological … Continue reading “Original Sin (Part 3/3): Romans 5:12 – An Exercise in Exegesis and Theology”

It is common for young seminarians to entertain the strange notion that biblical studies is superior to theology because biblical scholars build their interpretation on objective exegesis while theologians spin theories out of thin air. The notion is misguided as sound interpretation of the Bible requires both exegesis based on rigorous linguistics studies and theological analysis that is logically coherent and informed by insights gained from historical theology.

It is arguable that the lack of theological depth is characteristic of much contemporary biblical scholarship, and that this lack is a serious impediment to good exegesis. A similar criticism may be leveled at theological analysis that is not founded on solid exegetical groundwork.

The analysis of Rom. 5:12 given below provides a excellent model of well-rounded and nuanced interpretation based on robust exegesis and coherent theological analysis.

Romans 5:12 – An Exercise in Exegesis and Theology Continue reading “Original Sin (Part 3/3): Romans 5:12 – An Exercise in Exegesis and Theology”

Original Sin (Part 2/3): Death in Adam, Life in Christ (Rom. 5:12-21)

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned Διὰ τοῦτο ὥσπερ διʼ ἑνὸς ἀνθρώπου ἡ ἁμαρτία εἰς τὸν κόσμον εἰσῆλθεν καὶ διὰ τῆς ἁμαρτίας ὁ θάνατος, καὶ οὕτως εἰς πάντας ἀνθρώπους ὁ θάνατος διῆλθεν, ἐφʼ ᾧ πάντες ἥμαρτον. … Continue reading “Original Sin (Part 2/3): Death in Adam, Life in Christ (Rom. 5:12-21)”

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned

Διὰ τοῦτο ὥσπερ διʼ ἑνὸς ἀνθρώπου ἡ ἁμαρτία εἰς τὸν κόσμον εἰσῆλθεν καὶ διὰ τῆς ἁμαρτίας ὁ θάνατος, καὶ οὕτως εἰς πάντας ἀνθρώπους ὁ θάνατος διῆλθεν, ἐφʼ ᾧ πάντες ἥμαρτον. (Rom. 5:12)

I. The Context of Romans 5:12-21
In verses 12–21 the apostle Paul outlines how Adam as the head of the present human race is analogical to that of Christ as the head of the new humanity. He uses the occasion of sin entering the world to compare the effects of Christ’s obedience which brings righteousness and life, with the effects of Adam’s disobedience which brings sin and death. The basis for the analogy is given in verse 14 where Adam is described as “the type of the one to come.”/1/ Continue reading “Original Sin (Part 2/3): Death in Adam, Life in Christ (Rom. 5:12-21)”