Sunday, November 15, 2015

Dialogue on Mortality (Prima Secundae Partis)

There is no "replacement" in view. It is not "my immortal soul must put on a different body" but rather "this mortal body, this corruptible must be changed..."

Up to this point, I have said nothing about an "immortal soul" putting on a different body. This is what I mean when I say that you erroneously impute certain views to me and then you shadow-box with strawmen. Where did I ever say that I believe in the doctrine of the immortal soul? My position is that spirit anointed Christians resurrected from the dead will have a "spiritual body." That spiritual body is not synonymous with an immortal soul.

The figure of "eternal in the heavens" [2 Corinthians 5:1-2] refers to origin, not destination. He explains exactly what he means:

1 For we know that if our earthly house of this
tabernacle were
we have a building of God, an house not made with
hands, eternal in the
2 For in this [earthly house] we groan, earnestly
desiring to be
upon with our house which is **from heaven**:
3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found
4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being
burdened: **not
that we would be unclothed**, but clothed upon, **that
mortality might be swallowed up of life**.

Crystal clear. There is no room for the traditional reading.

You quoted four verses but did absolutely nothing to refute what I believe. Of course I would agree that the "building" Paul is talking about comes from God and is not an immortal soul, but you totally overlook the fact that the building remains "eternal in the heavens." You ignore the fact that the apostle indicates at least some Christians will live forever in the heavens for all eternity. Additionally the verse says nothing about a body "descending" from
God. It simply shows that God is the source of the new body.

The phrase "from heaven" indicates that it comes to us. It occurs in the process of resurrection, not in a later ascent, since it is "raised incorruptible."

The phrase 'from heaven' (EX OURANOU) in 2 Corinthians 5:1-2 is what I would call an ablative of source. It tells from whence the new "building" comes, not wither it is going. There is no indication that spatial movement is being discussed in this passage. Paul is simply making us aware that the body emanates/derives--not descends--from the Divine One. See 1 Cor 8:5-6 and note how EX is used there:

"Thus, the heavenly dwelling of 2 Cor 5:1, no less than the heavenly commonwealth of Phil 3:19, would be an image for that new age. Not even death, the final proof of mortality, need cause the apostles to shrink back (4:16a), for they, like all believers, know that their true home is in heaven" (V.P. Furnish. II Corinthians; translated with introduction, notes and commentary. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1984).

This "true home" is "from heaven" and "swallows up mortality." In referring to a "heavenly body" he refers to the image that we shall bear:

35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up?
and with what
body do
they come?
36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not
quickened, except it die:
37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that
body that shall
be, but
bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other
38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him,
and to every seed
own body.
39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one
kind of flesh of
another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and
another of birds.
40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies
terrestrial: but the
of the celestial is one, and the glory of the
terrestrial is another.
41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory
of the moon, and
another glory of the stars: for one star differeth
from another star in
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It [the
body] is sown in
corruption; it [the body] is raised in incorruption:
43 It [the body] is sown in dishonour; it [the body]
is raised in
glory: it
[the body] is sown in weakness; it [the body] is
raised in power:
44 It [the body] is sown a natural body; it [the
body] is raised a
spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is
a spiritual body.
45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made
a living soul;
last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but
that which is
natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second
man is the Lord
48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are
earthy: and as is the
**heavenly**, such are they also that are heavenly.
49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we
shall also **bear
image of the heavenly**.
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood
cannot inherit the
kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit

Bearing the image of the heavenly one, Jesus Christ, does not prove that 'the heavenly body' is simply the body of flesh swallowed up by life. If the body of flesh is sown, then according to Paul, it cannot rise up again as a 'bare grain' (as it was when it was planted). See 1 Cor 15:45. Secondly, if the body of flesh is dissolved or broken down, then it cannot be the building that Paul says Christians will receive from God. Bruce then adds:

"He is there as His people's forerunner, the surety of their admission to the dwelling place of God; He is there, too, as their perpetual high priest, 'after the order of Melchizdek'" (132).

"Perpetually" refers to a continuous, or unbroken preisthood, rather than an annual one. But it is temporary.

The main reason I cited Bruce was to show what he had to say about Jesus being the 'forerunner' (PRODROMOS) for anointed Christians. The context suggests that Jesus served as a forerunner in that he entered the Most Holy in order that others might follow him and appear before the Person of God, in the heavens of his presence. See Bruce, Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews: with introduction, exposition and notes. London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1964.

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