RE: Immortality of the Soul

From: Adrian Teo (
Date: Tue Jul 16 2002 - 17:26:45 EDT

  • Next message: Adrian Teo: "RE: Immortality of the Soul"

    Hello Allen,

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Allen Roy []
            Sent: Mon 7/15/2002 10:05 PM
            To: Adrian Teo;
            Subject: Re: Immortality of the Soul

            of course, brings us back to important point of the context.
    Obviously the
            context of Genesis 2:7 is different from that in Judges 10:16
    and Isaiah
            1:14. You cannot apply the definition of the human 'soul' in
    Genesis 2:7 to
            any and every occurrence of the word in the Bible. But it
    would be logical
            to apply it to those contexts which deal with the human being.

            The same definition could work for animals also. A body +
    the breath of
            life = a living animal/soul. The word soul, as 'living
    being,' (per the
            NIV) can apply to the animal world also. It is only if you
    try to make the
            soul into some kind of conscious intelligent entity that
    exists in a body
            that one would be hesitant to think of animals as having a conscious
            intelligent entity in their bodies.

            A living being is a soul, a soul is a living being, whether human or

            AT: Living beings are sometimes referred to as souls in the
    bible, and other times it refers to the very depth/totality of a
    person's being. The varied use of the word does not allow us to
    conclude that a living being is identical to a soul. Both in
    Scripture and theroughout the history of Christianity, some form of
    dualism is evident and widely accepted. Nephesh, while sometimes used
    to refer to the whole person, it is also used to refer to the inner
    life of the person - consciousness, thought, and emotion. The
    translators of the Spetuagint always translated nephesh as psyche,
    and never bios (biological/physical life).

            The OT concept of Sheol implies survival of personal identity
    after physical death. Furthermore, the practice of necromacy is
    assumed to be a real possibility and occurence. Christians since the
    earliest days have always held that there is a soul that lives on
    after physical death. In fact, I think that the NT makes it even more
    compelling that there is an immaterial soul that survives physical

            But for me, the heart of the matter is how the monist view
    affects Christology. What happened to Jesus between the death and the
    resurrection? Did He cease to exist as God-man, or do we confess that
    after the incarnation, the Son as Jesus is forever the God-man? Did
    God have to re-create the humanity of Christ, such that the human
    part of the person who died for our sins is not the same as the new
    one that was raised? In addition, the monist view suggests that there
    is a clean break or discontinuity between my death and resurrection.
    I die, cease to exist, and then am re-created.

            I don't have the time now, but there are also philosophical
    objections to monism that even Nancy Murphy, esteemed philosopher at
    Fuller, was unable to respond to at a conference on human nature.
    Thre are also moral implications of monism are troubling, to say the
    least. In the preface to Whatever happened to the Soul by Brown,
    Murphy and Maloney, the authors described the soul as "a functional
    capacity of a complex physical organism, rather than a separate
    spiritual essence." Whenever the human person is defined in terms of
    functions, we set the stage for the justification of horrible crimes
    against humanity. But this is the logical implication of monism.


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