resurrection of the body

I have actaully been reconsidering Christianity… the only sticking point for me is resurrection of the body. It sounds very wierd. I also think I couldn’t take the Bible literally now, it isn’t “inerrant”, either… I do think the Bible contains errors and you have to read it carefully.

When I was a kid I heard when you died, you went to heaven if you were good. Nobody told me about any resurrection, even though I said it in the creeds every time I went, I didn’t know what it meant. When I got older, I learned about it and I believed it for a while, even though it sounded wierd, the complete opposite of what my parents told me what happens when you die. Then I became irreligious/agnostic and considered it a wierd belief. I still believe that, even though I’d consider myself a theist of some kind now.

I don’t think it matters what happens when you die, as long as it isn’t painful. I guess being in a better state would be nice… however, I don’t see how the “zombie movie” thing sounds good. How does that reconcile with science, too, since science says the earth only has four billion years left? Why should I believe in the resurrection/last judgement as being literal,? Isn’t that like believing in Creationism (instead of evolution), only in reverse (end of time, instead of beginning of time)?

I’ve listened to some Orthodox talking about being anti-cremation, and they sound very hostile to it. I had planned to donate my organs and body to science and then be cremated. Orthodox equate cremation with Gnosticism, which to me sounds ridiculous. I don’t think the body is bad, I just don’t see how it’s so important. If you need a body in heaven, you’ll get one I guess, otherwise I think stuff can be taken too literally.

What about Christianity interests you?

Maybe it is true? By “true”, I mean, the religious tradition with the most insights into reality, human nature, etc. I can no longer believe like I was a child, that everything in the Bible is perfect, or, that church tradition or teachings are perfect in every way. I have seen/read enough things to make me believe in something, though. I’m definitely not a materialist or atheist, however, I’m not sure what I believe.

That’s why I’m talking about the resurrection. I’ve been reading that the emphasis on it has changed over the centuries. Originally, Christians who believed a soul went immediately to heaven or hell were condemned as heretics. St. Paul had trouble explaining it to Greeks as evidenced in 1 Corinthians, the Greeks he was writing to were reluctant to believe that they would be resurrected from the dead. Early Christians, much like the Hebrews, were hooked on the “nuts and bolts” concreteness in their religion, they believed in a literal way. As the centuries progressed, however, people started emphasizing the resurrection of the dead less and less, and the emphasis was on an eternal heaven or hell, especially in folk religion/beliefs. . The hope seems more in a survival of personhood and being with your deceased relatives and/or God (it’s noteworthy this is the same belief/hope many cultures have had throughout history).

And then of course you have the near-death phenomenon, which seems to fit the pattern of the “folk belief”. Pimm van Lommel, a cardiologist who conducted an extensive study of this phenomenon in patients, believes that the phenomenon is real evidence that consciousness survives death, and he has his own hypothesis why this is so, based on quantum physics and process philosophy. I’ve actually read many of these near-death accounts, none of them talk about resurrections or last judgements, though many have vaguely or explicitly Christian religious themes. The Rev. Howard Storm in his book “My Descent into Death” describes a process like theosis, or something from Theosophy, more than a general resurrection and last judgement.

This is not approved Catholic teaching (and probably never will be), but here is a statement putatively from the Virgin Mary at Medjugorje concerning what happens after one dies:

"… The body, drawn from the earth, decomposes after death.
It never comes back to life again. Man receives a transfigured body."
apparition at Medjugorje, July 24, 1982

The resurrection does exist. It is what we call being born again. It deals with the rebirth of the spirit of the man while yet in his flesh, and then the resurrection of the physical body after the man suffers physical death.

When a man is born again, the spirit in him that was dead because of sin is reborn, and can now have association with God.

Yet, the soul is renewed, but what about the body? If a man does not become reborn in his spirit, when he dies, his soul is cast into hell and his body, that returns to dust will never be resurrected.

When a man is born again, and he dies in the flesh, his soul which has been made alive by the quickening spirit Christ Jesus goes to be with him and awaits the day of resurrection when it will be placed into the body that was asleep in the earth.

Jesus will come and all those who were born again and died in the flesh will be with him. They will then be put into their newly resurrected bodies, their uncorruptible bodies, their eternal bodies.

So unless a man is born again in his spirit before he suffers physical death, his soul will forever remain in torment and his physical body will never be resurrected.

Now, those of us who are living at the time Jesus returns will be taken in a blink of an eye just after the resurrection of those who have died in Christ. We will be transformed immediately. Our bodies will die and be changed from corruptible to incorruptible in the blink of an eye and we will met Jesus and all the dead in Christ in the clouds.

What you assert sounds biblical, except for the part that there is no bodily resurrection for the damned. What Scripture do you base this idea upon?
Matthew 10:28 "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell."
John 5:28-29, “…an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”

Are you familiar with the Stoics, or Heraclitus? “We do, and do not step in the same river. We both are, and are not”. I don’t think people actually have a body and a soul. I believe it is more complex than that. One emerges from the other, and the stuff of the body is unimportant. The physical world we see is temporal and impermanent, so is the physical body, and there is no way to actually make it permanent subjectively**. It actually is less real than the reality underneath it, whereas our ordinary perception sees the subtle or mental as less real than the physical-material or “gross”. That’s my hypothesis.

It is more like an emanationism or subjective idealism rather a dualism.

** I actually think EVERYTHING has objective immortality, though. Everything exists in some kind of Mind that remembers everything. I am thinking of Whitehead’s Process philosophy here. I believe this is actually how memory works, too, it involves looking into the “Big Mind”, although it is possible there are specific areas of this Mind that are discrete to a personality (it may be possible in some way for people to share memories, dreams, etc.). This also accounts for the “Life Review” in near-death experiences, where people feel they have an objective look at their behavior, and thus are judged “fairly”. This Mind has absolute understanding/knowledge.

Hi, interesting question:)
Do you have any links for the Orthodox view on cremation and gnosticism?

Do you believe Jesus was resurrected?

I don’t have links but you can Google “Orthodox” and “cremation” and you will find alot of things. They view it as a denial of bodily resurrection. Burial is actually very difficult and impractical in countries like Japan, so the Orthodox there will give a dispensation if a person dies in Japan- it is very expensive and/or illegal in some provinces there to be buried.

Was Jesus resurrected? I think that’s a complicated question. Yes, I believe the disciples of Jesus saw him after he died. How that happened, I don’t know. I believe the language that the apostle Paul used to try and explain “resurrection” in Corinthians is imprecise. He also never saw Jesus walking the earth. Being a pharisaic rabbi, he had his own ideas about what resurrection meant. In the language and ideas of the day, what the disciples said was an approximation. How we’de see Jesus if we had a video camera of the event, is another story.

As one Anglican bishop said, the resurrection was “not just a conjuring trick with bones”. I think the reality is these things are far deeper mysteries and to try and reduce them too much to a purely historical or concrete reality actually cheapens a deeper meaning (I disagre with how many people interpret the Apocalypse of John, for instance… it is not a description of an historical event).

In that book I was talking about, the Howard Storm book on his near-death experience, encounter with “Jesus” and beings he believed were angels, and later religious experiences, the author claims to see an apparition of Thomas Merton… and he doesn’t look like a ghost. Initially he did not recognize him until somebody told him that the person he was talking to just disappeared. He went home and later that day, he saw a photograph of Thomas Merton as a young man and recognized him as the person he met at the monastery next to Thomas Merton’s grave. I actually believe he is telling a truthful account , yet Thomas Merton hasn’t been considered “raised from the dead”. I believe the metaphysics of this are probably very complicated, beyond full human understanding, but probably it is loosely related to the phenomenon of bilocation, and the hypothesis of the non-locality of consciousness.

This can only be answered on the final day of existence in this world and your journey into the afterlife. It is not for us to know the exact way things will be when Christ returns for the Judgement of mankind. But to be loving and caring for all who are created in God’s image.
Don’t get caught up in if you will or won’t have a physical body. That is for God alone to know and decide. We will knowwhen God wants it to be revealed to us the resurections full meaning.
Mary1173:coffeeread:

Another thing I’ve learned from studying mystics and visions, and searching my own experiences… I don’t think Jesus actually had to die in the sense many Protestants assume (substitutionary atonement). I think “Christus Victor” is the more useful model, though I believe vicarious atonement is also true to some extent. I do think Jesus imparted some “magic” or energy to our reality, though, through the Crucifixion. I think the real meaning of the incarnation is that it is a love story between God and Creation, God seeks out every one of us just like the Good Shepherd or the Pearl of Great Price. It is not something of the head but the heart.

“Behold and see! By the same power, might and goodness that I have done all this; by the same power, might, and goodness I shall make well, all that is not well, and you shall see it!” - Jesus to Julian of Norwich, 16 Revelations of Divine Love

Hi:)
Interesting that you mention bilocation because St Martin de Porres was said to have that ability. I have no idea how that works.
Regarding Jesus’s resurrection, I chose to accept that traditional teachings on that event. That his body was resurrected, and there is nothing in the grave left behind. I am also a believer in the shroud of Turin. There is a great dvd called ‘Jesus and the Shroud of Turin’ that explains all the scientific angles.
If God can do all things then why couldn’t he animate and heal the body? Remember, Jesus could heal people, so why couldn’t God completely heal those who had died?
Its not improbable in the least. But as far as imagining future scenarios and how that will all play out, that is not for us to know. But only what we are given to know.
I will be curious to know if you decide to become Catholic or not, or another religion. Keep in touch. (And Jesus did raise someone from the dead so that was already shown to be possible…if you believe in Jesus then you can believe in his Resurection.
:slight_smile:

Are you familiar with the Stoics, or Heraclitus? “We do, and do not step in the same river. We both are, and are not”. I don’t think people actually have a body and a soul. I believe it is more complex than that. One emerges from the other, and the stuff of the body is unimportant. The physical world we see is temporal and impermanent, so is the physical body, and there is no way to actually make it permanent subjectively**. It actually is less real than the reality underneath it, whereas our ordinary perception sees the subtle or mental as less real than the physical-material or “gross”. That’s my hypothesis.

Before Adam sinned, the bible calls him a living soul. Yet, when he sinned, he became changed, leaving his first estate as a living soul and becoming a dead soul. For the spirit that made a man a living soul died in the man, leaving a dead soul. It was that spirit that enabled the man to have communion with God.

The flesh is only the shell for the soul. Once the soul is required of God, for all men are assigned a time to die, the flesh returns to dust. And because the soul is dead, when it leaves the body, it is taken to where the unrighteous dead are reserved until the day of judgement.

Now, thanks to such a loving God, we have a way of escape. For if a man believes in the Son of God and is saved, his spirit that was dead because of sin, is reborn in him. And because his spirit is alive through Christ, because it is again living, when the man suffers physical death, his spirit goes to where the living are in Christ. For God is not the god of dead, but the living.

It is very rare, but there are Buddhist stories of bilocation, even bodies that resist decay or shrink and glow with an unusual light (some of them have been investigated by people loosely tied with the Vatican, one case happened in the late 90’s in Tibet). I have heard of Buddhist “miracles” where people think their prayers are answered- the monk that taught Jet Li martial arts once attributed an anonymous donation of money every year to the bodhisattva Quan Yin. However, it seems that Christians have more supernatural experiences, in the church history and in the modern day. There are lots of youtube videos out there of people recording things like jewels, gold dust, or oil falling out of the air out of nowhere. There is a missionary in Zimbabwe named Heidi Baker who had experiences of multiplying food and other materializations. Growing up as a kid, I never saw anything like that- I did not believe those things were possible, but that was before the internet, and before I’ve had some experiences that convince me that reality is more complex than just being material.

I actually got quite good at Buddhist meditation, I’ve had some unusual mystical experiences, but I just question the basic metaphysical assumptions about the religion. I actualy tried regressing to a past life and I don’t believe I’ve had one, honestly. Unless somehow people just “emerge from the void”, which is a theory I have heard but it is not part of traditional Buddhism. God seems like a better explanation. The universe had a beginning and it’s not cyclical (based on what litle bit of cosmology I studied). So even if Buddhism is somewhat true, some elements of the Christian worldview seem more consistent with scientific reality.

Regarding Jesus’s resurrection, I chose to accept that traditional teachings on that event. That his body was resurrected, and there is nothing in the grave left behind. I am also a believer in the shroud of Turin. There is a great dvd called ‘Jesus and the Shroud of Turin’ that explains all the scientific angles.

I have actually looked at the Shroud and it is very interesting- there are too many things going for it to easily dismiss it. If it is real, one hypothesis is that the body/being inside of it dematerialized and was converted into “information” and the physical matter of the body was converted into some kind of energy and that’s what made the image. My own hypothesis would be that it was done as a “sign”, not so much that it had to be done for metaphysical reasons. However, I cannot say that is absolutely the case, it is just a hypothesis.

I will be curious to know if you decide to become Catholic or not, or another religion. Keep in touch. (And Jesus did raise someone from the dead so that was already shown to be possible…if you believe in Jesus then you can believe in his Resurection.
:slight_smile:

I have attended an Anglican/Episcopalian church in the past (they are actually in schism from the Episcopal Church in the US), I plan to try and attend tomorrow. I grew up Methodist and I was visiting a Methodist church but I like the liturgy and music at the Anglican church moreso. I think I am definitely “post-evangelical” if I get back into Christianity. I’ve also read a little bit about the Emergent movement in Protestantism. I’m less interested in dogmatism or a more academic/scholastic type approach (I actually tried studying “systematic theology”, and all it did was made me feel I wasn’t really learning anything real about God), because I realize there are limits to human understanding/reasoning and language.

I have actually been thinking of updating my passport and maybe going on a “pilgrimage” to Israel and maybe Europe. Maybe I need to “be there”. I’ve also got other things I want to do, I need to move on now that I’ve started grasping something of the “big picture”.

DaedelusIt is very rare, but there are Buddhist stories of bilocation, even bodies that resist decay or shrink and glow with an unusual light (some of them have been investigated by people loosely tied with the Vatican, one case happened in the late 90’s in Tibet). I have heard of Buddhist “miracles” where people think their prayers are answered- the monk that taught Jet Li martial arts once attributed an anonymous donation of money every year to the bodhisattva Quan Yin. However, it seems that Christians have more supernatural experiences, in the church history and in the modern day. There are lots of youtube videos out there of people recording things like jewels, gold dust, or oil falling out of the air out of nowhere. There is a missionary in Zimbabwe named Heidi Baker who had experiences of multiplying food and other materializations. Growing up as a kid, I never saw anything like that- I did not believe those things were possible, but that was before the internet, and before I’ve had some experiences that convince me that reality is more complex than just being material.

I actually got quite good at Buddhist meditation, I’ve had some unusual mystical experiences, but I just question the basic metaphysical assumptions about the religion. I actualy tried regressing to a past life and I don’t believe I’ve had one, honestly. Unless somehow people just “emerge from the void”, which is a theory I have heard but it is not part of traditional Buddhism. God seems like a better explanation. The universe had a beginning and it’s not cyclical (based on what litle bit of cosmology I studied). So even if Buddhism is somewhat true, some elements of the Christian worldview seem more consistent with scientific reality.

Hi:)
I have to agree with you there. Buddhism makes little sense to me either and I practiced it for several years. I’d be interested to hear about your experiences with meditation. I’ve heard the stories about ‘rainbow bodies’. But, unlike in the Catholic church, where miracles are studied and documented for authenticity, there is no such tradition in Buddhism.

I have actually looked at the Shroud and it is very interesting- there are too many things going for it to easily dismiss it. If it is real, one hypothesis is that the body/being inside of it dematerialized and was converted into “information” and the physical matter of the body was converted into some kind of energy and that’s what made the image. My own hypothesis would be that it was done as a “sign”, not so much that it had to be done for metaphysical reasons. However, I cannot say that is absolutely the case, it is just a hypothesis.

You’ve seen the shroud! Wow. The explanation that made sense to me was that when Jesus was resurrected and his body came to life again, it had an effect like radiation on the cloth. They say radiation because you can actually see his bones on the cloth and there is no way to get an image like that except for radiation.

I have attended an Anglican/Episcopalian church in the past (they are actually in schism from the Episcopal Church in the US), I plan to try and attend tomorrow. I grew up Methodist and I was visiting a Methodist church but I like the liturgy and music at the Anglican church moreso. I think I am definitely “post-evangelical” if I get back into Christianity. I’ve also read a little bit about the Emergent movement in Protestantism. I’m less interested in dogmatism or a more academic/scholastic type approach (I actually tried studying “systematic theology”, and all it did was made me feel I wasn’t really learning anything real about God), because I realize there are limits to human understanding/reasoning and language.

I’m afraid I know little about any of those movements, and they are all schismatic. I prefer to stick with tradition. And I do have to ask, as a Catholic, why chose protestantism? I consider that a heresy. I’m not saying that as a put-down, but as a factual statement. Besides the Catholic Church has the heritage, the saints and apostles and teachers and the Mass, and why abandon all of that to follow a renegade who says they want to change it after 1500 or more years? It makes no sense to me. Perhaps you could explain your reasoning to me. I am a convert to Christianity but I never considered being a Protestant.
I always considered the Protestant services to be weird, and not at all sanctamonious or holy.
You know Jesus instructed his followers to come together and eat the bread and drink the wine which would become for them his body and blood. He never said to his followers to come together, and make speeches, read, and sing a lot, and hold hands…and this will become for you a party in honor of me.
You know? What is that? Do we just make stuff up as we go along or do we DO what Jesus instructed us to do?

I have actually been thinking of updating my passport and maybe going on a “pilgrimage” to Israel and maybe Europe. Maybe I need to “be there”. I’ve also got other things I want to do, I need to move on now that I’ve started grasping something of the "big picture.

That’s a great idea. There are some churches in Jerusalem and Bethlehem that would be awesome to go to. And I’m sure you will get a better sense of things there.

:slight_smile:

What you assert sounds biblical, except for the part that there is no bodily resurrection for the damned. What Scripture do you base this idea upon?

You make a good point. The bible does say all will be resurrected, both good and evil. Yet, I always believed that the resurrection is when we will receive our eternal body. Do those who are evil receive eternal bodies so they to can live forever?

This is a subject that definitely needs more research. Before reading your question, I was thinging the same thing.

Is it possible those who are evil receive eternal bodies that will be in torment forever? I haven’t contemplated this yet, but should. I would appreciate any input you have for me on the subject.

And thank you for pointing that out to me.

God bless.

Are you familiar with the Stoics, or Heraclitus? “We do, and do not step in the same river. We both are, and are not”. I don’t think people actually have a body and a soul. I believe it is more complex than that. One emerges from the other, and the stuff of the body is unimportant. The physical world we see is temporal and impermanent, so is the physical body, and there is no way to actually make it permanent subjectively**. It actually is less real than the reality underneath it, whereas our ordinary perception sees the subtle or mental as less real than the physical-material or “gross”. That’s my hypothesis.

I understand that there is theory that states everything has an opposite, such as black is white, hot is cold, dry is wet and so on and so forth.

I do agree that the phyical world is temporal, and that the spirit world is the real world. I like to say that our world is not the real world, but only a creation and that the real world is the spiritual world.

As for the physical body being temporal, then what of the resurrection? Don’t you believe that the body that sleeps in the earth will be resurrected?

All beliefs are connected - they are not like matches, a miscellaneous & formless heap. Anything but.

One thing that I find helpful for belief in the Resurrection, is the Resurrection of Jesus - for that is the pattern of the resurrection of Christians: because He has, there is no way they can’t - for they are members of His Body; so where He is, they will be. That is also one of the effects of the Eucharist: by receiving His Body into us (which is incredibly intimate - far more so than in marriage even), we become indissolubly united with Him. The Resurrection, the Ascension, the Descent of the Spirit at Pentecost, all go together; & the Assumption of the BVM is also, like them, a result of His Resurrection: all these things are indissolubly related; they live in & off by each other, because they are dynamic & living realities.

Science is not competent to speak about what God does. God, unlike science, is not confined to this world. It has its place, beyond a shadow of doubt - but it is bankrupt if called on to judge what God can do; that is not within the jurisduction He has alloted to it. What we believe, we believe by faith; for only faith is great enough to make them credible; science can’t - its light & strength are far too feeble for that.

BTW - the Resurrection has 000000000000 to do with zombies. The Resurrection-Life of Christians is the Risen Life of Christ in Christians: nothing could be less zombie-like :smiley:

That’s more like Taoism or Buddhism. It’s not that things aren’t containing heat, but that the term “hot” and “cold” are relative to something else.

I haven’t studied Stoicism in detail, I just know that the Stoics, Heraclitus, and Buddhism are all Process philosophy. Scholasticism in the Catholic church is not a Process philosophy. I actually believe Process philosophy can give people some insights into God to a certain extent beyond Scholasticism. For instance, God can change in Process philosophy- God is alive, but God also has unchanging abstract attributes. However, most Process theologians have been liberals in the past, but there’s no reason that philosophy has to be limited to liberal theology.

As for the physical body being temporal, then what of the resurrection? Don’t you believe that the body that sleeps in the earth will be resurrected?

No. I believe once you die basicly you go to the afterlife and have a spiritual body that is physical but not material. Aquinas actually said that he didn’t know if/how souls had subjective experiences since they lacked sense organs (?). If you take near-death accounts seriously, souls in “heaven” or wherever they are at, have subjective experiences. I just don’t think it’s necessariy to focus on the nuts and bolts.

I had some experiences from meditation that, looking back, were very much like being aware of the “presence of God”. I think this is what Hebrews were talking about when they talked about the “glory of the Lord” and the “fear of the Lord” and “shekinah” (the immanent aspect of God). I actually started wondering if it wasn’t God. I know there is a liberal Zen roshi in Japan that works with Catholics interested in studying with him (unfortunately the name slips me, but Rubin Habito was a Jesuit priest and student of his), and he believes the experiences are similar, but it cannot be proven since the experience is subjective. .

You’ve seen the shroud! Wow. The explanation that made sense to me was that when Jesus was resurrected and his body came to life again, it had an effect like radiation on the cloth. They say radiation because you can actually see his bones on the cloth and there is no way to get an image like that except for radiation.

Oh, sorry… I haven’t seen the Shroud in person, but I have studied it by reading about it, waching movies about it. I believe it is real but my faith wouldn’t rest on it. What I read was that the best explanation for it was that the body became a singularity, like a black hole (it’s probably scientificly impossible, but think of a “transporter beam” off Star Trek). The cloth actually fell through the body as it disintegrated and collapsed in on itself.

I’m afraid I know little about any of those movements, and they are all schismatic. I prefer to stick with tradition. And I do have to ask, as a Catholic, why chose protestantism? I consider that a heresy. I’m not saying that as a put-down, but as a factual statement.

For the moment I am focused on "Mere Christianity" and trying to wrestle with that first (the church I have been visiting is "Anglo-Catholic", not really in the Reformed tradition completely... they have rituals similar to Catholic or Orthodox but the beliefs are Episcopalian).   I have some issues with certain papal doctrines (infallability, transubstantiation) and I'm not convinced all the Gospels are absolutely authoritative, nor is church tradition.  I think at best we can get close but we cannot be certain of anything, which is a good reason to ultimately search for God yourself at some point and not totally hand that over to other people.   I think apostolic succession isn't thoroughly convincing, a certain point I'm not convinced of it- I don't see how Peter got in Rome, for one thing.   I think God works in alot of different ways, I have no desire to get involved in sectarianism.

Besides the Catholic Church has the heritage, the saints and apostles and teachers and the Mass, and why abandon all of that to follow a renegade who says they want to change it after 1500 or more years?

Maybe it’s just taste. Some of the Catholic hymns I have heard are terrible :frowning: Also, while I’m not in theory against veneration of saints and some of the Marian doctrines, Catholics often take it to an extreme degree. I think it is an issue of different tastes and traditions.

You know Jesus instructed his followers to come together and eat the bread and drink the wine which would become for them his body and blood. He never said to his followers to come together, and make speeches, read, and sing a lot, and hold hands…and this will become for you a party in honor of me.
You know? What is that?

I see those issues are periphreal. When Jesus was talking about eating his flesh and drinking his blood, he was talking about living off him in a spiritual sense. The “How” of that wasn’t important, I don’t even think it is required for salvation (look at the thief on the cross). A ritual can certain have meaning or energy behind it though that is transformative, however, have you heard of “Spiritual Comunnion”? I also don’t agree with transubstantiation, too much Scholastic metaphysics. Certainly I don’t understand why the matter-content of the ritual matters all that much (what about cultures where wine and bread are unusual? In Japan during persecution they used crushed rice- mochi, and black tea. Why couldn’t that work for God?).

No. I believe once you die basicly you go to the afterlife and have a spiritual body that is physical but not material. Aquinas actually said that he didn’t know if/how souls had subjective experiences since they lacked sense organs (?). If you take near-death accounts seriously, souls in “heaven” or wherever they are at, have subjective experiences. I just don’t think it’s necessariy to focus on the nuts and bolts.

That is a nice belief, but does not agree with scipture. The thessalonians came to Paul inquiring what happens to those who die in Christ. He told them that although their physical bodies sleep in the grave, the soul/spirit lives on and is with Christ and they will come with him (verse 13) on the day of resurrection. Paul told them the dead in Christ will rise first. The bodies of the saints are resurrected and their souls/spirits are put in their eternal bodies. Paul also told them the dead in Christ are resurrected first, then they who are alive, believers who have not suffered physical death yet will be resurrected.

1Thess. 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

I don’t care if it agrees with your interpretation of the scriptures or not frankly. I don’t believe in Protestant conservative/“orthodox” notions of the Bible, that it fell from heaven and God wrote every word. St. Paul was not a scientist or philosopher. What he said was relevent to his time, now I think it is less relevent. There are philosophical problems with the way resurrection is traditionally understood according to “orthodoxy” if you insist on nuts and bolts. IMO, it is one of the least important ideas in Christianity. I don’t see how a more spiritual interpretation automaticly makes it wrong. I DON’T believe Jesus’ Easter appearance was a mere ghost, hallucination, or wish fullfillment, BTW. I think it was a “veridical reality”, and I’ll leave it at that.

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