The Resurrection and Immortality

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Exegesis has been the basis of this study, and so far, no critic of a wide variety of kinds has attempted to refute me by exegesis. The concept of death and resurrection is anchored in the Christ-event as will be shown in the following pages , and hence is incompatible with the Greek belief in immortality. Nothing shows better the radical difference between the Greek doctrine of immortality of the soul and the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection than the death of Socrates in contrast to the death of Jesus.

The belief in the resurrection presupposes the Jewish connexion between death and sin. Death is not something willed by God, as in the thought of the Greek philosophers; it is rather something, abnormal, opposed to God. Christ is risen: that is we stand in the new era in which death is conquered, in which corruptibility is no more.

For if there is really one spiritual body not an immortal soul, but a spiritual body which has emerged from a fleshly body, then indeed the power of death is broken. More Details Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about A Resurrection to Immortality , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about A Resurrection to Immortality. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews.

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  • Fler böcker av William Robert West;
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More filters. Sort order. And an anonymous writer, "a Presbyter of the Church of England," published two books on the subject, presenting a careful study of the Patristic evidence that "the Holy Spirit was the Author of Immortality, or Immortality was a Peculiar Grace of the Gospel, and no Natural Ingredient of the soul," and that "Immortality was preternatural to Human Souls, the Gift of Jesus Christ, collated by the Holy Spirit in Baptism.

James, Westminster, a follower of Newton and a correspondent of Leibniz, notorious for his unorthodox beliefs and ideas, a typical man of the age of Latitudinarianism and Enlightenment. It was an unusual sight: "Immortality" contested by an "Orthodox" and defended by a Latitudinarian. In fact, it was rather what one should have expected. The belief in a natural Immortality was one of the few basic "dogmas" of the enlightened Deism of that time.

A man of the Enlightenment could easily dismiss the doctrines of Revelation, but could not afford any doubt on the "truth" of Reason. Gilson suggested that "what is known under the name of the "Moralist" doctrine of the 17th century was originally a return to the position of the Early Fathers and not, as seems to be usually believed, a manifestation of a libertine spirit. The whole situation in the 17th century was much more complex and mixed up than Gilson apparently surmised. Yet, in the case of Dodwell and some others Gilson's guess is fully vindicated.

There was an obvious "return to the positions of the First Fathers. Justin, in his Dialogue with Trypho , tells the story of his conversion. In his quest for truth he went first to Philosophers, and for a time was fully satisfied with the teaching of Platonists. Among the questions raised in the course of their conversation was that of the nature of the soul.

We should not call the soul immortal, contended the Christian. This was, of course, the thesis of the Platonists. Now, God alone is "unbegotten" and immortal, and it is for that very reason that He is Divine.


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  7. The world, on the other hand, is "begotten," and the souls make part of it. God alone is life, the soul can but have life. The main classical proofs of immortality, derived from Phaedo and Phaedrus , are disavowed and declined, and their basic presuppositions openly rejected.

    As Professor A. Taylor pointed out, "to the Greek mind athanas i a or afthars i a regularly signified much the same things as "divinity" and included the conception of ingenerability as well as of indestructibility. To say "the soul is immortal" would be for a Greek the same as to say "it is uncreated," i. In other words, for a Greek, "immortality" of the soul would immediately imply its "eternity," i. Christians could not comply with this "philosophical" assumption, as they believed in Creation, and therefore they had to deny "immortality" in the Greek meaning of the word.

    The soul is not an independent or self-governing being, but precisely a creature , and its very existence it owes to God, the Creator. Accordingly, it cannot be "immortal" by nature , i. The "philosophical" argument for natural "immortality" was based on the "necessity" of existence. On the contrary, to say that the world is created is to emphasize, first of all, its radical contingency , and precisely — contingency in the order of existence. In other words, a created world is a world which might not have existed at all.

    That is to say that the world is, utterly and entirely, ab alio , and in no sense a se.

    Justin was not a "conditionalist," and his name has been invoked by the defenders of a "conditional immortality" quite in vain. We find the same reasoning in other writings of the second century. Theophilus of Antioch insisted on the "neutral" character of Man. Tatian went even further. Yet it is possible for it not to die" Oratio ad Graecos , The thought of the early Apologists was not free from contradictions, nor was it always accurately expressed. But the main contention was always clear: the problem of human immortality had to be faced in the context of the doctrine of Creation.

    Immortality of the soul: a platonic belief

    One may say also: not as a metaphysical problem only, but as a religious one, first of all. Not only the ultimate destiny of Man can be achieved only in Communion with God, but even Man's existence itself and his "survival" or endurance depend upon God's will. Irenaeus continued the same tradition. In his struggle against the Gnostics he had a special motive to emphasize the creaturely character of the soul.

    Resurrection or Immortality - E-bok - William Robert West () | Bokus

    It does not come from "another world," exempt from corruption; it belongs precisely to this created world. It has been contended, says St. Irenaeus, that in order to stay in existence souls had to be "unbegotten" sed oportere eas aut innascibiles esse ut sint immortales , for otherwise they would have to die with the body vel si generationis initium acceperint, cum corpore mori.

    He declines this argument. As creatures, the souls "endure as long as God wills them to endure" perseverant autem quoadusque eas Deus et esse, et perseverare voluerit. Perseverantia here obviously corresponds to the Greek: diamon i. Irenaeus uses almost the same phrases as St.

    Immortality of the Soul or the Resurrection of the Body: The Witness of the New Testament

    The soul is not life by itself; it partakes of life, by the grant of God sic et anima quidem non est vita, participatur autem a Deo sibi praestitam vitam. Even Clement of Alexandria, in spite of his Platonism, would occasionally recall that the soul was not immortal "by nature" Adumbrationes in I Petri hinc apparet quoniam non est naturaliter anima incorruptibilis, sed gartia Dei Athanasius would demonstrate the immortality of the soul by arguments which can be traced back to Plato Adv.

    Gentes , 33 , and yet he insisted very strongly that everything created is "by nature" unstable and exposed to destruction ibidem , 41; f y sin revst i n u san ke dialyom e ni. Even St. Augustine was aware of the necessity to qualify the immortality of the soul: Anima hominis immortalis est secundum quendam modum suum; non enim omni modo sicut Deus Epist. VFF, ad Hieronymum. De Trinitate , Dei , John of Damascus says that even Angels are immortal not by nature, but only by grace De fide orth.

    II, 3; u f y si all a h a riti , and proves it more or less in the same way as the Apologists Dial. We find the same emphatic statement in the "synodical" letter of St.

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    Sophronius, the Patriarch of Jerusalem , which was read and favorably received at the Sixth Ecumenical Council In the latter part of his letter Sophronius condemns the errors of the Origenists, the pre-existence of the soul and apokatastasis, and states plainly that "intellectual beings" ta noit a , though they do not die th n iski de udem o s , nevertheless "are not immortal by nature ," but only by the grace of God Mansi , XI, ; Migne , It may be added that even in the 17th century this early tradition was not forgotten in the East, and we have an interesting contemporary record of a dispute between two Greek bishops of Crete exactly on this question: whether the soul was immortal "by nature" or "by grace.

    We may conclude: When we discuss the problem of Immortality from a Christian point of view, we must keep in mind the creaturely nature of the soul. The very existence of the soul is contingent, i. Yet, a given existence, i. The creative fiat is a free but ultimate act of God. God has created the world simply for existence: e ktise gar is to i ne ta p a nda Wis.

    There is no provision for revoking this creative decree.