Re: Do animals ever "sin" (was something else)

Date: Thu Feb 07 2002 - 11:23:08 EST

  • Next message: Jan de Koning: "RE: Do animals ever "sin" (was something else)"

    George Murphy wrote:

    Lest it appear that I'm arguing for a sceptical anti-afterlife
    position, let me emphasize that the reason for challenging all
    this stuff about immortality of the soul &c is that it undermines
    belief in the resurrection. Our hope is that the God who, contrary
    to all creaturely understanding, "justifies the ungodly" and "calls
    into existence the things that do not exist" also "gives life
    to the dead" (Rom.4:5-17). It isn't that God raises the half-dead,
    releases our immortal souls from their prison, or any of that.

    [and later]
    We are not by nature immortal: God "alone has immortality."
    The resurrection of the dead is God's new act of _creatio ex
    nihilo_ and we know about it, not because it's reasonable
    that we have immortal souls but because we believe (if we
    believe!) that God raised Jesus.

    Interesting. This reminds me a little of what I read
    in one of Polkinghorne's books:

        ....If we regard human beings as psychosomatic unities,
        as I believe both the Bible and contemporary experience
        of the intimate connection between mind and brain encourage
        us to do, then the soul will have to be understood in an
        Aristotelian sense as the "form," or information-bearing
        pattern, of the body. Though this pattern is dissolved
        at death, it seems perfectly rational to believe that it
        will be remembered by God and reconstituted in a divine
        act of resurrection. The "matter" of the world to come,
        which will be the carrier of this reembodiment, will be
        the transformed matter of the present universe, itself
        redeemed by God beyond _its_ cosmic death. That resurrected
        universe is not a second attempt by the Creator to produce
        a world _ex nihilo_ but it is the transmutation of the
        present world in an act of new creation _ex vetere_. God
        will then truly be "all in all" (I Cor. 15:28) in a totally
        sacramental universe whose divine-infused "matter" will be
        delivered from the transience and decay inherent in present
        physical process. Such mysterious and exciting beliefs
        depend for their motivation not only on the faithfulness
        of God, but also on Christ's resurrection, understood as
        the seminal event from which the new creation grows, and
        indeed also on the detail of the empty tomb, with its
        implication that the Lord's risen and glorified body
        is the transmutation of his dead body, just as the
        world to come will be the transformation of this
        present mortal world. (J. Polkinghorne, "Belief
        in God in and Age of Science," Yale: New Haven,
        1998. p. 22-23).

    Some subtle differences, but anyway.

    by Grace we proceed,

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