From: Don Winterstein (email@example.com)
Date: Sun May 04 2003 - 02:52:21 EDT
Debbie wrote in part:
"In regards to a physical resurrection:
IICor 5:6 Therefore ...whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.
8 We are confident and willing rather to be absent from the body and present with the Lord.
"That, in conjunction with raised incorruptible and various other references seems to indicate that in the hereafter we won't have bodies like these.
"Nothing against my body, it suits me very well, but I really don't want to be anywhere near the same in the next life."
I responded in part:
"If one takes into consideration _all_ the relevant NT passages on this subject, the picture that emerges is...that the resurrected body is to be like Jesus' resurrected body, which looked and felt to others pretty much the same as his body before he died. "
Further consideration of all those relevant NT passages moves me to cut Debbie a bit more slack. Previously I'd said,
"Scripture nowhere suggests that Jesus underwent or was to undergo
another transformation after his resurrection to improve his
resurrected body. "
While that is true, the NT leaves open the _possibility_ that Jesus' body is to undergo further changes to reach its final glorified state.
John (I John 3:2) and Paul (Phil. 3:21) both state that our resurrected bodies will be like Jesus' glorified body, but both apostles also say that we don't know what that glorified or "spiritual" body will be like. Such absence of specifics leaves lots of room for maneuvering.
That Jesus' glorified body must be a real body--that is, something physical--is not negotiable if one wants to be consistent with NT teaching. Gnosticism was rejected by the Church long ago. There will also have to be a recognizable connection of Jesus' glorified body to the body he had at the resurrection, otherwise everybody would say that this glorified person wasn't really the guy that died. Hence probably he'll look quite human, and the scars from his wounds won't go away.
For what it may be worth, Gnostic thinking is in diametric conflict with the number one plank in my personal theological platform: God's primary goal as a spirit is to give expression to himself in matter and ultimately to identify with it. God has wholly committed himself to this agenda. Jesus is to date both the dominant accomplishment and the dominant proof of his intent. Further significant accomplishments and reinforcing proofs of intent are to follow.
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