RE: Essay about errancy

From: Gough, Joshua <>
Date: Wed Feb 04 2004 - 13:12:34 EST

George, thanks for the response, I will have to take a look at that book
you mentioned. I agree that unless there is a full resurrection, it
doesn't make sense. Christians often complain that scientists are guilty
of reductionism in that they attempt to dissect humanity into bits and
pieces, but are not Christians guilty of the same who attempt to reduce
a human into a corporeal and non-corporeal makeup? Are we truly "one" or
are we not?

But, that brings up one question a chemistry professor of mine raised
For a resurrection to occur, where do the elements of the body come

That is, you and I have bodies that we now know, and really have always
known, come from ingesting food and metabolizing the materials from that
food. This is not reductionism, it is just the way nature works. We put
food into our bodies and that food becomes our bodies.

So, the fingers typing this note were once in the ground, and then were
in food, but long before any of that, they were in the stars. Truly, we
are star stuff.

So, for a physical resurrection to occur of all beings who achieved
God's righteousness seems to me to raise a huge problem. How many of the
77 billion (accurate?) human beings who have lived on this planet will
be judged righteous and be raised? Is it just 144,000 or something like
that? Did God foreknow this?

Here's a thought experiment:

Conceivably, you and I could actually have elements that were once part
of the body of one those resurrected saints that eventually died again
(we assume?)

So, if you and I have elements in our physical constituency that once
were the constituents of a righteous man from the past, then how does
God raise both past righteous man and current me and you into a
simultaneous creation? Does God do so by manipulating the physical
constructs of the universe such that new elements are created to
recombine into the exact configuration of the body to which he deems fit
we inhabit at the time of resurrection? (How he decides what body I
should inhabit is still in question, is it the one I had at 18, 23, now
at 26, or maybe at 50?) Does God keep a database of our optimum
constituencies and then remap our physical being in accordance with that

We can pretend we "don't know" how he'll do it, but certainly we can ask
questions as to just how given the laws of this universe that he _could_
do it. Another thing with resurrection that troubles me is the concept
of heaven. Supposedly God will not force us to accept his offer of
forgiveness because that interferes with free will. Now, in order for us
to be truly without pain or tears in a resurrection body, there is one
thing God must do: Alter our state of being against our will because he
presupposes he knows what is best for us and how we will best experience
this life after death.

God wants us to have no pain after death. He knows us. Therefore, he
knows he has to alter us to remove pain. So, why is he unwilling in this
life to alter us, but once we get to the other life he is perfectly
willing, in fact has obligated himself to do such?

All of that brings the question of if God truly has divine foreknowledge
of all things, did he know about this dilemma before it happened? If he
did, why did he create the world? Some would say he thought the risk
worth the reward. Well what is that reward? The reward of having beings
who he has to forcibly manipulate to ensure their eternal state of joy
due to such beings' remembrance of their past formative experiences,
sorrows, pains, joys, etc all of which would produce pangs of longing
and remorse and alienation for not seeing their loved ones with them.
But, that's all ok, right, because God will make it all better and
perfect. So, if he's going to make it all perfect, why did he not make
it all perfect from the get go? We cannot address this by going down the
path of free choice because we've already seen that God has to eliminate
free choice in order to ensure our eternal state of happiness. If God
truly did not want an army of "praise you God" automatons, it seems then
he's gone along way to ensuring that he gets just that unless the claims
of removing all tears and eternal joy are simply untrue.

Phew, back to real life, the only life I know of at least right now ;-)


>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: George Murphy []
>>Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2004 6:03 PM
>>To: Gough, Joshua
>>Cc: Rich Blinne;
>>Subject: Re: Essay about errancy
>>Gough, Joshua wrote:
>>> I guess my issue with this boils down to: physically, did many dead
>>> people come alive and walk around Jerusalem or did they not? It's
>>> historically accurate or it is not. Just the same, either Jesus came
>>> back from the dead physically and literally, or he did not. Ravi
>>> Zacharias is right: It's either/or, not both/and.
>> any resurrection of the body then when you're dead you're dead,
>>Of course this
>>by no means proves that Jesus _did_ rise from the dead, but let's not
>>waste our time
>>pretending that there is some kind of Easter hope or faith if he
>> I'm always amazed at the supposedly modern people who claim to
>>eager to
>>brings Christianity into accord with modern science, with its intense
>>concentration on
>>the importance of matter, but then think that they have some
>>worth talking
>>about without a resurrection that confers lasting value on matter
>> Shalom,
>> George
>>George L. Murphy
Received on Wed Feb 4 13:14:19 2004

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