Re: conscious existence after death?

From: Terry M. Gray <grayt@lamar.colostate.edu>
Date: Tue Apr 19 2005 - 13:32:42 EDT

Jack,

You might check in with some of the standard Reformed confessions on
this, say the Westminster Confession of Faith or the Belgic
Confession along with Biblical proof-texts supporting those
confessional claims. I suspect that the Lutheran, Anglican, and Roman
Catholic confessions and catechisms also support the dualist
anthropology and the existence of a conscious intermediate state.

Also, I would recommend the book by William Hendricksen *The Bible on
the Life Hereafter* which discusses the Biblical data relating to the
intermediate state. This book is from 1963 and may be hard to find
but is a straightforward discussion of the subject by a Christian
Reformed pastor/theologian.

A more up-to-date work that takes into account the recent resurgence
of monism but ends up defending the dualist view largely on the
grounds of the way the Bible speaks of a conscious non-corporeal
intermediate state is John Cooper's *Body, Soul & Liffe Everlasting:
Biblical Anthropology & the Monism-Dualism Debate*.

The interesting thing for our recent discussion about this work is
that it comes out of Calvin Theological Seminary. Both Jan and Loren
also come from a Reformed (and in particular, a Christian Reformed
background). Jan, in particular, makes it sound as if the Christian
Reformed tradition is thoroughly monist and that everyone recognizes
dualism as a remnant of Plato. The reality is that this is just a
sliver of the Christian Reformed tradition following the
philosopher/theologian Hermann Dooyeweerd. Of course, Cooper
addresses that perspective in his book since it is part of his
tradition.

TG

>Jan did not want to continue a discussion on this topic, so I
>thought I would post it seperately. I want to know if any of you
>have an opinion, and evidence to support your view of the following
>question(s).
>
>After death, do our souls/person/mind whatever you want to call it,
>cease to exist until the general resurrection? Or is there an
>intermediate state of conscious existence until the resurrection?
>And if there is an intermediate state, is this corporeal or only
>spirit?
>
>I am still working through the monism/dualism question. And
>scientifically it seems to me the best evidence is leading me
>towards monism. But the Bible, from the best I can tell, seems to
>say that there is an intermediate conscious state, followed by a
>general resurrection into a "spiritual" body. This would disagree
>with Jan's idea that there is no "time" in hades/sheol because the
>souls there are conscious.
>
>But I am looking for different perspectives on this.

-- 
_________________
Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado  80523
grayt@lamar.colostate.edu  http://www.chm.colostate.edu/~grayt/
phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801
Received on Tue Apr 19 13:34:24 2005

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