Re: [asa] AIG's weakly message

From: Janice Matchett <>
Date: Tue Feb 13 2007 - 12:34:47 EST

At 09:25 AM 2/13/2007, Merv wrote:

>.. So beyond physical death, it seems to me there must be at least
>two other kinds of death (horrific and final second death of the
>soul at the judgment) ..--merv

@ For your consideration:

"....Moreland/Habermas argue (in their fight against the annihilationists):

"But there is a more important, fundamental consideration than the
ones just listed: For the sake of argument, if we compare extinction
with life in hell, it is clearly more immoral to extinguish humans
with intrinsic value than to allow them to continue living in a state
with a low quality of life. In fact, we do not believe the second
alternative is immoral at all, but the first alternative is immoral." (p.173)

"In our view, annihilationism versus the traditionalists regarding
hell form a precise parallel to quality-of-life versus
sanctity-of-life positions regarding infanticide and euthanasia.
Remember, hell is not a torture chamber, and people in hell are not
howling like dogs in mind-numbing pain. There are degrees of anguish
in hell. But the endlessness of existence in hell at least dignifies
the people there by continuing to respect their autonomy and their
intrinsic value as persons." (p.174) ~

The biblical position is very, very explicit that any suffering in
hell is exactly matched to the works done during the earthly life.
The whole point of the "judgment" is justice (although there may be
an extra measure, due to the suffering the evil might have created in
the lives of others-cf. Ex 22.1; 2 Sam 12.6; Lk 19.8). If whatever
hell consists of is NOT perfectly just, then it is not the biblical
hell at all.

"..The Semitic Totality Concept means that "a man's thoughts form one
totality with their results in action so that 'thoughts' that result
in no action are 'vain'." [ibid, 60] To put it another way, man does
not have a body; man is a body, and what we regard as constituent
elements of spirit and body were looked upon by the Hebrews as a
fundamental unity. Man was not made from dust, but is dust that has,
"by the in-breathing of God, acquired the characteristics of
self-conscious being." Thus Paul regards being an unbodied spirit as
a form of nakedness (2 Cor. 5). Man is not whole without a body. A
man is a totality which embraces "all that a man is and ever shall
be." ... When Paul encourages believers to "work out your own
salvation with fear and trembling," (Phil. 2:12) he is not telling us
that we must do our part to be saved. We already possess that
righteousness; what is needed is for us to come to terms with this
and live consistently with it. J.P.Holding


Why Are Afterlife Ideas Missing from the OT? ~ J.P. Holding

Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and
seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

".. If any passage gives us a clear view of the afterlife one way or
the other, it is this one; yet it still lacks specifics enough to
develop a full-fledged picture of the afterlife. The rich man is
conscious in hades; Abraham is conscious in paradise, and Lazarus
presumably is as well (or can be) if he is being asked to run an
errand. This would seem clear evidence of an afterlife in which
consciousness is at least possible (of course they could just all
have been awake for a short time, who knows!) ..

In closing, though, we might add that we have no idea whether Abe,
Lazarus, and the rich man were always active like they are depicted...

Now for the last verse I want to look at... 2 Cor. 12:2-4 I knew a
man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I
cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man,
(whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God
knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard
unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

What's the issue? It's simple: This proves that Paul believed that a
man could have a conscious life apart from a body. He didn't die
(most commentators think he is referring to himself obliquely here,
and his conversion experience on the road to Damascus, as a means of
not assuming too much honor) but he allows that he may have been "out
of the body" and yet was still conscious and able to hear things (in
spite of having no "ears"). None of this proves this state was static
or permanent, but it is clear that he allows for the separation of
two elements with consciousness remaining even in the separation.

The conclusion for now: It is clear that consciousness is possible in
the intermediate state before resurrection; whether it is a steady or
a changing state is a matter of speculation. Not that we need to be
concerned. I suspect the Bible spends little time on the afterlife
... precisely in order to keep our minds where they should be -- on
the here and now, serving the Lord Jesus. ~ J.P. Holding

~ Janice

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Received on Tue Feb 13 12:35:06 2007

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