Re: [asa] Event or process

From: David Buller <>
Date: Fri May 11 2007 - 15:26:18 EDT


Thanks for your reply. I understand the way you interpreted Genesis 35:18
and agree that that makes as least as much sense. The question now would be
if "soul" can be interpreted as "breath" or "life" in other passages. Here
are some other passages that I have come across.

II Corinthians 5:8 says: "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be
absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."

Here Paul describes being present with the Lord as being absent from the
body. How then could Paul ever be present with the Lord, since that meant
being "absent from the body," and his soul was inseperable from his body, as
you say?

Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 says: "For that which befalleth the sons of men
befalleth beasts, even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth
the other; so that a man hath no preeminenece above a beast: for all is
vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust
again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of
the beast that goeth downward to the earth?"

If the soul of man is inseperable from his body, than it would "turn to
dust" as his body would. Why then would the passage say that the "spirit of
man goeth upward" while his body "turn[s] to dust"?

Philippians 1:23-24 says: "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire
to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide
in the flesh is more needful for you."

If the soul is inseperable from the body, then why would Paul once again
draw a distinction between being with Christ and abiding in the flesh?

Regarding my mention of Matthew 10:28, you said: "Once again you're
interpreting in terms of your assumptions, which are not necessarily valid.
When God "destroys" the soul in hell, it continues suffering, which means
it's not destroyed in the usual sense. This passage, then, is defining what
"killing the soul" means--in a word, God's damnation. The passage is not
making a statement about the nature of human persons. Rather, it's telling
us to get our priorities straight. You can kill the body in any number of
ways, but the only way to kill the soul is for God to damn it to hell. When
killing the soul is defined in this way, it's obvious that only God can do
it. To say that the passage means the soul lives independently after the
body dies would be to deduce meanings that're simply not there."

Maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't think you ever really
countered my point. Basically you said "that's not the main thrust of the
passage." I acknowledge that, but the passage seems (to me) to say it, just
the same.

Your view is that the soul "ceases to exist if and when the body dies."
Rather than refuting that myself, I'll quote what you yourself said: "You
can kill the body in any number of ways, but the only way to kill the soul
is for God to damn it to hell." This is an obvious contradiction in your
reasoning. When the body dies, does the soul cease to exist (the position
in the first quote) or does it continue to exist (the position in your
second quote and Matthew 10:18)? I'd be interested to hear you try to
reconcile these two quotes.

Here's the problem with your statement that the soul "ceases to exist if and
when the body dies." If someone were to kill me today, then (according to
you) my soul would "cease to exist." Yet Matthew 10:28 clearly says that
man is *not* capable of destroying the soul.

I made sure to quote Scripture and then ask questions about the passages, so
don't claim that I'm interpreting in order to "best fit my theological
presuppositions." I'll leave that up to you. :-)

I look forward to your reply!

-David Buller

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Received on Fri May 11 15:26:28 2007

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