Re: [asa] Event or process

From: Jack <drsyme@cablespeed.com>
Date: Fri May 11 2007 - 20:29:49 EDT

I will say that I am very uncomfortable with this idea that animals have
eternal souls. I see no scriptural evidence supporting this. As I see it
the ENTIRE Bible is about Man's creation, fall, redemption, and restoration.
It all centers on Christ.

Do animals sin? Do they need a saviour? Of course not. Christ was the
second Adam, he was a man to save mankind. I dont think there is any other
affect on the rest of creation from the fall. There is no need for the
physical creation, the animals, or the laws of the universe to be restored.
This is getting a little far a field of the topic, but it shows you my
presuppositions. I am sure that animals do not have eternal souls, that,
is exclusively mans.

If what the scriptures call the souls under the altar are just resurrected
bodies, somehow brought back in time, why would they be so interested in
when Judgment Day was coming? It seems obvious that they were interested
because they were awaiting resurrection.

I dont agree with the idea that free will is what the image of God is. The
image of God is our eternal nature, our immortal soul. Free will came
later, after Adam ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil. Then their eyes were opened. And while this made us like God,
knowing good and evil, this is obviously after man was created in the image
of God.

As far as the organization of civilization. I dont think this development
was based on morality, but on agriculture. After the fall, man was forced
to work the soil. He could no longer exist as a hunter/gatherer. So he had
to develop farms, and irrigation, and cities. In fact, I think that the
entire account in Genesis is pointing to the birth of civilization, and
clearly ties it to when agriculture started.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Christine Smith" <christine_mb_smith@yahoo.com>
To: <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Friday, May 11, 2007 6:39 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Event or process

> Boy, it's hard to keep up with all of this!! I'll give
> it a shot though...
>
> Jack writes on 5/9:
> "Clearly there is a biblical distinction between
> humans (man) and the
> animals. Both however are given the breath of life
> (nephesh). So what
> is
> the distinction?
>
> In order to avoid the confusion between soul, and
> breath of life it
> might be
> easier to focus on Imago Dei. What is this image of
> God, and when did
> it
> come into existence?"
>
> I think that the distinction between humans and
> animals/hominids is that of the knowledge of good &
> evil, and the ability to exercise free will (aka: to
> be capable of choosing to do evil, contrary to the
> will of God). However, I think that an eternal soul
> encompasses more than this, because God is more than
> this. God is also a conscious, self-aware being, with
> feelings/emotions, the ability to reason, to create,
> etc. That is *part* of my reasoning for why animals,
> who have some (but not all, to be sure) of these
> characteristics also have eternal souls.
>
> Going by that reasoning, I think that an eternal soul
> is different from the "image of God". The "image of
> God" I think is referring very specifically to the
> fact that humans possess free will, and that God,
> though all powerful, is choosing (by and large) to
> allow us to exercise our own wills over both ourselves
> and creation; in some sense, I think that makes us
> god-like (IOW: in the likeness of God; though
> obviously, that does not by any means make us equal to
> God)
>
> As for when *humans* came into existence, I suspect
> that this could tie into a historical Adam ~6,000 or
> so years ago, but I'm not entirely sure on that point.
> I've heard it said that morality forms the basis for
> organized civilization--is my memory correct in that
> the first organized civilization formed around the
> time Adam was supposed to have lived?
>
>> To expand a bit on my response to Jack (see above):
> As was mentioned in later emails, the verse referred
> to is Ecclesiastes 3:21. The larger context for the
> verse is:
> "I said in my heart with regard to the sons of men
> that God is testing them to show them that they are
> but beasts. For the fate of the sons of men and the
> fate of beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the
> other. They all have the same breath, and man has no
> advantage over the beasts; for all is vanity. All go
> to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to
> dust again. Who knows whether the spirit of man goes
> upward and the spirit of the beast goes down to the
> earth? So I saw that there is nothing better than that
> a man should enjoy his work, for that is his lot; who
> can bring him to see what will be after him?"
>
> As I would interpret this, the writer of Ecclesiastes
> is asking the larger question, what becomes of us
> after we die? rather than specifying a particular
> doctrine about souls. More generally, my understanding
> of Ecclesiastes is that the author exhibits a rather
> melancholy mental state, and that more than anything,
> he is questioning everything, coming only at the end
> of the book to what his ultimate conclusion about the
> meaning of life is; so I would hesitate to use a verse
> in this book to formulate a doctrine.
>
>>From a more scientific vantage point though, let me
> pose the question--do believe, for example, that
> animals are capable of emotion (i.e. love, fear,
> etc.), and that they are conscious? If not, then I
> guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this point
> and move on :) ; if you acknowledge that animals do
> have these attributes, then how do you reconcile your
> statement that an animal is "purely material"? Would
> you then posit that emotions and consciousness have a
> purely material origin and are unrelated to souls? If
> so, then how can it be said that "God is love" and
> that God is the "great I Am"?
>
> Jack writes on 5/11:
> "My point is that the bible clearly describes a
> transitional state between the physical earthly body,
> and the final resurrection body.
>
> I gave you the example of the "souls" in revelation.
> Another example is the "spirit" of Samuel that Saul
> talks too.
>
> Also, what form was Christ in after he died on the
> cross, and before he was resurrected, when he
> "descended into hell"?"
>
> C.S.Lewis, in one of his books (I forget which at the
> moment), describes his understanding of how God can be
> timeless through the analogy that it's akin to an
> author writing a book. The characters in the book are
> working within a certain timeline, but the author,
> relative to the characters, exists "timelessly",
> because the author is not constrained by their
> timeline; moreover, the author can jump around in
> their timeline, being present at any moment "in the
> book". I wonder if the resurrection could be
> accomplished in the same manner? Specifically, say I
> died today. My body, in an earthly timeline, would be
> dead until "the end" as we would know it. But couldn't
> my soul, having eternal properties and being detached
> from my earthly body, also exist "timelessly", and be
> instantaneously taken to "the endtime moment" of
> judgement, and be resurrected in my earthly body (as
> it exists in the future)? Thus, from the viewpoint of
> my soul, there is no need for a "transitory" period,
> but yet, the resurrection is still a physical one.
>
>
>
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Received on Fri May 11 20:30:08 2007

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