Body, Soul, and Life Everlasting: Biblical Anthropology and the Monism-Dualism Debate

Body, Soul, and Life Everlasting: Biblical Anthropology and the Monism-Dualism Debate

Body, Soul, and Life Everlasting: Biblical Anthropology and the Monism-Dualism Debate

Body, Soul, and Life Everlasting: Biblical Anthropology and the Monism-Dualism Debate

Excerpt

It is fair to ask why a book a decade old and out of print for several years should be republished. The short answer is that it stands up well in addressing issues and arguments that continue to be widely contended. It presents a case that remains relevant, robust, and right on target. A lot has been written since the book appeared. But instead of revising it extensively to dialogue with current scholarship, I reintroduce it by surveying recent contributions to the monism-dualism debate and indicating how the original version is still engaging.

Body, Soul, and Life Everlasting was written to remind thoughtful Christians that some sort of “dualistic” anthropology is entailed by the biblical teaching of the intermediate state, a doctrine that is affirmed by the vast majority in historic Christianity. The book makes the case that as Holy Scripture progressively discloses what happens to humans when they die, it teaches not only that each of us will undergo bodily resurrection, but that believers continue to exist “with the Lord” until the resurrection. The Old Testament notion of ghostly survival in Sheol, eventually augmented with an affirmation of bodily resurrection, is developed by the Holy Spirit into the New Testament revelation of fellowship with Christ between each believer's death and the general resurrection at Christ's return. Thus the Bible indicates that humans do not cease to exist between death and resurrection, a condition sometimes euphemistically termed “soul sleep,” or that final resurrection occurs immediately upon death.

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