Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Most Pitiable?

16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. (1 Cor. 15)

I was thinking about the idea that much of Scripture is to be taken spiritually. For example, the millenial kingdom is not physical, but spiritual. I wonder what the apostle Paul would say about that? He stressed to the Corinthians that Christ was risen. Do you think he meant "risen spiritually"? This is what liberal theologians teach about the resurrection. They don't believe that Jesus came out of the grave physically. They say He is "risen in our hearts."
19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said. (John 2)

Interesting here how Jesus spoke of His ressurection. Was it spiritual? They thought He was talking about the physical temple. He was talking about His physical body. Was He talking about His Spirit? Is He to be a spiritual King? Is that not literal, that He is King? He was talking about His body, His flesh. His body was going to be physically and literally raised and released from literal death. He is also the physical and literal King of the Jews and will reign as the literal and physical King of a physical and literal Kingdom. Because this kingdom is not of this world, it will be full of righteousness. It will be glorious and unlike any kingdom we have ever seen ... and no, we are not most pitiable.


  • Hi Rose. Great points!

    I wonder what the liberal theologians do about the time that Jesus spent on earth in His resurrected body? Were these eyewitness accounts not really to be part of the scriptures? Was Paul a lunatic?

    You're right. We're NOT most pitiable! :-D

    By Blogger Dawn, at 5/25/2007 12:00 PM  

  • Rose, I agree.

    We are told in 1 Cor 15 that Christ's resurrection body was a spiritual body. So juxtaposing spiritual and literal is not really all that helpful.

    Dawn, I think the majority of 'Liberals' would say that the resurrection narratives were the creation of the early church.

    Every Blessing in Christ


    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/25/2007 3:23 PM  

  • That's one of the great purposes of 1 John, to show that Jesus was a real Person, both pre- & post-resurrection! They saw, touched, heard & interacted with Him on a daily basis for 3 & a half years! And John himself wrote probably the fullest account of His post-resurrection earthly ministry in John 21. So, you are right as per usual about us as believers not being most pitiable, which would only be so if there was no bodily resurrection, as the liberals believe. So, if they were to suffer as Paul did, & then they were right & there was no resurrection, they would be most pitiable! I hope this makes sense!

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at 5/25/2007 9:40 PM  

  • I would agree with DF--the line between "spiritual" and "physical" is not concrete, for saying it is one or the other in absolute terms devolves into a very deficient view of resurrection.

    For example, to say it is "merely" spiritual is to deny the Incarnation, and to say it is "physical" is to speak of resuscitation, not the miracle of resurrection that is incapable of phenomenological analysis. I like how Barclay describes it: "Physical, but more than physical." In other words, the resurrection certainly involved the created humanity of Christ; yet at the same time, it cannot be reduced to the created humanity of Christ. It is a mystery in the same way that the union of deity and humanity in Christ is a mystery and miracle.

    By Blogger Exist~Dissolve, at 5/26/2007 8:41 AM  

  • Hi Rose! I trust you are keeping well. That is a great post, I must admit, I love the way you think.

    I just wanted to confirm with you that I will be in Toledo, Ohio, from the 16th of June all through the 23rd. I know we may not necessarily know each other all that well, but I would love to "meet" you, if that is alright with you, of course. Let me know your thought!

    Bye for now, and God bless,

    Sarah :)

    By Blogger Redeemed, at 5/26/2007 4:18 PM  

  • Rose,

    Thank your for words that challenge the most blatant error of “historical Christianity,” spiritualizing Scripture.

    I think I am correct in saying that the words “natural,” “physical” and “literal” are not necessarily equivalent, and the “Spiritual” and “physical” are not mutually exclusive in regard to our resurrection:

    “… that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be… So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:36-43).

    Unlike our Lord, we now possess a natural body, but “when he shall appear, we shall be like him.” His resurrection was physical: The empty sepulcher; walking on the road to Emmaus; eating before them; standing in the midst of them; “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side.”

    However, as Exist~Dissolve appropriately quotes: "Physical, but more than physical."

    He is “the physical and literal King of the Jews and will reign as the literal and physical King of a physical and literal Kingdom.” ABSOLUTELY! But there is also a Spiritual dimension to both our Lord and His Kingdom.

    “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45).

    “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost “ (Romans 14:16).

    And it seems that the Father and the Spirit may also have manifestations of the “physical” while Their essential essence is Spiritual:

    “…Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Genesis 1:25).

    “… and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone” (Revelation 4:2-3).

    “… and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him” (John 1:32).

    Most pitiable?

    “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:19-20).

    “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).

    By Blogger Christian, at 5/28/2007 3:29 AM  

  • Hi Dawn,
    Thanks for your thoughts. Paul must have seemed like a lunatic to some, but we know he was an amazing Christian. How wonderful for God to have given us much of the NT through him. I think Paul was very reasonable.

    When you say "juxtaposing spiritual and literal is not really all that helpful" are you saying that it is not good to set them at oddds? Like for one to say "well this is spiritual, not literal" or for another to say "well, this is literal, not spiritual." Is that what you mean?

    Hello David,
    Yes, they "handled" him! What you say makes perfect sense. Thanks :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/28/2007 8:27 AM  

  • Hello exist-dissolve,
    Thanks for your input. What you and DF have brought up really got me to thinking over the weekend. I always appreciate that.
    Thanks again for your thoughts, especailly this: Physical, but more than physical

    I would love to get together with you! Maybe you can come over? Or ... maybe we will visit the church you are going to bt at. It is only 10 minutes away from our house. Email me and I will give you our phone number. rcole@ambt.net

    Thanks for you rthoughts on the words “natural,” “physical” and “literal.” Between you, DF and Exist-dissolve, I have really been pondering all of this. Wow! There is a really important truth there. God bless.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/28/2007 8:33 AM  

  • I believe heaven is a physical place, it being inhabited by our Lord (who has a body) and angels (who have bodies). Naturally, bodies that inhabit such a realm must be of a somewhat different nature, but still physical.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/28/2007 9:36 AM  

  • Rose

    "When you say "juxtaposing spiritual and literal is not really all that helpful" are you saying that it is not good to set them at oddds? Like for one to say "well this is spiritual, not literal" or for another to say "well, this is literal, not spiritual." Is that what you mean?"

    Yes, that is what I am saying.

    Have a good day


    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 5/28/2007 9:37 AM  

  • Thank you, DF ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 5/29/2007 11:36 AM  

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