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Author Topic: Evangelicals & The Resurrection of the Dead  (Read 1125 times) Average Rating: 0
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JamesR
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« on: March 21, 2013, 06:28:09 PM »

I don't know how common this is, but in my experience, why does it seem like so many Evangelical Protestants are clueless about the resurrection of the dead that is supposed to occur someday? It's outlined very clearly in the New Testament, with constant references about being raised like Christ someday, Christ dying and being raised so that we could be raised too etc. Yet, for some reason, this doctrine doesn't seem very important to them at all. Why is that? Where exactly does this fit into their theology? With almost every Evangelical I have met, whenever this topic comes up, they usually are either clueless about it--which is odd since you'd think they'd be aware of it with how much they read the Bible--or they disregard it as having minimal importance. Instead, they look forward to "Heaven" which for them, is some literal place you go after you die.

This is odd to me. In fact, the entire western notion of Heaven as this place you go to after you die actually seems very odd. I've never seen any evidence for it in the Bible at all, yet so many western Christians--especially Protestants--believe in it, yet, I see constant references to the future resurrection of the dead in the Bible, and the Apostles talk about looking forward to the resurrection of the dead (opposed to this western view of Heaven) yet it seems like so many Evangelical Protestants are unaware of it or disregard it as not being important. I don't get this. Do the Evangelicals have any official doctrines about the resurrection of the dead? And where did the western notion of Heaven come from? Because I literally cannot find anything which supports that idea in the Bible, which is odd, since they are Sola Scriptura.
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2013, 06:47:22 PM »

Why a physical resurrection ?

If by resurrection you mean reincarnation than you have a point.

A physical resurrection is just pointless.
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2013, 06:54:30 PM »

Why a physical resurrection ?

If by resurrection you mean reincarnation than you have a point.

A physical resurrection is just pointless.

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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2013, 05:04:40 AM »

Why a physical resurrection ?

If by resurrection you mean reincarnation than you have a point.

A physical resurrection is just pointless.

Are you honestly still claiming to be Orthodox? I can't tell if you're trolling, as the poster above implied, or if you're just incredibly poorly catechised. Seriously, we seem to get people from Romania who post like you whilst saying they're Orthodox here with worrying frequency, especially considering that I've been active in the Romanian Church for over a decade and never once met such a person in real life. To say that it makes me suspicious would be an understatement.

James
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2013, 10:09:49 AM »

I dunno JamesR, in my experience, the evangelical church I used to attend was extremely fixated on "the rapture" when Jesus comes back riding His cloud chariot to save them from the Tribulation.  They spent a lot of time trying to read the tea leaves of Revelations to figure out when this would be.  Almost everyone seemed to think it would be in their lifetime.
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2013, 11:31:10 AM »

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Almost everyone seemed to think it would be in their lifetime.
As did every other generation since this nonsense was started by that Scottish kid.
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2013, 11:37:23 AM »

I was a deacon in the church and it eventually got to me.  I somewhat imprudently taught an adult sunday school class on why I felt that the Tim Lahaye eschatology that they clung to was not in keeping with what the church historically believed. I was reprimanded for that one.  In retrospect, I probably should have just left my concerns with the pastor, but it just seemed that it was almost becoming cult like in that all other aspects of Christianity were being minimized in the attempt to read prophecy. 
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2013, 11:47:43 AM »

For a great many Evangelicals, "theology" and "doctrine" are just not important.  Usually, for them, salvation means that you are going to heaven if you believe in Jesus.  So, when a person dies, all they care about is whether that person believed in Jesus and is therefore in heaven.  You are right that if you start talking about the soul being separated from the body at the time of death, the resurrection of the body prior to the Final Judgment, that all must give account at the Final Judgment, etc., they often look at you like you are saying very strange things.  The reason is that while they may say that the Scriptures are very important, they either don't read them or they do not understand much of what they read.
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2013, 01:26:42 PM »

Why a physical resurrection ?

If by resurrection you mean reincarnation than you have a point.

A physical resurrection is just pointless.

Why is it pointless?
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2013, 01:46:01 PM »

Why a physical resurrection ?

If by resurrection you mean reincarnation than you have a point.

A physical resurrection is just pointless.

Are you honestly still claiming to be Orthodox? I can't tell if you're trolling, as the poster above implied, or if you're just incredibly poorly catechised. Seriously, we seem to get people from Romania who post like you whilst saying they're Orthodox here with worrying frequency, especially considering that I've been active in the Romanian Church for over a decade and never once met such a person in real life. To say that it makes me suspicious would be an understatement.

James

I'm 95% sure it's all the same person. The last Romanian "Orthodox" poster we had, Azul, was muted for admitting he was the sock puppet of someone who was already banned.
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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2013, 09:14:29 PM »

"Two obvious ones are Dante's great poetry, which sets up a Heaven, Purgatory and Hell immediately after death, and Michelangelo's Last Judgment in the Sistine chapel, which portrays heaven and hell as equal and opposite last destinations. Both had enormous influence on Western culture, so much so that many Christians think that is Christianity."  -N. T. Wright

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1710844,00.html#ixzz2OPrLHHTL
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2013, 09:46:45 AM »

"Two obvious ones are Dante's great poetry, which sets up a Heaven, Purgatory and Hell immediately after death, and Michelangelo's Last Judgment in the Sistine chapel, which portrays heaven and hell as equal and opposite last destinations. Both had enormous influence on Western culture, so much so that many Christians think that is Christianity."  -N. T. Wright

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1710844,00.html#ixzz2OPrLHHTL


I read the article but didn't really understand what he was saying about the post mortem period of the soul.Is he proposing a soul sleep until the Resurrection?

Isn't God a Spirit ? How is he supossed to come down to earth to us? How can we really be with God who is a Spirit if we are material? What will happen after the Resurrection will you still be able to reproduce? Think about how big the population of the earth will be , that the earth will be imposible to be habitated. Will people afterwards be able to sin? What will happen to them, considering that the Last Judgement already took place? How can we be with God who is a Spirit, fills the entire cosmos and transcends creation and matter? If people will not be able to sin after the Last Judgement, why didn't God make it like this in the first place? That would mean that God created the first people to fall and bring in a chaotic world. It means he purposely design a chaotic and sinful world at first and than he made a better one. What is the point of a physical ultimate resurrection if God is a Spirit?
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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2013, 04:06:37 PM »

God is not purely a spirit, He's also a man--part of the created world. And that is essential because humans are matter, and if God weren't matter like us, then it would be impossible to experience Him.
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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2013, 04:23:41 PM »

God is not purely a spirit, He's also a man--part of the created world. And that is essential because humans are matter, and if God weren't matter like us, then it would be impossible to experience Him.

Not if we are spirit also.. Why so much credit to the material if God is spiritual and transcends matter?
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« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2013, 04:35:26 PM »

God is not purely a spirit, He's also a man--part of the created world. And that is essential because humans are matter, and if God weren't matter like us, then it would be impossible to experience Him.

No, God is not a man. The Son took flesh and became the God-man, but God per se is not a man:

God is not a man
Numbers 23:19

For I am the LORD, I CHANGE NOT
Malachi 3:6:

The 2 natures od Christ didnt mix, and as such i do not think it is appropriate to say God is also a man. We experience God throught the Eucharist and through his divine energies.
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« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2013, 04:36:49 PM »

God is not purely a spirit, He's also a man--part of the created world. And that is essential because humans are matter, and if God weren't matter like us, then it would be impossible to experience Him.

Not if we are spirit also.. Why so much credit to the material if God is spiritual and transcends matter?

We have bodies and they will rise again, when Christ returns.
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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2013, 04:37:43 PM »

God is not purely a spirit, He's also a man--part of the created world. And that is essential because humans are matter, and if God weren't matter like us, then it would be impossible to experience Him.

No, God is not a man. The Son took flesh and became the God-man, but God per se is not a man:

God is not a man
Numbers 23:19

For I am the LORD, I CHANGE NOT
Malachi 3:6:

The 2 natures od Christ didnt mix, and as such i do not think it is appropriate to say God is also a man. We experience God throught the Eucharist and through his divine energies.

But we do say that Christ is fully man and fully God.
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« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2013, 04:49:14 PM »

God is not purely a spirit, He's also a man--part of the created world. And that is essential because humans are matter, and if God weren't matter like us, then it would be impossible to experience Him.

No, God is not a man. The Son took flesh and became the God-man, but God per se is not a man:

God is not a man
Numbers 23:19

For I am the LORD, I CHANGE NOT
Malachi 3:6:

The 2 natures od Christ didnt mix, and as such i do not think it is appropriate to say God is also a man. We experience God throught the Eucharist and through his divine energies.

But we do say that Christ is fully man and fully God.

And so? If the natures didn"t mix, then God is not a man, Jesus is the God-man.
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« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2013, 05:05:38 PM »

God is not purely a spirit, He's also a man--part of the created world. And that is essential because humans are matter, and if God weren't matter like us, then it would be impossible to experience Him.

No, God is not a man. The Son took flesh and became the God-man, but God per se is not a man:

God is not a man
Numbers 23:19

For I am the LORD, I CHANGE NOT
Malachi 3:6:

The 2 natures od Christ didnt mix, and as such i do not think it is appropriate to say God is also a man. We experience God throught the Eucharist and through his divine energies.

But we do say that Christ is fully man and fully God.

And so? If the natures didn"t mix, then God is not a man, Jesus is the God-man.

I really don't see the issue. The Creed says:
Quote
and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man
. How is that mixing up the natures of Christ?
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« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2013, 10:55:37 PM »

God is not purely a spirit, He's also a man--part of the created world. And that is essential because humans are matter, and if God weren't matter like us, then it would be impossible to experience Him.

No, God is not a man. The Son took flesh and became the God-man, but God per se is not a man:

God is not a man
Numbers 23:19

For I am the LORD, I CHANGE NOT
Malachi 3:6:

The 2 natures od Christ didnt mix, and as such i do not think it is appropriate to say God is also a man. We experience God throught the Eucharist and through his divine energies.

But we do say that Christ is fully man and fully God.

And so? If the natures didn"t mix, then God is not a man, Jesus is the God-man.

I really don't see the issue. The Creed says:
Quote
and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man
. How is that mixing up the natures of Christ?

The Creed does not say that God is a man.
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« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2013, 07:44:10 AM »

God is not purely a spirit, He's also a man--part of the created world. And that is essential because humans are matter, and if God weren't matter like us, then it would be impossible to experience Him.

No, God is not a man. The Son took flesh and became the God-man, but God per se is not a man:

God is not a man
Numbers 23:19

For I am the LORD, I CHANGE NOT
Malachi 3:6:

The 2 natures od Christ didnt mix, and as such i do not think it is appropriate to say God is also a man. We experience God throught the Eucharist and through his divine energies.

But we do say that Christ is fully man and fully God.

And so? If the natures didn"t mix, then God is not a man, Jesus is the God-man.

I really don't see the issue. The Creed says:
Quote
and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man
. How is that mixing up the natures of Christ?

The Creed does not say that God is a man.
No, it says, that he became man.
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« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2013, 09:36:39 AM »

What is the point of a physical ultimate resurrection if God is a Spirit?

As I wrote elsewhere, it really doesn't matter whether it makes sense to you or not - this is a fundamental Orthodox belief and there is no room for a contrary view. Does this sound familiar at all?

Quote
Astept invierea mortilor;
Si viata veacului ce va sa vie.

For those who don't read Romanian the above is the last two lines of the Creed:

Quote
I look for the Resurrection of the dead,
And the Life of the age to come

If you're Orthodox you recite this at every Liturgy (not to mention in your personal prayers). What do you think it is that you're saying? The Resurrection we are awaiting is most certainly physical and there is no wiggle room on this. When some of us here get suspicious that you might not be what you say you are, it's not because we are getting upset at your legitimate questions about the faith but because you make so many posts questioning or even arguing against central tenets of the faith. Whilst we certainly are not as dogmatic as, say, Roman Catholicism, if it's mentioned in the Creed or was otherwise defined by an Ecumenical Council, it simply is not up for discussion.

James
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« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2013, 11:47:37 PM »

I don't know how common this is, but in my experience, why does it seem like so many Evangelical Protestants are clueless about the resurrection of the dead that is supposed to occur someday? It's outlined very clearly in the New Testament, with constant references about being raised like Christ someday, Christ dying and being raised so that we could be raised too etc. Yet, for some reason, this doctrine doesn't seem very important to them at all. Why is that? Where exactly does this fit into their theology? With almost every Evangelical I have met, whenever this topic comes up, they usually are either clueless about it--which is odd since you'd think they'd be aware of it with how much they read the Bible--or they disregard it as having minimal importance. Instead, they look forward to "Heaven" which for them, is some literal place you go after you die.

This is odd to me. In fact, the entire western notion of Heaven as this place you go to after you die actually seems very odd. I've never seen any evidence for it in the Bible at all, yet so many western Christians--especially Protestants--believe in it, yet, I see constant references to the future resurrection of the dead in the Bible, and the Apostles talk about looking forward to the resurrection of the dead (opposed to this western view of Heaven) yet it seems like so many Evangelical Protestants are unaware of it or disregard it as not being important. I don't get this. Do the Evangelicals have any official doctrines about the resurrection of the dead? And where did the western notion of Heaven come from? Because I literally cannot find anything which supports that idea in the Bible, which is odd, since they are Sola Scriptura.

The problem is that Protestants come from the Western branch of Christianity. Whereas the Greeks (Eastern) had little problem accepting mystery in some elements, the Western branch struggled with mystery. This, sadly, has always been the case because the West inherited the Latin worldview. In some ways, this worldview has benefited Christianity by amassing great apologetical works. While Thomas Aquinas goes too far in some of his explanations, there is no doubt that we are indebted to some of his other theological/philosophical contributions. But the problem with the Western mindset, however, is that everything must be explained.

The resurrection of the dead leaves quite a bit of mystery. Namely, how can my body be resurrected when it decomposes and is mixed with other elements? Logically, this is difficult to explain. To the Eastern mind we simply say, "Well, God is God and has power over the material universe." To the Western mind, however, this seems like an attempt to avoid answering the question. At the same time, many Protestants do believe in the resurrection of the dead - they're very adamant about this belief - but they tend to stay away from teaching it because they can't explain it.

This is a common theme within the Protestant belief, especially in the more evangelical denominations. They will teach that baptism is important, attending church is important, believing in the Trinity is essential, and so on, but they won't teach on any of these subjects. The reason is that they have difficulty explaining them (either due to their removal of sacraments or their uncomfortable nature with mystery).

As for why they view Heaven as their final resting place, I'd suggest you read Heaven is a Place on Earth by Michael Wittmer. He's a Reformed theologian who has made an attempt to show Protestants that their belief in Heaven as a final resting spot is false and that the resurrection is essential. Thus, this is an acknowledged problem within the Protestant churches and some are trying to correct it.
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« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2013, 05:35:08 PM »

why does it seem like so many Evangelical Protestants are clueless about the resurrection of the dead that is supposed to occur someday? ...  for some reason, this doctrine doesn't seem very important to them at all. ... And where did the western notion of Heaven come from?

You are right: it is odd. Officially we believe in the resurrection of the body, when our bodies, raised and glorified, will be like the Lord's glorious body. But it seems that many think only of "going to heaven" (which is true) and staying there for ever in a disembodied state (which is not true). I believe the blame is usually laid on Plato and Greek (not to say Gnostic) ideas of the body and soul, and then on sentimental Victorian hymn-writers, whose hymns (on the principle of lex orandi lex credendi - for many hymns are prayers set to music) focus on heaven.

What we really believe, if we know our faith, is that we go to heaven when we die, and there await the resurrection of the body at the close of the age. The best writer I have found on this theme is Bishop N T Wright writing as Tom Wright in "Surpised by Hope". He points out, among many other jewels of truth, that death = the separation of body and soul, and that if body and soul are not reunited at a physical resurrection, then Christ actually confirmed death, and did not conquer it. Conquering death (here I suppress a cry of Hallelujah) is the reversal of death in the reunion of the two, with the body glorified like Christ's.
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