Saturday, September 14, 2013

Checkmate For Hell - Part 10: Creation/Fall and Spirit/Soul/Body

This is part of an ongoing series of blog posts, meant to be read in order.  In the first post, I introduced the concept of Universalism, and introduced the concept that I would be defending my position through a series of "chess moves".  I mentioned that I believe I have checkmate in 2 moves, but because a lot of questions would be left, I would use a series of further moves to keep the king in checkmate while I systematically removed the rest of the pieces from the board.  I would highly suggest you read the previous parts of this series before reading this one:
Part 1: Moves 1-3
Part 2: Moves 4-5
Part 3: Moves 6-7
Part 4: Move 8
Part 5: Moves 9-10
Part 6: Move 11
Part 7: Move 12
Part 8: The Six Line Narrative
Part 9: Two False Gospels, and a Man in a Pit

Creation / Fall
The idea of Creation starting out as perfect is not Biblical.  God never said that Creation was perfect.  Instead, after each thing He created, Genesis 1 says “And God saw that it was good.”  Then, after He creates Man, it says “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”  Adding “very” to “good” gives the impression that there are different degrees of goodness.  This is quite different from Greek perfection.  Actually, the Hebrew concept of “good” is much better than perfection – perfection only has one direction it can go in: down.  But good is… well, it’s good, and it can always get better!  There’s no limit to goodness. 

So we can already see some problems with the Six Line Narrative.  But we’re not done with creation.  In the Six Line Narrative, after the Fall, the god of this narrative can’t stand creation any more – he’s ready to throw it all out in an apocalypse scenario.  But there are some problems with this view as well. 

You see, the Graeco-Roman view of creation being evil that we've inherited – or at least being an inferior and dark place which God intends at the last to discard and throw away – does not seem to mesh well with certain Biblical passages that talk about creation.  For example:

Psalm 19:1-6
The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
    It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.

Now, that doesn’t sound at all like this view of creation being inferior.  Psalm 104 is a celebration of creation, I Chronicles 16:31-33 (which is a paraphrase of Psalm 96) seems to say that creation sings the praise of the Lord, Romans 1:18-20 tells us that we can plainly see God’s eternal power and divine nature from what has been made, and Colossians 1:19-20 seems to indicate that all things (whether things on earth or things in heaven, as it says) will be reconciled to Himself through Jesus’ blood shed on the cross.  Once again, we see problems with the Six Line Narrative and its attitude towards creation.

Spirit, Soul and Body
But then there is another curious issue with the six line narrative where it separates at the salvation line.  See, the Gnostic views of this line are that at death and/or the end of the world, our physical bodies will be cast away and our disembodied spirits will either float up to Heaven, or descend into the eternal conscious torment of Hell.  Furthermore, when people talk in this language, the words “soul” and “spirit” seem to be interchangeable.  Well, the following verse makes that quite confusing:

I Thessalonians 5:23
May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In this verse, it seems that spirit, soul, and body are all separate entities.  To support this view, we also find that in Hebrews 4:12, a distinction is made between soul and spirit.  So how are we to make sense of this? Well, in the original language, soul may best be described as “the mind”, or even as a person’s personality – it is what others are able to perceive about you.  The word that is used for “spirit” also means “breath” – what does God do in Genesis 2 after forming man out of the dust of the ground?  He breathes into his nostrils.  It is the breath of life, it came from God, and in Ecclesiastes 12:7 it says that the spirit returns to God who gave it.  An imperfect analogy to help with perceiving the differences is a light bulb – the electricity which powers the light bulb is the spirit, the bulb is the body, and the light which streams out of the light bulb is the soul.  This understanding helps us to illuminate some passages which may have been tricky for us before.

So, now I feel is a good time to talk about The True Gospel.  But once again, we're going to take a break.  But when we continue, we will continue dismantling the rest of The Six Line Narrative.  Here's what you have to look forward to:

Dismantling The Six Line Narrative: The True Gospel
Dismantling The Six Line Narrative: Deconstructing Our Ideas of Heaven
Dismantling The Six Line Narrative: The Role of the Resurrection
Dismantling The Six Line Narrative: But What About Spiritual Bodies?
Dismantling The Six Line Narrative: A New Diagram
Conclusion: Testing the fruits.

No comments:

Post a Comment