wink ;): April 2005 Archives

One of the views on the Intermediate State is that our bodes and souls are inseparably related. Thus, when the body dies, the soul ceases to exist until the boy is resurrected. That person exists for a time, then doesn't exist for a time, and then resumes existence. Thus, that person is a "gappy" person as there is a temporal gap in their [note: I'm trying out TNIV style singular "they/them/their/theirs"...let's see if this works.] existence.

Many people have problems with gappy existence. For them identity demands continuous existence; fragmentation or gappiness is an ontological problem. To these critics, the person in question has been destroyed and then at some later time a copy has been created. But that copy is not identical to the "original" person.

Identity requiring continuity is a fairly strong intuition. But there is another description of the events which, with equal intuitive strength, indicates that identity does not require continuity: time travel. Say that upon death, God "teleports" a person forward in time to Resurrection Day. They have skipped the intervening days. From History's standpoint, they are a gappy person--they existed for a time, then they didn't exist for a time, then they resumed existence. But if they have experienced time travel, then that is no problem. They haven't been destroyed and recreated (or a copy of them created). They just jumped forward in time.

I think that most people's fundamental objections to the body-soul unity view of intermediate state is that they object to the gappy person model on a gut level. That ends up guiding their interpretive choices on various scriptures. This is not to say that there aren't some actual scriptural problems with this view of intermediate state, but I think that most people focus on the wrong problems.

Back in my post on the Nature of Wrath, Rey made the following comment

...my problem doesn't have anything to do with the propitiation but with the "united with Him on the Cross through the Holy Spirit" bit when 1 John 2:2 says that Christ was a propitiation for our sins and the sins of the world. If we're united in the Holy Spirit to Christ on the Cross then it sounds like the world is united in the Holy Spirit to Christ on the Cross...and they can't even receive the Holy Spirit (John 14:7). I don't know, it just really sounds like there is a line being fuzzed out in there when the connection to Christ on the cross is the Holy Spirit.

I promised a response, so here it is. Unfortunately, I'm going to answer in a bit of a roundabout way...

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