Tuesday, April 05, 2005

For future reference

Prosthesis provides a link to a short discussion on soul (psuke) and spirit (pneuma) based on N. T. Wright's writing. I'm placing the link here because I intend to refer to this in a future post on the subject.


  1. Joe,
    I posted a comment at Matt's sight in reference to Wright's analysis.

    I have a problem with this, Wright's, analysis. Here is the problem. The Adamic principle has already been destroyed in my identification with the cross. Does not Paul say that the Adamic principle is the "flesh" (sarx). If my Adamic principle hasn't been destroyed then what benefit is the cross to me in terms of essential deliverance. I see the cross as the freedom giving event and that this event is in the past!! Such is central to the Christian understanding of Messiah!! Am I not free from sin and the Adamic principle already? I sure think I am. But the problem is I am very forgetful and I lack consciousness of my abiding freedom. If indeed my Adamic principle has already been destroyed and I am already a Spiritual man then what is the benefit of the resurrection? Well, it seems to me the benefit is that the mortal body is changed into an immortal body by a new physics. So my problem is that to hold Wright's view then I have to say I am not presently a spiritual man motivated by the spirit already. That position seems to contradict the point of Romans 5-8.

  2. My thoughts aren't completely gathered on this yet, but I tend to agree. I also wonder if we aren't arguing over semantics, and being overly precise about words. "That which remains continuously me, that which persists after my mortal body decays, either in the mind of God, or in some disembodied temporary state about which I care little, and which, still me, is resurrected into another, now immortal and incorruptible body" is what is understood by "soul" by most Christians. That which provides the continuity. If there is no continuity, then I have no connection to my own resurrected self. We get all caught up in discussing whether this soul is a "substance", which seems to me to be the really "Greek" idea. Most people would have no idea what "substance" in this philosophical sense might be. They simply affirm what I think the scriptures affirm, that there is continuous existence of the self in spite of the discontinuous existence of the body. (ie, that one body ages, falls apart, is broken/crushed/burned by accidents, and comes to an end, and is replaced in a discontinuous manner, at the resurrection, by another body. The Bodies are clearly discontinuous. The Self, the Soul if you will, must "feel" continuous, else it will not be "me" that is resurrected.