Thursday, July 30, 2009

Assaulting Christoplatonism

Western Xians are Christoplatonists, meaning they tend toward dualism. They bifurcate life between things physical and spiritual...material and immaterial, and like Plato exalt the immaterial. Xians shouldn't be dualists. It's a non-biblical worldview that fragments life and denies Christ's Lordship of all creation. This dualism impacts so many areas, but one important area of theology it has wreaked havoc on is the doctrine of the bodily resurrection (both of Jesus and his followers). 

One way to think about the Platonic influence is many Christians would say our souls are just occupying these bodies for a short time, and like a snake shedding its skin will be rid of them one day. And so most Xians look forward to being disembodied. They even say at the death of a loved one…”that’s not really him lying there.” Which is slightly true, but it also slightly un-true. 

If you looked back to the Creation account in Genesis 2. Adam was not a human being until Adam became what the Hebrew calls nephesh…until God joined his body (dust) and spirit (breath) together. Which is to say Adam was not alive until he had both materiel and immaterial components. Your body is a very real part of the real you…and it will join you, more alive than it’s ever been at the final resurrection. (which would be at the coming of the new heavens and new earth, following the millennial reign of Christ on the earth…if your keeping a timetable). So what I am saying is when we die, it isn’t that our real self goes to the intermediate Heaven and our fake self goes to the grave; it’s that part of us goes to the intermediate Heaven and part goes to the grave to await our bodily resurrection at the consummation of all things.

So what's your view of eternal life? Some whispy, ethereal, spirit world existence where you get to be a wraith and float through eternity? Or is it physical? Eternal, physical life on a new redeemed planet earth? 

Isn't the physical so much more exciting to think about? That's because it's true.

1 comment:

  1. I think what we miss by swallowing Plato's Allegory o'de Cave philosophy is the degree to which the earth moans. At some point the counter-argument to this small observation is the danger of panthesism or "our mother-earth" univeralism that Godless man subscribes to. This incredible earth so wonderfully created is not what it was; it is not what it will be. It is sick and suffers the flu like symtoms caused by sin. I'm in awe of the fact that I too will be resurrected, just as Christ was resurrected. I'm in awe of what the earth will be when it is renewed / healed at Christ's return.