Deathisdefeated

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

 

A couple of times a year I get the itch to see what is happening in the Dark world of Pault and friends. Well sure enough they have a couple of new friends on their site named Sam Frost and Jason B. Well last month unbeknown to me they were having a feeding frenzy over my stating that N. T. Wright describes the intermediate stage post mortem to be a form of “soul sleep”. I also compared it to the OT version of a “Hadean realm” in which the saints of old found in Heb 11 were awaiting the AD70 Parousia but now its been moved much further in the future by the postmillennialist. I don’t know how Sam and Wright and his other new friend the Late David Chilton [prior to accepting full Preterism] would work all their divergent ideas out. Chilton dropped his Postmillinial position on the resurrection and never had the opportunity to work out the details. Wright has the resurrection at some times in the future and Sam is playing footsie with all of this now.

This stuff is too funny when you read through it. And to think these guys take themselves seriously. Well at least it gives Sam and Jason a well deserved new home where they can find rest surrounded by their friends.

 

Voss’s Pagan View of Man’s Destiny

Norm Voss is back at it, misrepresenting the views of others…. 

I love the question that is thrown at N. T. Wright about the old lady who implores him “not to take Heaven away from her”. Then Wright begins to answer that indeed she needs to come to grips with the idea that Heaven is being taken away. I find it interesting that Wright and following after him Sam Frost have decided to take away Heaven from that little old lady. Isn’t it ironic that full Preterism embraces fully Heaven post mortem but futurist like Wright and Frost want us to go into some sort of Hadean holding realm at our deaths depriving us of Heaven. Then we get to come flying back to earth to repopulate it after its transformation into a place where we can walk and talk with the animals and they won’t eat each other.
http://deathisdefeated.ning.com/profiles/blogs/say-goodbye-to-sam-f...

How is when one dies immediately being with Christ, in the presence of Jesus taking away heaven? Norm, are you suggesting Jesus Christ is in some “hadean holding realm”? N.T. Wright isn’t taking anything away Norm. He unlike you is simply pointing out Biblical concepts are not to be defined along pagan Gnostic-like lines whereby death is the believer’s destiny. The point is death isn’t the Biblical understanding for the destiny of man as Loomis at point 41 on the same podcast you are reviewing claims. Resurrection and death are two fundamentally opposed points of view. Norm think the difference between Good Friday and Easter. That is the difference between death and resurrection. Norm, do you understand the differences between those two days other than the fact they are two different days?

If not here is a hint. Good Fridays is the day Jesus died. Easter is the day Jesus came back to life. Voss your ability to ignore the obvious is truly astonishing.

Paul says...

Norm, Norm,

If you are going to represent the man’s position, you ought to at least go to the trouble of getting it correct, you write,

Yes you are correct about Wright; that is why I used this language “some sort of Hadean holding realm” which emphasizes the idea of the Old Covenant Hades mixed with Wright’s idea of soul sleep. Wright in effect bypasses Heaven thus removing the “little old Lady’s hope” and then somehow brings us back to life on a regenerated paradisiacal earth. No Heaven included. That is also the title of the Time magazine article that I link to. “Christians Wrong About Heaven, Says Bishop”. http://deathisdefeated.ning.com/profiles/blogs/say-goodbye-to-sam-frost-as-a?xg_source=activity&id=2362512:BlogPost:28936&page=3#comments

The fact is Norm, you are completely WRONG!

…all the Christian departed are in substantially the same state, that of restful happiness. Though this is sometimes described as sleep, we shouldn’t take this to mean that it is a state of unconsciousness. Had Paul though that, I very much doubt he would have described life immediately after death as “being with Christ, which is far better.” Rather, sleep here means that the body is “asleep” in the sense of “dead”, while the real person – however we want to describe him or her-continues.

This state is not, clearly, the final destiny for which the Christian dead are bound, which is, as we have seen, the bodily resurrection. But it is a state in which the dead are held firmly within the conscious love of God and the conscious presence of Jesus Christ while they await that day. There is no reason why this state should not be called heaven, though we must note once more how interesting it is that the New Testamnt routinely doesn’t call it that and uses the word heaven in other ways. (Surpirsed by Hope, N.T. Wright, Haper, pgs 171,172)

Norm you owe Dr. Wright a written apology for misrepresenting his views. I understand he has a blog for communicating with the public. Why don’t you post the apology there for all to read. And clue us all in on when you do.

Sam says...

Norm does not know Wright’s view. At one point they called my view “new”, then compared it to Wright, who is essentially giving us a “transformation” of the earth view, which is essentially orthodox, no matter how you slice it. Because they have effectively removed the creation of this planet from God’s prerogative and purpose, they see no problems with it spiraling for infinity with no purpose other than a spiritual harvest factory of souls for heaven and hell. It “may or may not” burn out one day and simply vanish into cosmic nothingness. Ultimately, God is simply not concerned with planet earth for any other purpose than soul harvesting. This is not Gnosticism, but certainly is “gnostic like” in that though they do not say “matter is evil” and God cannot renew “matter” because it is intrinsically evil, it is gnostic like in that it serves no real purpose in and of its own created right. There is no “created right” in CC. There is no account of its creation in the Bible. They may give lip service to the fact that it is “good” and “not cursed”, but this is only that: lip service. They cannot give a biblically based worldview concerning the teleological purpose of the earth, the universe and the like. It’s a soul factory, for souls to escape the prison house of the body and the world to go to heaven, which is ultimately their goal, since nothing material enters heaven, and heaven never envelopes anything material. Dualism with a dash of Platonism and a gallon of Christianity…..throw in a little Bultmann and Kierkegaard……and, voila!

sciotamicks says...

Paul,

Norm didn’t misrepresent anyone. “Some sort of hadean realm” is just what Sheol, or Abraham’s Bosom (a state in which the dead are held firmly within the conscious love of God and the conscious presence of Jesus Christ while they await that day.) as well as the fire ridden gulf that divided Jesus and the rich man…that is HADES.
This is 2nd temple liter 101.
You are misrepresenting him….maybe an apology on your part now is in order.

Paul says...

Sam,

Thank you for your thoughts. Norm has a very bad habit of not doing his research and thus making astonishing claims.

God Bless,

Paul says...

Scioto,

Thank you for your comments. Perhaps you can help me out, would Norm’s concept of “Hadean Realm” include the conscious existence of the believer in heaven which is a far better existence than what the believer enjoys on earth. An existence in the presence of Jesus Christ praising God as depicted in the book of Revelation awaiting the resurrection from the dead in which their bodies are restored to life?

Here is how the Westminster confession of faith puts it, “the souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God, in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies.

If that is what Norm meant when he used the phrase, “Hadean holding realm”, then you are correct I do owe him an apology, but you have to wonder why he didn’t just employ the term “heaven” which Dr. Wright uses to describe his view as well as the book of Revelation and the WCF. Also, if he did mean what Scripture, Dr. Wright and the WCF spell out is the continued existence of the believing departed who await the resurrection of their body then he was wrong in telling Sharon what he did when she asked him about “soul sleep”.

Paul says...

Norm,
Why do you continue with your disinformation?

We know that Wright has us in “soul sleep” [similar to Hades?] post mortem
http://deathisdefeated.ning.com/profiles/blogs/say-goodbye-to-sam-frost-as-a?xg_source=activity&id=2362512:BlogPost:28936&page=11#comments

Don’t you feel guilty?

Sam,

Thank you for correcting Norm…

Norm,

Wright does not advocate “soul sleep.” He has an intermediate state. His point is to stress “life afterlife after death.”
http://deathisdefeated.ning.com/profiles/blogs/say-goodbye-to-sam-frost-as-a?xg_source=activity&id=2362512:BlogPost:28936&page=23#comments

…you would think the guy would actually seek to understand the man’s position before offering up his opinion. Maybe he will own up to his misrepresentation.

God Bless, have a Happy New Year

Paul says...

True to form, John Scargy at Gnostic “U” employs another logical fallacy,

Comment by John Scargy 18 minutes ago
N.T.Wright “Heaven is important but it’s not our final destination,” he explained. “If you want to say that when someone dies they go to heaven, fine. But that’s only a temporary holding pattern that is life after death. And what I’m much more interested in, or the New Testament is much more interested in, is what I’ve called life after life after death.”
Considering Wright’s unorthodox views on Justification it’s not so surprising he’d be confused on eschatology.
” N. T. Wright totally reconstructs the doctrine of justification. In fact, Wright denies justification by faith alone, a historic teaching of Reformed theology, and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness” John Fesko
Wright has the OT Saint’s waiting and waiting and waiting.And all along i thought Paul taught their hope was the resurrection that was about to be.
Act 24:15 having hope toward God, which they themselves also wait for, that there is about to be a rising again of the dead, both of righteous and unrighteous; YLT.

Yep, Houston’s got a problem.
http://deathisdefeated.ning.com/profiles/blog/show?id=2362512:BlogPost:28936&commentId=2362512:Comment:31338&xg_source=activity

However, that isn’t what is truly ironic. A guy who avows a Gnsotic-like view of reality accuses someone else of being “confused”, go figure. Indeed Houston has a problem!

Paul says...

Norm responds,

Sam,

You said … “Wright does not advocate “soul sleep.”

Yet Wright says the following … “”If you want to say that when someone dies they go to heaven, fine. But that’s only a temporary holding pattern that is life after death.”

Whatever you want to call it is fine by me but as Wright says its a temporay holding pattern. If you or he can make any sense out of that hybrid Old Covenant type of Hadean realm I will be all ears.

Hey Norm, here is a novel idea, read Dr. Wright’s book. However, that you think DEATH is the Biblical view of the final destiny for man would seem to indicate even that wouldn’t help out your confusion over the matter. I know, I know your grandfather wrote the Letter to Rheginos.

Sam says...

all that Wright is doing is espousing what theology calls the “intermediate state”. To depart and ‘be with Christ’. For Wright, it is an active, conscious existence that awaits the resurrection of the dead. For the Wesminster Confession, upon death, the soul is “immediately perfected in holiness” awaiting the resurrection of the dead. Typical Christianity. Now, I still have issues with an “intermediate state” as stated, but to continue to say Wright advocates “soul sleep” displays ignorance. Wright’s point is that “going to heaven” is not the end all be all of the Christian life - resurrection life in the restoration of all things is. It’s quite clear what he is saying, and it’s not “new” at all. At least, not to those trained in theology.

Paul says...

Sam,

Again, thank you for your thoughts. I realize we still part company over some major ground but I do appreciate your honesty in setting Norm straight. “Hadean holding realm” LOL. I don’t think Norm would know what to do without his straw.

BTW, it looks like you may have a convert over at DeathisDefeated.

God Bless,

Here is a response I posted at the site but as of yet it hasn’t been cleared so I’ll repost it here.

Following are two postings, one by Sam and one by me where Sam again states that Wright doesn’t adhere to a post mortem existence called “Soul Sleep”. I had listed the quote in the post previous to this that Sam is addressing but somehow he didn’t notice that indeed Wright does himself describe post mortem existence for the faithful until the restored earth as “LIKE BEING ASLEEP” yet resting and conscious. Now Sam doesn’t seem to adhere to an intermediate state as described by Wright but it seems in error to state that Wright doesn’t have the faithful dead residing in a form of “Soul Sleep”.

Reply by sam on January 7, 2011 at 10:26am
Wrong, Norm…..man you gotta read…..ONCE AGAIN WRIGHT DOES NOT ADVOCATE SOUL SLEEP. You have been corrected and rebuked on this before and yet you CONTINUE…..my interaction with you is finished simply because you fail to listen……

Reply by Norm on January 7, 2011 at 11:03am
Sam,
Here is Wright’s own words on the post mortem existence before the restored earth of his… ” Wright: We know that we will be with God and with Christ, resting and being refreshed. Paul writes that it will be conscious, but compared with being bodily alive, it will be like being asleep.

I ask again why should I be rebuked for quoting Wright himself describing a state of post mortem “sleep”?

 

 

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Norm,

It just seems to get weirder and weirder with Sam and his cohorts.

 

 " Sam says...all that Wright is doing is espousing what theology calls the “intermediate state”. To depart and ‘be with Christ’. For Wright, it is an active, conscious existence that awaits the resurrection of the dead. For the Wesminster Confession, upon death, the soul is “immediately perfected in holiness” awaiting the resurrection of the dead. Typical Christianity. Now, I still have issues with an “intermediate state” as stated, but to continue to say Wright advocates “soul sleep” displays ignorance.


So here Sam is saying "For Wright, it is an active, conscious existence " and calling it soul sleep is ignorant!


But Sam said this in his book "For Wright, „life after death‟ is followed by life after „life after death,‟ thus creating an interim period („sleep‟) for those who have physically died."

 

I've never heard of a conscious sleep! And i guess Sam was displaying his ignorance when he wrote his book on the Resurrection.It's one thing to change your view but quite another in how you interpret others views.If anyone is guilty of misinterpreting Wright it's Sam.

 

Now Sam calls Wrights view "Typical Christianity."

But in his book (Resurrection) he says "As I pointed out in my book (Misplaced Hope), this was not the understanding of what became creedal eschatology.6 The „age to come‟ is something looked forward to, not something that is a present reality in some sense. This redefining of the „end of the age‟ and „age to come‟ is fine with me, but it needs to be noted that the creeds do not reflect this.

So what is it "Typical Christianity but not Creedal?

Sam should be embarrassed the way he grovels at that site where for years his integrity and scholarship was ridiculed daily.

Norm,

 

To answer a question on another thread (which seems to have been overrun), the specific thing about Reconstructionism that Chilton came to reject was Theonomy.

 

Greg Bahnsen wrote a book called "Theonomy in Christian Ethics" that was considered a major foundation piece for Reconstructionism. In that book, Bahnsen argued for his Theonomy from Matthew 5:17-19. To sum up a few hundred page book in one sentence, it would be this: Since Matt. 5:17-19 says that not one jot or tittle of the law will pass until heaven and earth pass, so God's Law remains binding until the end of the world.  Of course, Bahnsen interpreted "heaven and earth" as the phsyical universe, since he was a futurist.

 

Chilton saw that passage in covenant context. In other words, he had it fulfilled by A.D. 70 when the old heavens and earth (covenantal) passed away in finality. This is just one aspect of the collision between Chilton and Bahnsen.

 

Thus Chilton pointed out that the fundamental text used to prove Theonomy did nothing of the sort. This is quite ironic in that Gary North supported Bahnsen's workand published Chilton's eschatology. It was a major, major self-contradiction within Reconstructionism, and I believe one (among many) reasons why Reconstructionism disintegrated in the 1990s. Funny how Gary North never seemed to realize the schizophrenia that is Theonomy mixed with Chilton's partial-preterism. Remember, Bahnsen saw "Rome" as the context for Revelation.

 

To put it most succinctly, Chilton came to reject Theonomy (as presented by Bahnsen). As such, he certainly rejected one key plank of the formal Reconstructionist movement. However, Chilton believed that dominion theology was an essential characteristic of the gospel of Christ. So he remained a "dominionist" for the remainder of his life even though he rejected Theonomy (and, technically, Reconstructionism).


James Jordan has tracked in a similar manner over the last 15-20 years, hence the adjective "soft."

 

I hope that helps you piece this together. I am confident that my analysis is correct given my history and background.

 

Blessings,


Tim Martin

Hi Norm,

 

You can add my comment to the same thread:

 

Norm wrote: I ask again why should I be rebuked for quoting Wright himself describing a state of post mortem “sleep”?

 

Me: Norm, I don’t think you are being rebuked for QUOTING Wright but for atttributing to Wright a belief in “soul sleep”, which is inaccurate. The problem is, when you represent Wright as believing in “soul sleep” people come away thinking of the common understanding of that term (literally unconscious until the resurrection) and NOT the definition Wright is using for the intermediate state of Christians in heaven.

 

Definitions and terms mean something so if we use a term in a way that isn’t commonly understood then we must clarify what we mean by that. Or, use a different term!

 

For instance, Wright didn’t say he believed in “soul sleep”, he described it “LIKE” soul sleep IN COMPARISON to the previous state of being alive on earth- he clearly does NOT mean the believers were unconscious - which is what people will think if you attribute to Wright a belief in “soul sleep”.

Sharon

=======

I will now add, using a term that does not accurately represent what a person believes causes confusion which we should really try not to do.    There is a difference between soul sleep and the intermediate state.  Soul sleep means unconsciousness after physical death and before the resurrection.  The intermediate state means believers are conscious, in heaven (returned to Christ who is still in heaven until the 2nd coming), resting and peaceful.  So soul sleep and the intermediate state are two different animals and need to be recognized as such. 

 

 

 

Sharon,

I think a lot of the confusion can be attributed to Wright himself.Unless someone has read his complete book and not just seen certain remarks by him it's easy to get confused.Wright is not the easiest person to read.

One of the reasons it's taking him forever to get his views on justification understood.

 

TIME: Is there anything more in the Bible about the period between death and the resurrection of the dead?

Wright: We know that we will be with God and with Christ, resting and being refreshed. Paul writes that it will be conscious, but compared with being bodily alive, it will be like being asleep. The Wisdom of Solomon, a Jewish text from about the same time as Jesus, says "the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God," and that seems like a poetic way to put the Christian understanding, as well.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1710844,00.html#ixzz1...

 

Christian mortalism is the belief of a minority of Christians that the human soul is uncomprehending during the time between bodily death and Judgment Day resurrection. "Soul sleep" is an often a pejorative term[1][2][3] so the more neutral term "materialism" was also used in the 19th century,[4] and "Christian mortalism" since the 1970s

 

Present-day defenders of mortalism include many Anglicans, such as N. T. Wright.

Seems to me using soul sleep isn't much different then people who use hyperpreterist :)

 

I'm sure Norm knows the difference but tell you what, google N.T. Wright and "soul sleep" and see how many people use that to describe his view.Of course that doesn't make them wright.

 

Blessings

John

 

Sharon and John,

 

Honestly I don’t care what Wright believes because I think its bunk. However when I quote his exact words using “like being asleep” then its kind of going off the deep end to jump on me as I haven’t even defined the term but let his own words speak for themselves. That is the epitome of ridiculousness and pettiness to jump me for quoting Wrights own words and then start in on how I’ve misrepresented him.  I could care less what Pault, Sam and Sharon think “soul sleep” represents because I’m using Wrights own words to illustrate a point of his beliefs. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that he essentially is portraying a similar scenario with the physically dead as the OT and NT describes for those before the Resurrection/Parousia. If there is a connotation of the phrase “soul sleep” that is considered pejorative then that’s beyond what I was talking about, however I am not aware of the term being pejorative and so it’s futile to attribute that baggage to me.  To me it was simply descriptive words that illustrated what Wright was essentially stating. If one wants to read something else into it then that’s their problem.

 

Perhaps Sharon should write to N. T. Wright and tell him to refrain from describing his intermediate state as “like being asleep” if she is concerned with people drawing the wrong conclusions.  However I think that is a moot issue as well as I quoted the discussion in full with Wrights own words describing what he meant by those words so he defined it for us all right there in black and white.

 

Sharon you and I are having some serious problems over your inability to read and keep my postings and quotes in context. You really need to give it a break and stick to something else instead of challenging me on peoples quotes.  Like the ones from Chilton below.

 

Chilton Emails Don Preston  

http://www.preteristarchive.com/Hyper/1996_stevens-chilton.html 

 

[David C] Yes, that would be fine. I am working a bit on a little book on 2 Peter, and the substance of that was published in two articles for last September and October issues of Gary Demar's ...; but actually already in "Days of Vengeance" (pp. 537-45), in my discussion of Rev. 21:1 , I take an almost complete "complete-preterist" position.  Tell them I've realized "Days of Vengeance" contradicts itself: compare my overall OVERVIEW (on p. 45 of the Introduction) with the actual commentary itself! According to the Overview, Parts One and Two of Revelation correspond to each other; yet I place the "Last Judgment" of Chapter 11 in A.D. 70, while I place the one in chapter 20 sometime possibly thousands of years in our future!  As another example, read "Paradise Restored," pp. 103-05. (below).  As a whole, that is virtually a complete expression of the Full Preterist position! (If someone had pointed that out to me in 1985, I don't know what I would've done!) All of Chapter 13 ("The Last Days") should have pushed me into Full Preterism all by myself!  I don't know why it didn't! 

 

CHILTON EMAILS Ed STEVENS

 

What Bahnsen consistently fails to recognize is the TRANSITIONAL nature of the Last Days (NT) period.  I urge you to take a fresh look and read through the New Testament to see the note of IMMINENCY running all the way through it.  Consider the fact that the Jews missed their Messiah because He didn't come in the MANNER they expected, so they rejected Him.  One helpful way for me to look at it has been to see how interpreting the TIME statements of the NT ("soon," "at hand,") as if they mean what they say (IMMINENCE) can help us determine the NATURE of their fulfillment!  What I mean is this:  Repeatedly and consistently, Jesus and the Apostles declare His coming to be SOON; indeed, while some then living were still alive (cf. Matt. 10:23; 16:27-28; 24:34-35; Mark 14:62; 1 Cor. 15:51-55).  To quote R. C. Sproul: "If Jesus was a false prophet, my faith is in vain!"  Not a single NT text indicates the Church was to wait thousands of years for it!

Chilton continuing:

You said:  Well, I'd be interested in your thoughts on the resurrection thing.  If you want to send us an article on preterism I'd be happy to receive it....Maybe you could address the resurrection problem from a consistent preterist position.

I'll start working on one, as soon as I finish preparing for a Preterist Conference later this month. And I wouldn't worry about Chalcedon copying a Preterist article - they've already (a few months ago) pronounced it heresy!  This is a bit embarrassing for me, considering that I took the same position in Paradise Restored and Days Of Vengeance, but, as Alexander Pope said:  "A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday!"

God bless you, and thank you for not dropping me off a cliff!

David Chilton

Emphasis mine

 

Chilton is stating just the opposite of Sam Frost in admitting that he has been wrong with his postmillennialism and is now embracing the AD70 concept of resurrection and judgment then.  Sam Frost is going backward into postmillennialism and leaving full Preterism.

 

PS. Sharon would it please you if I changed my description of Wrights view of the intermediate state to "like being asleep" instead of "soul sleep"  ROFL

Hi John,

 

You wrote:  ...google N.T. Wright and "soul sleep" and see how many people use that to describe his view.Of course that doesn't make them wright.

 

Me:  I think you make a good point John.  There are misunderstandings about Wright on several fronts. It goes to show us how easy it is to misunderstand someone.  There is nothing better than reading it for ourselves.   :o)

 

Sharon

 

Hi Norm,

 

Norm wrote:  Honestly I don’t care what Wright believes because I think its bunk.

 

Me:  I'm not a huge fan of Wright either so we have that in common.  :o) 

 

Norm wrote: However when I quote his exact words using “like being asleep” then its kind of going off the deep end to jump on me as I haven’t even defined the term but let his own words speak for themselves. That is the epitome of ridiculousness and pettiness to jump me for quoting Wrights own words and then start in on how I’ve misrepresented him.  I could care less what Pault, Sam and Sharon think “soul sleep” represents because I’m using Wrights own words to illustrate a point of his beliefs. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that he essentially is portraying a similar scenario with the physically dead as the OT and NT describes for those before the Resurrection/Parousia.

 

Me:  Well, you did write this, "Chilton has things gradually get better and then the end and Wright has us enduring until the end and then we are bodily raised into a New paradisiacal Heaven and Earth after spending time post mortem in “soul sleep”."

http://deathisdefeated.ning.com/forum/topics/david-chilton-and-sam-...

 

And I am a bit surprised to read that you don't care what soul sleep means since that is what this beef it all about. 

 

Norm wrote:  If there is a connotation of the phrase “soul sleep” that is considered pejorative then that’s beyond what I was talking about, however I am not aware of the term being pejorative and so it’s futile to attribute that baggage to me.  To me it was simply descriptive words that illustrated what Wright was essentially stating. If one wants to read something else into it then that’s their problem.

 

Me:  I wasn't trying to pin on you that you were using the term in a pejorative manner Norm.  All I wanted to do was to point out that "soul sleep" and what Wright describes are not the same so its not correct to use that term.  It would HELP to say "like soul sleep", especially since that is what Wright wrote, but even that can be misunderstood by some because if it is used alone without the context of the sentence in which he wrote it, people can get the wrong idea.  

 

Norm wrote: Sharon you and I are having some serious problems over your inability to read and keep my postings and quotes in context. You really need to give it a break and stick to something else instead of challenging me on peoples quotes. 

 

Wright wrote: We know that we will be with God and with Christ, resting and being refreshed. Paul writes that it will be conscious, but compared with being bodily alive, it will be like being asleep. The Wisdom of Solomon, a Jewish text from about the same time as Jesus, says "the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God," and that seems like a poetic way to put the Christian understanding, as well.

 

In order to understand what Wright means by saying "LIKE being asleep" we must read the whole sentence.  Wright is making a COMPARISON.  Separating the phrase "like being asleep" from its immediate surroundings "compared with being bodily alive" can too easily give the reader a wrong impression. 

 

I believe the correct term to use would be "intermediate state" .  Wright uses the term "intermediate state" so if you care about presenting someone correctly then why not just use that term instead? 

 

And Norm, there is no reason to get upset with me and demean my reading abilities.  I can read and comprehend things just as well as you so let's not go there.  Okay?

 

I've said all there is to say so I'll drop it now. 

 

Sharon

 

 

Sharon,

 

Ok, I understand that you’re still trying to work this angle on “soul sleep” about Wright and my being misleading but do you not realize that your issue is seen mostly through your Reformed eyes. Do as John suggested perform a Google search on N. T. Wright and Soul Sleep and look at all the various opinions that are out there on his meaning.  It runs all over the place depending on where a person’s own personal definition has arisen from. Yours, Pault’s and Sam’s come from your heritage and you’re judging me through the prism of your own particular training and heritage and I’m not under such. As I said before; that is your issue and not mine on how you deal with “soul sleep”. I’m from the American Restoration movement heritage Sharon not reformed and I don’t enmesh myself in the Traditions and Theology of other religious systems as I’m not overly interested in them and don’t have the time or inclination. It might be nice to know such details but one’s time is limited and we simply can’t know everyone’s theological nuances.

 

Sharon you said … “ In order to understand what Wright means by saying "LIKE being asleep" we must read the whole sentence.  Wright is making a COMPARISON.  Separating the phrase "like being asleep" from its immediate surroundings "compared with being bodily alive" can too easily give the reader a wrong impression. “

 

Exactly Sharon; that is why I have quoted the full excerpt of Wrights quote in at least two or three of my earliest quotes so as to let Wright’s own words speak for themselves. What else can one do?  

 

Sharon, by the way please accept my apology for demeaning your reading abilities. Sharon I know you are highly intelligent but you are also inclined to selectively read what you want to at times but I must admit I do to.  I’m afraid I tend to get a little agitated when I feel like I’m being misrepresented and my wording in response was not becoming. I’m sorry.  

 

By the way Ted thanks for the dialogue today. It was indeed appropriate. ;-)

 

Blessings

 

Norm

Norm,

 

Just a few observations:

 

First, soul sleep, as a term, is understood in orthodox circles as a pejorative term. Why? Because they (orthodox scholars) consider it so far out in left field that ANY doctrine that conjures up the idea that we are less than fully conscious after death is considered heretical. I can see why Wright's idea of being "kind of spiritually groggy" after death is lumped in to the traditional concept of soul sleep, even though Wright does not characterize his view as "soul sleep" in those exact words. Maybe that is why Sharon took you to task - because soul sleep per se is a precise word meaning "unconscious until receiving a new body" Though it sounds nitpicky, I think Wright himself would object to his view being called soul sleep because it is an inaccurate representation of what he really thinks. Nevertheless, Sam's gang seemed to be arguing for argument's sake. They weren't seeing what the REAL issue is.

The REAL issue is their refusal to believe that the resurrection happens at conversion. They WANT to have a body, because having a body justifies returning to an earth where the body can be enjoyed.

Allow me to relate a story I heard many years ago.

 

Once upon a time, a scientist invented a robot that could perform many human-like tasks. This robot was able to do the most mundane jobs, like sweep the floor, carry heavy things, and generally the robot was happy, at least as happy as robots could be in their limited state.

So, the kind scientist decided to make a companion robot for his now-frienly and semi-human first creation. When he did, he made it possible for the robots to rub their transistors together and receive a pleasurable jolt. This pleased his robots no end.

One day, a scientific breakthrough happened, and the scientist announced to his robot pair that he had discovered how to impart REAL LIFE to the robots. He explained how, in this new, real life, the robots would become like him, the scientist. They would be able to experience so many new things, but they would have to shed their electronic circuits to do it.

At the news, the robots became very sad. So sad in fact that they considered turning off their switches. The scientist was sad too, because he could think of no greater gift than to give his robots the same thing he had - namely to be able to think, experience human joy and creativity, and to do all the things that make human life rich and rewarding.

So he asked his robots what was wrong. To that, they replied that since the time they had been given the ability to rub their transistors together, there was NOTHING that could be better than that. They felt the scientist was trying to take away all that made their lives meaningful. Finally, the scientist went away sad, but because he valued his robots feelings the most, he gave them their wish and left them as they were – never able to experience the joy that he had known as a human.

I see similarities between Sam’s new ideas and this story. Sam wants to keep things in stasis – never allowing that there can be anything greater than rubbing transistors. Putting us back into bodies on a shiny new planet seems to be the epitome of what God wants for us, according to Sam.

But we have ALREADY entered heaven. Our bodies are not the important thing. Learning to live as God lives is the important thing!

The real argument is not the intermediate state. That is only a convenient made-up term used to fit a made-up view of what happens to us after we die. It is NECESSARY to invent this intermediate state because of not understanding what the resurrection really is. Bad logic follows bad ideas.

I cannot say for certain what kind of “essence” we will be post-mortem. I do not know how the soul exists post-mortem. But it certainly is not necessary to put us back into bodies or on another planet earth. If they want to characterize this earth as a “soul factory” that is their business. I personally don’t have a problem with that idea. After all, God DOES want many children to come to Him. If God designed man and women to be “baby factories”, producing new souls destined for eternal happiness, then why is it wrong to think of earth as the place where it all starts? Why does it have to end? I think it was made “very good” from the beginning, and so what right does anyone have to denigrate the process God set up by attempting to make it all end? I think that calls into question the original wisdom of God!

 

Doug

That was some good comments and reminded me of a couple of movies that deal with humans receiving eternal life here on earth and the realities surrounding that gift were not necessarily all peaches and cream as would be expected. You may remember those two movies as “The Green Mile” and “Tuck Everlasting”

 

By the way Doug as I stated before I quoted Wright’s entire section in which he himself defined “like being asleep”.   I would think that Wright would have been more careful in using that terminology if he thought it would get compared to what some call “soul sleep” in a pejorative manner. However since he defined his terminology then all clarification that was needed was right there for anyone to read.  I’ will again list the section in question and let folks decide for themselves as that is about the only thing I know to do. However Wright talks about it being like sleep and says it will be the the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God and so it’s easy to see how so many have called Wrights terminology “soul sleep”.

 

Here is the link to my quotes that set Sam and Sharon off.

 

http://deathisdefeated.ning.com/forum/topics/david-chilton-and-sam-...

 

Wright: We know that we will be with God and with Christ, resting and being refreshed. Paul writes that it will be conscious, but compared with being bodily alive, it will be like being asleep. The Wisdom of Solomon, a Jewish text from about the same time as Jesus, says "the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God," and that seems like a poetic way to put the Christian understanding, as well.

Part of this will be the resurrection of all the dead, who will "awake," be embodied and participate in the renewal. John Polkinghorne, a physicist and a priest, has put it this way: "God will download our software onto his hardware until the time he gives us new hardware to run the software again for ourselves." That gets to two things nicely: that the period after death is a period when we are in God's presence but not active in our own bodies, and also that the more important transformation will be when we are again embodied and administering Christ's kingdom.

End Wright quotes:

 

Also it seems that “soul sleep” does not have the same connotation from one group to another as this Google search demonstrates.

 

"Soul sleep" is a fairly unobjectionable doctrine that supposes, quite simply, that between the time of our individual deaths, and the time of the final resurrection and judgment, we will be in an "unconscious" state. There are undoubtedly many variations on the theme, and the doctrine is held generally by a number of groups (both orthodox and unorthodox), but we will concern ourselves here with the core contention of unconsciousness between death and new life.

The following arguments in favor of it are taken from a wide variety of sources, and we will organize by Scripture cite. We will not address cites tied in with the doctrine of annihilation, which hold that the wicked soul "dies" without returning to consciousness, as we consider such arguments covered by the this article.

 

http://www.tektonics.org/qt/sleepy.html 

 

Norm,

 

If I extracted YOUR comments correctly (and didn't grab someone else's, thinking it was yours), then the sum of what you believe is this quote:

 

"The new world will be more real, more physically solid, than the present one, as was brilliantly envisaged in C S Lewis's The Great Divorce. We speak of people being 'shadows of their former selves'; if 2 Corinthians 5.1-10 is correct, we should think of ourselves as being shadows of our future selves in God's purpose."

 

This is also my own view. I have held this view for a long time, but as I age I see it more clearly as being the best, most scriptural, and most reasonable view. It doesn't see salvation as being a selfish escapist theology, but rather an inclusive one that seeks to save those who are lost so that they too may enjoy peace and joy forever. It also encompasses that this life doesn't have to be some miserable stopping off purgatorial place enroute to our final destination. We are in process and are, as you said, shadows, living in the shadowlands.

 

Yet, I am still a little troubled by how God deals with those who never heard or were never included in the covenant. But, I have reconciled to my own satisfaction that God is good, and He will provide a method to deal with that issue. That is far as I can go at this point unless more is revealed to me from scripture.

Doug: Yet, I am still a little troubled by how God deals with those who never heard or were never included in the covenant. But, I have reconciled to my own satisfaction that God is good, and He will provide a method to deal with that issue.

 

Doug... you’ll see some of my answer to this in my other reply to you HERE.

 

Further, “how God deals with those who never heard” is the gospel, that is, He dealt with it through Christ’s work not ours. Historic Israel as a nation was covenanted to serve God’s wider creation as His priestly kingdom – lights to those in darkness [ignorance].

 

Those in “darkness” simply don’t know where they are going – this  DOES NOT mean they’re “going to hell” – it simply means they’re not aware where they are at. It is God’s “light” that brings greater revelation and purpose in and for life.

 

As pantelism understands it... those “accepting” this reality [the gospel] are those called or “covenanted" to perpetuate this divine message.

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