Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Resurrection of the Dead

I attended a Funeral Practicum last night at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. It was by far the class where I have learned the most practical pastoral care lessons in my 18 months at Seminary. But it drove me to do some major studying on the concept we speak every Sunday during the Apostles Creed when we say"I Believe in the Resurrection of the Body".

But do we truly understand what that means?

The Scriptures teach-I believe-that we will not only recognize each other in heaven but we will have the same body. Jesus's own body was raised from the dead not just his spirit according to Scripture. It is important to remember after Jesus's Resurrection and before the Assumption he still had the same marks on his body that he did prior to his death. Read Jesus’ words in John 5:28-29, 6:39-40, 11:25-26, and Luke 14:14. Also see Paul in 1 Cor 15:12. Paul says, "Now if Christ be preached, that he arose again from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?" So according to Scripture, yes it will be the same-but glorified-body if you believe-as I do-in a literal translation of Resurrection of the Body as is said in the Apostles Creed and spoken by Jesus and Paul. Also of note I agree with N.T. Wright (and one of my professors) that there is no seperation between the body and the soul; that they are one entity and cannot be seperated. That an idea of a two-nature body is a remnant of neo-Platanism and is incongruent with the witness of Scripture.

Here is a factoid I discovered:

Most Conservative and Orthodox Jews do not even embalm the body for many reasons including the blood being the location of life ergo you must keep it with the body.


person in the pew said...

My home church always preached the literal resurrection of the body and that's certainly what my family believed. However, I was surprised by what happened following my maternal grandfather's death. My mom and grandmother decided to have my grandfather cremated. My dad was totally opposed to the idea because he believes that it is wrong to destroy the body, although I believe he's o.k. with embalming. I had never been close to anyone who died before that time so had never really given it much thought. I wonder if many Christians think that cremation is wrong?

Reformed Catholic said...

Growing up Catholic, we were taught that cremation of the dead was against church teachings, and the continuation of a pagan ritual of death.

This changed in 1963, however, I graduated from a Catholic HS in 1969, and don't remember being taught that the prohibition was removed. I did a Google search and found this site, which is very informative:

I suspect they'll have to update their entry for Limbo very soon !!

Backwoods Presbyterian said...

FYI for Reformed Catholic. A great website for information on Roman Catholicism is

Joshua_Duncan said...

What do you make of Paul's 'absent from the body is present with the Lord' comment?

Don't take this as an attacking question. I'm really asking. I am very much aware to the neoplatonist tendencies in the modern church, so I'd be interested to hear your argument.