Discuss science topics such as creation and evolution and how they relate to Christianity.

Do we have a soul?

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    Do we have a soul?

    I've always thought that the soul was this ethereal, formless thing inside of everyone's body that, when we die, goes up to heaven to manifest as a spiritual body that we then have for all of eternity. However, I'm taking a course in the Philosophy of Spirituality in seminary and we've been talking about the composition of the soul and now I'm not so sure. A lot of points have been made about the fact that our soul, or our consciousness, which determines how we act and think can change depending on neurological influences. For instance, in Body, Soul, and Human Life (Studies in Theological Interpretation), Joel Green retells the famous account of Phineas Gage. "Phineas Gage, a twenty-five-year-old railroad worker who, in 1848, experienced the piercing blast of a thirteen-pound iron rod that entered below his left cheekbone, penetrated his skull, traversed the front part of his brain, and exited through the top of his head. Although he survived the accident, his personality underwent a dramatic change." (Green 2008, 82). On the other hand, in Neuroscience and the Soul, Eric Larock and Ribins Collins state that "The human brain is the 'natural seat' of the human soul: without the human brain, there would be no human soul that undergoes phenomenal and non-phenomenal (informationally sensitive) events" (Larock and Collins 2016, 139) So do you agree that the "soul" is simply a manifestation of neurological impulses, that the soul is a formless entity that determines my physical actions, or some combination of both?



    Green, Joel B.. Body, Soul, and Human Life (Studies in Theological Interpretation): The Nature of Humanity in the Bible . Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition, 82
    Crisp, Thomas M., Steven L. Porter, and Gregg Ten Elshof. Neuroscience and the soul: the human person in philosophy, science, and theology. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2016, 139

    #2
    Hi LivingFuller, I see that you are new around here, so first off, WELCOME TO CF

    As for the human soul, I'm not sure how body, soul and spirit work as one, but it is my understanding that our souls are "us" (so to speak), so I don't believe the existence of the soul depends on any part of my physical body to remain in existence.

    As for eternity, the resurrection is a bodily one, for both saint and reprobate, so we/our souls will continue on into the age to come in some sort of glorified body on the new earth (I am, of course, speaking specifically about the saints in regard to the "new earth"). In fact, the Lord Jesus Himself remains both fully Divine and fully human in Heaven, even today.

    Here's an interesting passage to consider (and perhaps to discuss) that speaks of the conscious existence of souls in Heaven (in what is referred to as the "Intermediate State" .. the time between our death and our bodily resurrection from the dead).

    The Fifth Seal—Martyrs

    Revelation 6
    9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;
    10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
    11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.

    Yours and His,
    David
    Matthew 5
    16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

    Matthew 7
    12 However you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

    1 Corinthians 13
    1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

    1 Peter 3
    15 Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.
    Comment>

      #3
      Originally posted by David Lee View Post
      As for the human soul, I'm not sure how body, soul and spirit work as one, but it is my understanding that our souls are "us" (so to speak), so I don't believe the existence of the soul depends on any part of my physical body to remain in existence.
      Well this is all new news to me. I thought science looked for a soul and found no room in the body anywhere that may house an invisible man

      I saw a documentary a long time ago which was a dramatization about the person Phineas Gage that received the rail road rod from a blast through the head. As to whether the soul is the result of the flesh's neurological impulses..... I guess I thought of it like a speaker. If the body is a speaker animated by the voice of the soul then the soul is dependent on the proper working of the speaker to come through clearly. However, I'd think that because the body may not be functioning correctly the soul as an expression may ultimately appear corrupted.

      God bless,
      William



      Comment>

        #4
        Hi William, I wonder if things like this, as well the other mysteries we have before us now, like the Trinity, omniscience, omnipresence, etc., will all get straightened out in our minds as soon as we reach Glory, or if such things will remain mysteries to us, at least in part, throughout eternity?
        Matthew 5
        16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

        Matthew 7
        12 However you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

        1 Corinthians 13
        1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

        1 Peter 3
        15 Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.
        Comment>

          #5
          Originally posted by William View Post

          Well this is all new news to me. I thought science looked for a soul and found no room in the body anywhere that may house an invisible man

          I saw a documentary a long time ago which was a dramatization about the person Phineas Gage that received the rail road rod from a blast through the head. As to whether the soul is the result of the flesh's neurological impulses..... I guess I thought of it like a speaker. If the body is a speaker animated by the voice of the soul then the soul is dependent on the proper working of the speaker to come through clearly. However, I'd think that because the body may not be functioning correctly the soul as an expression may ultimately appear corrupted.

          God bless,
          William


          Who would have thought that a seminary course could take a subject such as the soul and make it So complicated. Philosophy of Spirituality. The term 'philosophy' makes it sound almost 'secular' to me. But that's probably just 'me'. How about that it's part of how God created us.
          Comment>

            #6
            Originally posted by David Lee View Post
            Hi William, I wonder if things like this, as well the other mysteries we have before us now, like the Trinity, omniscience, omnipresence, etc., will all get straightened out in our minds as soon as we reach Glory, or if such things will remain mysteries to us, at least in part, throughout eternity?
            Well I suppose to a degree lots of mysteries will be understood. That is, as you said, when we reach glory. Rather than the existing perishable body animated by soul, we'll have new spiritual bodies that'll be imperishable and animated by the Spirit 1 Corinthians 15:42:

            Matthew Henry,

            How are the dead raised up? that is, by what means? How can they be raised? 2. As to the bodies which shall rise. Will it be with the like shape, and form, and stature, and members, and qualities? The former objection is that of those who opposed the doctrine, the latter of curious doubters. To the first the answer is, This was to be brought about by Divine power; that power which all may see does somewhat like it, year after year, in the death and revival of the corn. It is foolish to question the Almighty power of God to raise the dead, when we see it every day quickening and reviving things that are dead. To the second inquiry; The grain undergoes a great change; and so will the dead, when they rise and live again. The seed dies, though a part of it springs into new life, though how it is we cannot fully understand. The works of creation and providence daily teach us to be humble, as well as to admire the Creator's wisdom and goodness. There is a great variety among other bodies, as there is among plants. There is a variety of glory among heavenly bodies. The bodies of the dead, when they rise, will be fitted for the heavenly bodies. The bodies of the dead, when they rise, will be fitted for the heavenly state; and there will be a variety of glories among them. Burying the dead, is like committing seed to the earth, that it may spring out of it again. Nothing is more loathsome than a dead body. But believers shall at the resurrection have bodies, made fit to be for ever united with spirits made perfect. To God all things are possible. He is the Author and Source of spiritual life and holiness, unto all his people, by the supply of his Holy Spirit to the soul; and he will also quicken and change the body by his Spirit. The dead in Christ shall not only rise, but shall rise thus gloriously changed. The bodies of the saints, when they rise again, will be changed. They will be then glorious and spiritual bodies, fitted to the heavenly world and state, where they are ever afterwards to dwell. The human body in its present form, and with its wants and weaknesses, cannot enter or enjoy the kingdom of God. Then let us not sow to the flesh, of which we can only reap corruption. And the body follows the state of the soul. He, therefore, who neglects the life of the soul, casts away his present good; he who refuses to live to God, squanders all he has.
            God bless,
            William
            Comment>
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