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This is a great set of essays by some very learned and reader friendly Theologians and Scientists. Though the subject is a very weighty and complex one, the essays are understandable, to the average person for the most part. I like the fact that they take the Christian claim of Resurrection seriously, and try to understand it from a perspective of a culture shaped by Science. I do wish an essay or two would have addressed the historical questions in particular. Though the excellent essay by German Theologian Michael Welker did touch on this, in relationship to the New Testament accounts of Jesus' Resurrection. This book is one of those that brings up so many different aspects of its subject that it cries out for more studies along its same lines, of possibly more depth. Another very good essay is the one by another German Theologian, Gunter Thomas. In fact this essay was the most helpfull and interesting one for Me. He makes an excellent point of the crucial role of God's Spirit, the Holy Spirit, of Christian Belief, role in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and of our Resurrection in the Eschauton. This article makes the Spirit very tangible, in that it is the Concrete causal power behind and in all Created reality. That the Spirit is not a sort of Wraith like entity. This of course relates to all the various aspects of Christian belief about God, such as the Trinity and so forth. I highly recommend this book. I write this as just a interested laymen, but I do believe I have a much better grasp of "What" the resurrection was and is, with all do respect and humility, as to how much more we don't understand or know. Thats just how it has always been, this side of Eternity.Read more ›
This book contains a cluster of similar but varied viewpoints with a common theme: Resurrection as presented in the Bible is neither a resuscitation of the physical body nor the survival of a disembodied immortal soul. It likely requires a "re-creation" by God of a new kind of physical body, with all appropriate information and memories from our present one. The new life will probably not belong to this present cosmos but will rather inhabit a more perfect one beyond our present (scientific) imagination.
Don't expect a lot of actual science in this book; it is more like theology "bounced off" science. It's an honest attempt by a group of theologians and believing scientists to straightforwardly engage Christian belief in the resurrection with the insights of science. In the process, the theological idea of resurrection is moved forward, away from several popular misconceptions.
I am especially intrigued by the suggestion that we are neither merely bodies which, when alive, somehow produce an epiphenomenal mind, nor minds which just happen to inhabit this particular body at this particular time. Rather we are created as a unity of body and mind, and our humanity, as well as our personal identity, is found in precisely this unified design. Resurrection will require both a continuity between our present and our future existence, and a discontinuity from the flaws of this life into a fuller, more perfect life to come.
A number of questions identified by various participants are left open. The idea of a disembodied "intermediate state" between death and resurrection is not really presented clearly in the Bible, nor is it clear that the "time" of the new creation is merely the continuation of this present time.Read more ›
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