Statesboro, GA, USA
I'm choosing to respond to this repeating thread once more. (sigh) But before I do, I would like to reiterate the very relevant point that Jim once raised: If those who believe in an immaterial soul still believe that a bodily resurrection is necessary ... and if those who do not believe in an immaterial soul likewise believe that the most important thing is reconciliation with God ... and if either position may be held by a genuine Christian, then this consideration cannot be the issue which is so sinister as to have brought about a "false Christianity". In fact, it's perfectly reasonable to think it an ancillary issue. And I do.
And I get the feeling that Arnold, would not agree with you making salvation dependent upon believing this doctrine. What's your take on that Arnold?
I Cor. 15:35
"But some [man] will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?"
~ Right here, if man possesses an immortal soul or dies and goes to "some place," I think Paul would of skipped this question, for obviously, Paul is not going to debate that the dead are in the ground and buried, and in need of a resurrection if they are not dead in the ground, but he chooses to answer the question in the next verse.
Not a logical conclusion. If Paul were speaking of bodily resurrection, then mentioning the transient state of the soul would not be necessary, since it isn't the focus. Also your conclusion is not quite so "obvious" when you concede my above point that even those who believe in a transient state of the soul, think that resurrection is indispensable.
I Cor. 15:36
"[Thou] fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:"
~ Now, here Paul uses two key words: quickened (which he will use again shortly) and die. Once again, Paul does not use the word "separate" but to die - natural death of man; to not exist. He doesn't answer the question by saying, "You have an immotal soul, you won't die, you don't need to be resurrected."
He doesn't use the words "cease to exist" either. Also, again ... even for those who believe in an immaterial soul, ressurrection is supremely necessary. Much like birth is supremely necessary for a baby in utero. So it wouldn't make sense for Paul to say "Yo don't have a soul, you won't die, You don't need to be resurrected". You're only knocking down a straw-man here.
"So also [is] the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body."
~ Paul says it right there. We are sown a natural body. This matches up with scripture from King Solomon, David, etc. The life is in the blood. The human race is made from dust and dust it shall return. The Bible is clear here that we are not made up of anything more than our natural bodies, yet we do have a spirit that separates us from the animals (I Cor. 15:39), but it cannot exist, think, feel, be alive on its own.
How come there are Bible passages where the human spirit seems to be able to "exist, think, feel, be alive on its own"? Most notably: 1st Samuel 28:8-20, Luke 9:28-31, 2 Corinthians 5:6-8, 2 Corinthians 12:2..
I think your display of Bible verses is a partial one, that hasn't brought in all the information, for a fuller picture.
I Cor. 15:45-47
"And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit." Howbeit that [was] not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man [is] of the earth, earthy: the second man [is] the Lord from heaven.
~ The first man was MADE a living soul. He does not POSSESS a soul, but IS a living soul. Get it? Paul hopes so. The last Adam, he is referring to is Jesus and there is that phrase, a quickening spirit. That is what it means to be truly "born again." Adam was made a living being, he was a natural being, but will become a spiritual being (born again) like Christ, but when? Paul answers that...
That use of scripture that man was made a "living soul" does not disprove a composite nature at all. Paul is here contrasting the merely natural life, with the life of Christ ... contrasting "earthiness" with "spiritual". He's not even speaking about whether or not man has a transient state, his purposes don't seem to follow along those lines.
And there is a meaning to being "born again" that is certainly prior to resurrection, in THIS life:
"Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God." (1 Peter 1:22-23)
Have been. Past tense.
I Cor. 15:50
"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,"
~ Christian who are alive will not be asleep, but all other Christians whom have died in hope of being resurrected, are in fact asleep. Now, if Christians or any other dead person is alive with all of their sense after death, why would Paul compare death to sleep? Who walks, talks, listens, learns, praises in his or her sleep? Nobody.
Well if you're going to bend this figure of speech to your purposes, and allow no variance from reality to metaphor, you'll have to at least acknowledge that you've never seen a sleeping person "not exist", and that sleeping people exhibit a form of awareness through dreaming. Looks like the metaphor fits a transient state of the soul better than your "non-existence" ... because sleep is, after all, a transient state of affairs, and waking (resurrection) is still necessary.
I Cor. 15:51-52
"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
~ At the last trump. That is when Christ returns to earth to set up His Kingdom: The 2nd Coming, but not until then will "we be changed."
Those who believe in a soul, likewise don't believe that we will be resurrected until Christ returns ... so what's your point?
"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality."
~ First of all, the phrase "immotal soul" is no where to be found in the Bible. To claim we have an immotal soul is only to do so due to pagan philosophers and a certain man named Dante. This MORTAL must PUT ON immotality. Of course, without any hope or chance to be resurrected we are dead.
Neither is the statement that death means "nonexistence" in the Bible. And it does no good to slur this partiuclar doctrine with what Pagan philosophers believed. Unless you want to chide Paul for quoting Pagan philosophers many times in the New Testament to illustrate Biblical truth. Pagan religion also seemed to anticipate "resurrection" in their corn-kings and mystery religions. Wouldn't it be reasonable to think that God gave intimations of truth even to pagan philosophers? I think so.
But there is a significant difference in what I believe the Bible teaches, and the "immortal soul" doctrine. The Greek idea seems to eternalize the soul. The Biblical idea makes the life of the soul entirely dependent upon God's sovereign will ... the soul having no self-reliant immortality to speak of.
And lastly, "Mortality putting on Immortality" speaks of resurrection ... something which those who disagree with you still think very necessary. Therefore Paul says nothing here in contradiction to belief in a transient state of the soul.
Think about it... death is swallowed up in victory, meaning no longer will anyone have to die.
I also believe that this means that "no longer will anyone have to die". But of course it means more than that. It means there will be a glorious physical resurrection of believers.
Those who were truly evil (the overwhelming few) will no longer exist and then death will be conquered. If these people were "alive" somewhere burning forever, how can death be swallowed up in victory?
In context Paul's description of death being "swallowed up in victory" does not apply to the wicked. Though according to Daniel 12:2, even the unsaved will be raised in a kind of body: "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."
So even if you don't believe in a transient state of the soul ... that doesn't mean that your belief of universalism or annihilationism is sound. You'll have to defend that quite separately I think. I presume one could easily believe that there is no immaterial soul, and yet still believe in an eternal place of punishment for the wicked.
"However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man." Acts 24:14-16