Originally posted by AThousandYoung
What are they? What are their characteristics?
I ask not as an obnoxious atheist trying to attack those who believe in such things but as an atheist exploring his spiritual side and trying to comprehend these ideas.
Are the spirit and soul different? I've heard this before. The spirit would be the "animating force" - the mind and instincts, whi k, go ahead and post anyway. It will amuse HoH and he will amuse the rest of us.
Are the spirit and soul different? I've heard this before. The spirit would be the "animating force" - the mind and instincts, while the soul is different. I like this distinction.
Yes. the soul of man and the spirit of man are two distinct parts of man. They are however, components of one living being.
Perhaps because I fear death, and it's convenient to speculate on such things to lessen that fear. For whatever reason I've begun to suspect that one's soul does die with the body, but could be reborn - perhaps elsewhere, perhaps in another universe after the end of this one, perhaps in a billion years on Earth.
The conversation that Jesus had with Nicodemus in the third chapter of John's Gospel makes very clear that physical rebirth is not the answer to man's problem with God.
Nicodemus asked Jesus how can a man enter again into his mother's womb and be born again. Nicodemus interpreted Jesus use of the term "born again"
to mean a physical rebirth. Jesus made it clear to us that a new physical birth could not solve man's problem before God.
Entering into his own mother's womb or into any other mother's womb to be physically born all over again could not bring salvation to man.
"You must be born again"
relate to a new birth in the human spirit - "That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of Spirit is spirit"
The comatose and deadened human spirit must be re-enlivened, resurrected, ree-born, and brought out of its comatose state by the direct "touch" of God Himself.
God established a relationship with man. Man had the power to damage that relationship. Once the relationship created by God is damaged by man, man CANNOT fix the problem. The problem has to be fixed by God.
And that "fixing", that salvation involves God bringing to life the deadened human spirit, not the human soul, but the human spirit.
Let us assume that the soul is simply a function of a particular arrangement of matter and energy. This is a typical materialist position which I more or less agree with but am uncertain.
I think of soul simply as Mind, Emotion, and Will.
This kind of understanding was gleaned by scholars who looked up evey single verse on the soul in the Bible to ascertain what is meant when the word is used. A lot of this work was done by a woman Mrs. Jesse Penn Lewis, a Christian teacher.
She did the same thing with spirit
and with "heart"
. And the Christian church owes here studious research a dept of gratitude. God gets the glory.
This suggests a teleporter can be created (like in Star Trek). One would disintegrate a person and re-create that exact arrangement of matter and energy elsewhere without moving the atoms themselves. OK, seems plausible.
The human spirit at the fall became comatose and deadened. The human spirit was designed to be the highest component of man. At the fall it descended beneath the second highest component, the human soul.
So we are born into this world with a missing top story, and a very active, very much out of contril second story acting as the top story.
The born again experience re-establishes the primacy of the uppermost component of man, his human spirit which is now indwelt with by Christ as Holy Spirit.
"He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit" (1 Cor. 6:17)
But one has to learn to walk daily and live in this new re-arranged inward being.
But physically being reborn or even transported will not solve man's problem before God.
The story in the Bible that best signifies the failure of physical transport from a problemed world is the story of Lot's wife in the destruction of Sodom and Gamorrah in Genesis 18,19.
Physically, Lot's wife was removed from a city to be judged by God. But her heart remained in the things of the city. Though she was taken physically out of Sodom her backward longing glance exposed that her mind, emotion, and will where still psychologically there.
She was turned into a monument of shame, a pillar of salt. This should be a warning to anyone thinking that physical removal from a sin filled earth will solve his problem before God. And that includes millions of Christians eager for a physical rapture
This is a big subject. My point is that neither mere physcial rebirth or physical removal from a sin infested world will solve man's problem before God. And it is before God that the problem must be solved.
The rebirth of the human spirit through Jesus Christ brings one into the kingdom of God. Don't expect reincarnation to help. Don't expect teleportation to another world will solve this problem.