This site exists to provide insights from the Christian perspective by teaching theology and biblical exegesis. Does God exist? How reliable is the biblical text? How should the Christian faith be understood? These questions are not simply academic, but affect everyone. "...I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting" (1 Timothy 1:16).
Friday, June 2, 2017
Notes On The Soul
-The soul is known as the "life-principle" of our being. It is the immaterial entity that keeps the physical body alive. It is the non-physical source of all consciousness. The soul is the immaterial part of the body which forms the basis of human features encompassing our actions, thoughts, ideas, hopes, and dreams. The soul is what makes us who we are. It is the essence of our personalities. The soul exists independently of the physical body because it is immaterial. The soul is therefore a separate entity from the body.
-The soul involves the human intellect. It comprises our ability to discover truth, logical thinking, thinking up ideas or plans, forming critical opinions, and making connections. The soul involves human emotions, which are connected to thought patterns, feelings, and behaviors. The soul involves the human will. It is our capacity to make choices on our own rather than reacting on the basis of stimuli. It is these factors which distinguish man from the plant and animal kingdom. They cannot be said to have a soul in the sense that we do.
On The Origin And Nature Of The Soul:
-Human souls are breathed directly into our bodies by God (Genesis 2:8). This means that they constitute our spiritual identity. Our bodies were made from the components of this earth. Each soul is created by God through the secondary process of human reproduction.
-The soul is an immaterial entity. It is non-physical. Thus, the soul cannot be tested by the scientific method because science can only examine the physical realm. The soul transcends that which is physical or material. Scripture says that man has a pneuma or soul.
-Because our souls are immaterial, it logically follows that they are also immortal. Our souls continue to live on for eternity, even after the moment of physical death. The very essence of our being continues to thrive in the afterlife. God judges the soul.
-The soul can live without the body, but the body cannot live without the soul. The soul is what holds the organic makeup of the body together. Souls interact with each other in the supernatural realm (Luke 16:19-31). They are living and therefore experience things.
On The Immateriality Of The Soul:
-We can use our reasoning capacities to mentally categorize things into general categories, rather than only being able to reason with particular objects that we can physically see. The human mind is not limited only to the scope of concrete thinking.
-Human beings are free in the sense that they have free will. Evidence that man has free will is the ability to be influenced or persuaded. The act of intending points to the immateriality of human consciousness. The soul cannot be verified empirically, but it clearly does exist.
-"...if life were nothing more than materials, then we'd be able to take all the materials of life-which are the same materials found in dirt-and make a living being. We cannot. There's clearly something beyond materials in life. What materialist can explain why one body is dead and another body is not dead? Both contain the same chemicals. Why is a body alive one minute and dead the next?" (Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, p. 129)