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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Does the Bible really say that? Excerpt from my book, 45



Ten: Do we become disembodied spirits, and go to heaven, right after we die?

It is assumed that Christians believe in life after death, as opposed to denying any survival after death, and that every sort of life after death must therefore be the same kind of (Christian) thing. (N. T. Wright. Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church. New York: HarperOne, 2008. p. 12)

What we say about death and resurrection gives shape and color to everything else. If we are not careful, we will offer merely a “hope” that is no longer a surprise, no longer able to transform lives and communities in the present, no longer generated by the resurrection of Jesus himself and looking forward to the promised new heavens and new earth. (N. T. Wright. Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church. New York: HarperOne, 2008. p. 25)

This chapter was influenced by Wright. He points out that current Western society includes people who hold these views of what happens after death:
1) Nothing. Death is the end of personal existence.
2) Reincarnation. The dead person returns as a baby, or in some other form.
3) “At death one is absorbed into the wider world, into the wind and trees.” (p. 11)
4) You become a ghost.

Wright says that none of these beliefs is orthodox Christian belief, although sometimes one of them, usually the third view, is taught in Christian churches.

The main reason for these views is misinterpretation of the Bible, or just ignoring it entirely.


The above material is an excerpt from my self-published e-book, Does the Bible Really Say That?, which may be obtained free of charge, or purchased from Amazon for $0.99, which is the lowest price Amazon lets an author set. Scripture quotations are from the World English Bible, which is in the public domain.

The previous post in this series, on the topic of whether a redeemed person can lose their salvation, is here. God willing, the next post in this series will consider a different topic. Thanks for reading.

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