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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sunspots 490

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to
someone else:

The Arts: (And Christianity) A fascinating discussion of so-called "white magic," which is illustrated thus:
Many Christians, including many parents, are practicing “white magic” whenever they fear and shun objects, symbols, and Things more than they fear Jesus Christ and hate inner sin.

Health: National Public Radio reports on how many days dying patients spend in hospitals, and what causes the variation. It varies widely, almost three times as much in New York and New Jersey as in Utah and Idaho.
Science: NPR reports on a portion of the brain that may be a main cause of unselfish behavior.
The BBC asks if all the ants on earth weigh more than all the people. I thank one of my brothers for this link.

Wired reports on a spider that lives its entire life underwater.
(And politics) Some right-wing news outlets are trumpeting a recent study, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as showing that global climate change is not caused by human activity. Not exactly. Here's a report on the study, from the Associated Press. To quote the AP: "The study ... does not question global warming but argues that there is evidence that in at least one place, local winds are a more important factor explaining ocean warming than greenhouse gases." Critics of the study have pointed out that local winds, themselves, are probably influenced by human activity. And, of course, even if human activity has no effect on winds, the report is not global, and it does not question that human activity effects ocean warming. Here's a press release, from NOAA, on the report.

Sports: The scoring summary of the September 21, 2014 NFL game between the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders. All of the scoring (a touchdown, an extra point, and six field goals) was done by three players, Sebastian Janikowski, Rob Gronkowski and Stephen Gostkowski. That must be some sort of record . . .

Image source (public domain)

I'm glad Jesus got out of bed

The Bible tells us that Jesus, although God in human flesh, was tempted, just as we are. (Hebrews 4:15, all references to the ESV) This verse strongly implies that He was not only tempted, but tempted in the same ways we can be (He was tempted "in every respect").

Note, then, Mark 1:35: "And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed."

If it had been me, I would have been tempted to roll over and go back to sleep. (He had had a hard and busy day previously.) So Jesus must have been also tempted like this. But He got up, and prayed. I'm glad He did. What if He hadn't? If He hadn't, He would, I suppose, have sinned, by yielding to temptation, and, if He had sinned, He would not have been a sinless sacrifice for me.

I'm glad Jesus got out of bed.

Thanks for reading. I hope I pray more.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Lectures on Revivals of Religion, by Charles Grandison Finney, 2


1. A miracle has been generally defined to be, a Divine interference, setting aside or suspending the laws of nature. It is not a miracle in this sense. All the laws of matter and mind remain in force. They are neither suspended nor set aside in a revival.

2. It is not a miracle according to another definition of the term miracle—something above the powers of nature. There is nothing in religion beyond the ordinary powers of nature. It consists entirely in the right exercise of the powers of nature. It is just that, and nothing else. When mankind become religious, they are not enabled to put forth exertions which they were unable before to put forth . They only exert the powers they had before in a different way, and use them for the glory of God.

3. It is not a miracle, or dependent on a miracle, in any sense. It is a purely philosophical result of the right use of the constituted means—as much so as any other effect produced by the application of means. There may be a miracle among its antecedent causes, or there may not. The apostles employed miracles, simply as a means by which they arrested attention to their message, and established its divine authority. But the miracle was not the revival. The miracle was one thing; the revival that followed it was quite another thing. The revivals in the apostles’ days were connected with miracles, but they were not miracles.

I said that a revival is the result of the right use of the appropriate means. The means which God has enjoined for the production of a revival, doubtless have a natural tendency to produce a revival. Otherwise God would not have enjoined them. But means will not produce a revival, we all know, without the blessing of God. No more will grain. when it is sowed, produce a crop without the blessing of God. it is impossible for us to say that there is not as direct an influence or agency from God, to produce a crop of grain, as there is to produce a revival. What are the laws of nature according to which it is supposed that grain yields a crop? They are nothing but the constituted manner of the operations of God. In the Bible, the word of God is compared to grain, and preaching is compared to sowing seed, and the results to the springing up and growth of the crop. And the result is just as philosophical in the one case, as in the other, and is as naturally connected with the cause; or, more correctly, a revival is as naturally a result of the use of the appropriate means as a crop is of the use of its appropriate means. It is true that religion does not properly belong to the category of cause and effect; but although It is not caused by means, yet it has its occasion, and may as naturally and certainly result from its occasion as a crop does from its cause.

I wish this idea to be impressed on all your minds, for there has long been an idea prevalent that promoting religion has something very peculiar in it, not to be judged of by the ordinary rules of cause and effect; in short, that there is no connection of the means with the result, and no tendency in the means to produce the effect. No doctrine is more dangerous than this to the prosperity of the church, and nothing more absurd.

Suppose a man were to go and preach this doctrine among farmers, about their sowing grain. Let him tell them that God is a sovereign, and will give them a crop only when it pleases him, and that for them to plow and plant and labor as if they expected to raise a crop is very wrong, and taking the work out of the hands of God, that it interferes with his sovereignty, and is going on in their own strength: and that there is no connection between the means and the result on which they can depend. And now, suppose the farmers should believe such doctrine. Why, they would starve the world to death.

Just such results will follow from the church’s being persuaded that promoting religion is somehow so mysteriously a subject of Divine sovereignty, that there is no natural connection between the means and the end. What are the results? Why, generation after generation has gone down to hell. No doubt more than five thousand millions have gone down to hell, while the church has been dreaming, and waiting for God to save them without the use of means. It has been the devil’s most successful means of destroying souls. The connection is as clear in religion as it is when the farmer sows his grain. 

The previous post in this series is here. Charles Grandison Finneyʼs Lectures on Revivals of Religion is in the public domain, as I understand it. It is available here. Thanks for reading. Seek revival.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Slander and libel

The Wikipedia has a good article on slander, defamation of character, and libel. All of these are attempts at harming a person's reputation by spreading false statements about them. Slander is basically done in ordinary speech. Libel is written. I'm not sure what a YouTube video, or a newscast on radio would be, assuming that it was spreading false statements, as such speech has a longer life than something you might say while in line at Walmart, and, therefore, is not "ordinary speech." Under U. S. law, defaming a public person requires that not only are false statements spread, but that they are spread with malice, intent to harm. That's often difficult to prove, even though it's often true.

Depending on the version used, there are about ten mentions of slander in the New Testament, all of them condemning it in some way. Here is the results of a search for that word, using the English Standard Version. One of the instances (1 Timothy 5:14) warns against giving enemies of Christians reason to slander them. The others warn against slander as sinful behavior. The word, libel, does not occur in the New Testament, at least not in the ESV.

Here are two of the passages mentioning slander, quoted from the World English Bible, which is in the public domain.:
Matthew 15:16 So Jesus said, “Do you also still not understand? 17  Don’t you understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the belly, and then out of the body? 18  But the things which proceed out of the mouth come out of the heart, and they defile the man. 19  For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual sins, thefts, false testimony, and blasphemies. 20  These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands doesn’t defile the man.” (Mark 7:17-22 is similar. The World English Bible uses "false testimony," rather than "slander.")

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but only what is good for building others up as the need may be, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you. (Colossians 3:8 and 1 Peter 2:1 also warn Christians against practicing slander.)

Thanks for reading. Be careful what you say about other people.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sunspots 489

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to someone else:
Christianity: It's not out yet, but here's a blog post warning Christians not to take the Left Behind movie too seriously.

A splendid lecture on how God is seen through nature.

Computing: Be careful of pirated e-books. Apparently, some of them can hack your Amazon account.

Relevant has posted a map showing all the web-connected devices on the planet. Interesting, but perhaps not terribly surprising -- web use is concentrated in a few places.

Science: One of the advantages of being sexual is that the offspring have new and unique combinations of the genes of their parents. But Wired reports on a microscopic organism that takes such recombination much further than any other known living thing.

Wired also reports on a parasitic worm that invades the eyestalks of snails, so it can be eaten. Really. There's a short video.
Image source (public domain)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hottest year ever

Wired reports that this year, 2014, although it is not over yet, is likely to be the hottest year ever recorded. Those records go back to 1880. The report also says that it is likely that 2015 will be even hotter.

Thanks for reading. Read Wired for the justification for these claims.

Monday, September 22, 2014

A few thoughts on the National Football League, and domestic violence

Domestic violence is currently much in the news. Whether that news is being attended to by Jane Smith and John Doe is another question. Maybe.

The problem is, as some have said, bigger than the National Football League.  According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. That's almost one in four women. The problem is a LOT bigger.

As to the National Football League, violence is necessary to the entertainment product that it sells. It's not surprising that some of the players don't seem to know where the playing field ends. Those who have trouble with this should seek counseling and spiritual healing, but it shouldn't be a shock that some of them haven't done so, or have done so, and it didn't stick.

One aspect of this situation is that the NFL's purpose is to make money. The Commissioner, Roger Goodell, earned (or not) $44,000,000 in 2012, according to Business Week. There's something terribly wrong with our priorities when someone makes that much money, contrasted with teachers, firefighters, social workers, police, nurses and child care workers, whose professions are designed to help people, but probably won't make 5% of that amount over their entire working life. No wonder bad things happen in the NFL. Consider also the mess over brain damage to players, and how poorly those players and their families have been compensated for the irreparable damage done to their quality of life, and for the early deaths some have suffered. The New York Times gives figures for the estimated number of players and former players effected, and the total amount of the settlement. According to my calculations, the players will get about $160,000 each, on the average. (There will be sliding scales, depending on the damage and the age of the players.) All of us who watch the NFL are partly guilty of these crimes, too, I guess, because we have, by watching and otherwise paying attention, encouraged the NFL's money-making activities. (It's OK to make money. But we shouldn't expect a money-making organization to have the best interests of its customers or employees at heart, as opposed to the interests of the owners/stockholders.)

Will the NFL lose significant money over all this? Probably not. TV advertisers will continue to buy ads, most likely. Anheuser-Busch, beer producer, and advertiser, has indicated that it is not pleased by the NFL's handling of the domestic violence situation. Now that's a real irony. No doubt a lot of the domestic violence carried out was done while the perpetrators were under the influence of alcohol, some of it from Anheuser-Busch products.

Leonard Pitts, nationally syndicated columnist, wrote the following, in relation to celebrities getting away with domestic violence:
We are a celebrity-besotted people who too routinely conflate fame with worth, giving the talented, the beautiful and the well known benefit of the doubt we do not extend to the untalented, the unlovely and the unknown. Indeed. We probably get the entertainment we deserve. If that's true, God help us, worshipers of money-making, celebrity and violence that we are.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lectures on Revivals of Religion, by Charles Grandison Finney

Lectures on Revivals of Religion, by Charles Grandison Finney.



Text.—O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.—Hab. iii. 2. 

IT is supposed that the prophet Habakkuk was contemporary with Jeremiah, and that this prophecy was uttered in anticipation of the Babylonish captivity. Looking at the judgments which were speedily to come upon his nation, the soul of the prophet was wrought up to an agony, and he cries out in his distress, “O Lord, revive thy work.” As if he had said, “O Lord, grant that thy judgments may not make Israel desolate. In the midst of these awful years, let the judgments of God be made the means of reviving religion among us. In wrath remember mercy.”

Religion is the work of man. It is something for man to do. It consists in obeying God with and from the heart. It is man’s duty. It is true, God induces him to do it. He influences him by his Spirit, because of his great wickedness and reluctance to obey. If it were not necessary for God to influence men—if men were disposed to obey God, there would be no occasion to pray, “O Lord, revive thy work.” The ground of necessity for such a prayer is, that men are wholly indisposed to obey; and unless God interpose the influence of his Spirit, not a man on earth will ever obey the commands of God.

A “Revival of Religion” presupposes a declension. Almost all the religion in the world has been produced by revivals. God has found it necessary to take advantage of the excitability there is in mankind, to produce powerful excitements among them, before he can lead them to obey. Men are so spiritually sluggish, there are so many things to lead their minds off from religion, and to oppose the influence of the Gospel, that it is necessary to raise an excitement among them, till the tide rises so high as to sweep away the opposing obstacles. They must be so excited that they will break over these counteracting influences, before they will obey God. Not that excited feeling is religion, for it is not; but it is excited desire, appetite and feeling that prevents religion. The will is, in a sense, enslaved by the carnal and worldly desires. Hence it is necessary to awaken men to a sense of guilt and danger, and thus produce an excitement of counter feeling and desire which will break the power of carnal and worldly desire and leave the will free to obey God.

Look back at the history of the Jews, and you will see that God used to maintain religion among them by special occasions, when there would be a great excitement, and people would turn to the Lord. And after they had been thus revived, it would be but a short time before there would be so many counteracting influences brought to bear upon them, that religion would decline, and keep on declining, till God could have time—so to speak—to convict them of sin by his Spirit and rebuke them by his providence, and thus so gain the attention of the masses to the great subject of salvation, as to produce a widespread awakening of religious interest, and consequently a revival of religion. Then the counteracting causes would again operate, and religion would decline, and the nation would be swept away in the vortex of luxury, idolatry, and pride.

There is so little principle in the church, so little firmness and stability of purpose, that unless the religious feelings are awakened and kept excited, counter worldly feeling and excitement will prevail, and men will not obey God. They have so little knowledge, and their principles are so weak, that unless they are excited, they will go back from the path of duty, and do nothing to promote the glory of God. The state of the world is still such, and probably will be till the millennium is fully come, that religion must be mainly promoted by means of revivals. How long and how often has the experiment been tried, to bring the church to act steadily for God, without these periodical excitements. Many good men have supposed, and still suppose, that the best way to promote religion, is to go along uniformly, and gather in the ungodly gradually, and without excitement. But however sound such reasoning 11may appear in the abstract, facts demonstrate its futility. If the church were far enough advanced in knowledge, and had stability of principle enough to keep awake, such a course would do; but the church is so little enlightened, and there are so many counteracting causes, that she will not go steadily to work without a special interest being awakened. As the millennium advances, it is probable that these periodical excitements will be unknown. Then the church will be enlightened, and the counteracting causes removed, and the entire church will be in a state of habitual and steady obedience to God. The entire church will stand and take the infant mind, and cultivate it for God. Children will be trained up in the way they should go, and there will be no such torrents of worldliness, and fashion, and covetousness, to bear away the piety of the church, as soon as the excitement of a revival is withdrawn.
It is very desirable it should be so. It is very desirable that the church should go on steadily in a course of obedience without these excitements. Such excitements are liable to injure the health. Our nervous system is so strung that any powerful excitement, if long continued, injures our health and unfits us for duty. If religion is ever to have a pervading influence in the world, it cannot be so; this spasmodic religion must be done away. Then it will be uncalled for. Christians will not sleep the greater part of the time, and once in a while wake up, and rub their eyes, and bluster about, and vociferate a little while, and then go to sleep again. Then there will be no need that ministers should wear themselves out, and kill themselves, by their efforts to roll back the flood of worldly influence that sets in upon the church. But as yet the state of the Christian world is such, that to expect to promote religion without excitements is unphilosophical and absurd. The great political, and other worldly excitements that agitate Christendom, are all unfriendly to religion, and divert the mind from the interests of the soul. Now these excitements can only be counteracted by religious excitements. And until there is religious principle in the world to put down irreligious excitements, it is vain to try to promote religion, except by counteracting excitements. This is true in philosophy, and it is a historical fact. 

It is altogether improbable that religion will ever make progress among heathen nations except through the influence of revivals. The attempt is now making to do it by education, and other cautious and gradual improvements. But so long as the laws of mind remain what they are, it cannot be done in this way. There must be excitement sufficient to wake up the dormant moral powers, and roll back the tide of degradation and sin. And precisely so far as our own land approximates to heathenism, it is impossible for God or man to promote religion in such a state of things but by powerful excitements. This is evident from the fact that this has always been the way in which God has done it. God does not create these excitements, and choose this method to promote religion for nothing or without reason. Where mankind are so reluctant to obey God, they will not act until they are excited. For instance, how many there are who know that they ought to be religious, but they are afraid if they become pious they shall be laughed at by their companions. Many are wedded to idols, others are procrastinating repentance, until they are settled in life, or until they have secured some favorite worldly interest. Such persons never will give up their false shame, or relinquish their ambitious schemes, till they are so excited by a sense of guilt and danger that they cannot contain themselves any longer. 

Charles Grandison Finneyʼs Lectures on Revivals of Religion is in the public domain, as I understand it. It is available here. Thanks for reading. Seek revival.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sunspots 488

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to someone else:

Christianity: Relevant discusses the problem of loving others, when we have a hard time doing it.
E. Stephen Burnett claims that popular culture is a good thing, and will probably be present in the Final Kingdom.

Humor: (And Christianity) Peanuts on suffering and the book of Job.
Wired reports that some fish, not generally believed to be very smart, show the ability to collaborate intelligently.

Wired also reports on naked mole rats, almost the only non-insect that has queens in a colony. In addition to this, and other interesting details of their lives, they don't get cancer.

Image source (public domain)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Does the Bible really say that? Excerpt from my book, 52.

Appendix: Bible Interpretation – Some Suggestions

The Bible is a complex book. Some parts of it are difficult to understand. Mark Twain is supposed to have remarked that it wasn’t the parts of the Bible he didn’t understand that bothered him, but the parts that he did. Perhaps he was referring to some of the things Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, where He put forward a radical morality.

I’m not an expert on Biblical interpretation. But I think there are some principles that we should follow in interpreting the Bible. Here they are:

1) Don’t take something literally it if wasn’t meant to be. If a phrase is poetry, or irony, or a figure of speech, then it wasn’t meant to be taken literally. For example, Psalm 46:2 speaks of not being afraid even though the mountains be moved into the sea. The whole Psalm is poetry, and this phrase seems to have been a figure of speech. See Psalm 114, for another example.

2) Don’t use a single verse, phrase, or sentence without considering the context, and what the rest of the Bible says on that subject. For example, in Romans 11:26, Paul says that all Israel will be saved. Does that mean that all Israelis will go to heaven? Certainly not. In chapter 10 of the same book, Paul says that his desire is that the Jews be saved, strongly implying that many of them won’t. He also calls them a disobedient people. And, more importantly, Paul’s message in the entire book, indeed in all his letters, is that salvation comes by faith in Christ as savior, not by birth into a particular ethnic group.

This principle should be applied to many passages in the Old Testament. The Jews were under a different regime than Christians. The Jews were often commanded to destroy other nations. Christians aren’t. In fact, based on the New Testament, God seems to deal much less with nations than in the Old. Instead, He now deals with us as individuals, for the most part. Various Old Testament laws, for example dietary laws, do not apply to Christians, unless they have individual convictions about these matters. The New Testament makes that clear. The context of these laws does not indicate that they apply to non-Jewish Christians today. (Several moral laws, first introduced in the Old Testament, but re-emphasized in the New, do apply to Christians, but that’s another topic.)

3) Be careful in interpreting prophecy. The New Testament points out some examples of fulfilled prophecy about Jesus. Those, it seems, we can understand, because we know how they were fulfilled. The Old Testament has some examples of fulfilled prophecy, that we can understand for the same reason. But be careful about prophecy that has yet to be fulfilled. Very careful.

4) Don’t ignore or reject scripture that you don’t like. In fact, sections of the Bible, for example about gossip being a sin, and that we don’t like (if we like to gossip) are the ones we should pay the most attention to!

Carefully consider that someone else’s interpretation, be that someone an individual, a church, an institution, or a denomination, with doctrines different than yours or mine, might be correct. God may be trying to discipline or instruct us, through scripture, or scripture interpretations, that we don’t particularly like.

Read the Bible carefully and prayerfully. Read it on a regular basis, using some plan, such as those in a devotional guide, or by reading scripture that accompanies sermons or group lessons, in your church.

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 matter of a physical body after death, is here.This is the last post in the series. Thanks to anyone who may have read all or part of these posts. I didn't plan that it would take a year to finish this -- it just worked out that way. God willing, next Sunday's post will be from a more important author, whose work is in the public domain.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sunspots 487

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to someone else:
Christianity: R. L. Copple tells us why we are all agnostics.
Computing: Relevant gives some telltale signs that you are on Facebook too much.
Health: Another report, from National Public Radio, on how eating fat isn't as bad for us as we often think it is.
NPR reports that double mastectomies don't really protect against breast cancer any better than other treatments.

Humor: (Not exactly, but I don't have a category for this one) Wired reports on the Crayola Crayon factory.
Science: Wired on what watching movies tells us about how the brain works. The report also mentions experiments on movie watching.
Sports: A two minute, 47 second video of some amazing acrobatic basketball dunks (and juggling).

Image source (public domain)

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Does the Bible really say that? Excerpt from my book, 51

What about the bodily existence of believers, after death? There are some hints about this in scripture, especially in 1 Corinthians 15:

1 Corinthians 15:35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised?” and, “With what kind of body do they come?” 36 You foolish one, that which you yourself sow is not made alive unless it dies. 37 That which you sow, you don’t sow the body that will be, but a bare grain, maybe of wheat, or of some other kind. 38 But God gives it a body even as it pleased him, and to each seed a body of its own. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial differs from that of the terrestrial. 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown perishable; it is raised imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body and there is also a spiritual body.
45 So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However that which is spiritual isn’t first, but that which is natural, then that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, made of dust. The second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the one made of dust, such are those who are also made of dust; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 As we have borne the image of those made of dust, let’s also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood can’t inherit God’s Kingdom; neither does the perishable inherit imperishable.
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable body must become imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable body will have become imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then what is written will happen: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

Paul seems to be describing a physical body, although he uses the term “spiritual body”. The NIV Study Bible (Zondervan, 1995) says this, in a note on verses 42-44:
. . . the apostle says that in the case of the resurrection of the dead, God will take the perishable, dishonorable, weak (and sinful) body – “a natural body” characterized by sin – and in the resurrection make it an imperishable, glorious, powerful body. “Spiritual body” does not mean a nonmaterial body but, from the analogies, a physical one similar to the present natural body organizationally, but radically different in that it will be imperishable, glorious and powerful, fit to live eternally with God.

When Jesus appeared to the twelve, on one occasion, He told Thomas to touch Him:
John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Reach here your finger, and see my hands. Reach here your hand, and put it into my side. Don’t be unbelieving, but believing.”
28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

Thomas didn’t seem to have done so, but apparently he could have, and this, of course, indicates that the body of Jesus, after resurrection, was present in physical form, and was not merely a spirit. Jesus invited the twelve to share breakfast with Him in John 21. He sat at the evening meal with the two disciples in Emmaus in Luke 24. It is not clear as to whether or not He ate and drank in either of these episodes, but it seems to be at least possible that He did so. If He did eat or drink, again, this would be evidence of a physical body, and, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, we will be like Jesus, the last Adam.

I conclude that Jesus had, upon His resurrection, a glorified, but physical, body, and that He still has this, and that believers will also have a glorified physical body.

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 the idea of a new heaven and new earth, is here. God willing, the next post in this series will continue with the appendix to the book. Thanks for reading.

A recent post, not from the book, considered this topic a little more thoroughly.