Soul not Inherently Indestructible It was hinted that one use which the Greeks made of the metaphysical argument was to prove the indestructibility of the soul-its immortality in the sense of having no beginning and no end. This is not the Christian doctrine. The soul has no such inherent indestructibility.
It is dependent on God, as everything else is, for its continued existence. Did He withdraw His sustaining power, it would cease to exist. That it does continue to exist is not doubted, but this must be argued on other grounds. A much more apprehensible argument for immortality-more strictly, of a future state of existence-is drawn from the rich capacities and possibilities of human nature, for which the earthly life affords so brief and inadequate a sphere of exercise.
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It is the characteristic of spirit that it has in it an element of infinitude, and aspires to the infinite. The best the world can give can never satisfy it. It has in it the possibility of endless progress, and ever higher satisfaction. It was this consideration which led Kant, with all his theoretical skepticism, to give immortality a place among his "doctrinal beliefs" see his Critique of Pure Reason, Bohn's translation, , and moved J.
Yet when these arguments are calmly weighed, they amount to no more than a proof that man is constituted for immortality; they do not afford a guarantee that this destiny might not be forfeited, or if they yield such a guarantee for the good, they hardly do so for the wicked. The belief, in their case, must depend on other considerations. It is, as Kant also felt, when we enter the moral sphere that immortality, or the continued existence of the soul, becomes a practical certainty to the earnest mind. With moral personality is bound up the idea of moral law and moral responsibility; this, in turn, necessitates the thought of the world as a moral system, and of God as moral Ruler.
The world, as we know it, is certainly a scene of moral administration-of probation, of discipline, of reward and penalty-but as obviously a scene of incomplete moral administration. The tangled condition of things in this life can satisfy no one's sense of justice. Goodness is left to suffer; wickedness outwardly triumphs.
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The evil-doer's own conscience proclaims him answerable, and points to future judgment. There is need for a final rectification of what is wrong here. But while a future state seems thus called for, this does not of itself secure eternal existence for the wicked, nor would such existence be "immortality" in the positive sense. In view of the mystery of sin, the lamp of reason grows dim.
For further light we must look to revelation. The Biblical Doctrine-the Old Testament. Man, as made in the image of God Genesis , is fitted for the knowledge of God, for fellowship with Him. This implies that man is more than an animal; that he has a life which transcends time.
In it already lies the pledge of immortality if man is obedient. Man's Nature.
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With this corresponds the account given of man's creation and original state. Man is a being composed of body and soul; both are integral parts of his personality. He was created for life, not for mortality. The warning, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" Genesis , implies that if man continued obedient he would live. But this is not an immortality of the soul only. It is a life in the body compare Genesis Sin and Death: The frustration of this original destiny of man comes through sin. Death in its physical aspect is a separation of soul and body-a breaking up of the unity of man's personality.
In one sense, therefore, it is the destruction of the immortality which was man's original destiny.
It does not, however, imply the extinction of the soul. That survives, but not in a state that can be called "life. This is not future "life"-not "immortality. Had the world been left to develop in sin, no further hope could have come to it. The picture of Sheol would have become ever darker as the idea of retribution grew stronger; it could never become brighter.
God's mercy breaks in on the hopelessness of man's lot. He gives to man His promises; makes His covenant with man; admits man to His fellowship Genesis ; Genesis ; Genesis ; Genesis , 9 ; ; Genesis 15 , etc. In this fellowship the soul was raised again to its true life even on earth.
But this held in it also a hope for the future. The promises placed in the forefront as tokens of God's favors were indeed predominatingly temporal-promises for this life-but within these the kernel within the shell was the supreme possession of God Himself Psalm ; Psalm This held in it the hope of redemption and the principle of every good.
Deliverance from Sheol. Here we reach the core of the Old Testament hope of immortality. Such fellowship as the believer had with God could not be lost, even in Sheol; beyond that was deliverance from Sheol.
In their highest moments it was this hope that sustained patriarchs, psalmists, prophets, in their outlook on the future. Doubt might cloud their minds; there might be seasons of darkness and even despair; but it was impossible in moments of strong faith to believe that God would ever really desert them. The eternal God was their dwelling-place; them were everlasting arms Deuteronomy ; compare Psalm Their hope of immortality, therefore, was, in principle, the hope not merely of an "immortality of the soul," but likewise of resurrection-of complete deliverance from Sheol.
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Thus it is clearly in the impassioned outburst of Job ; compare , and in many of the psalms. The hope always clothes itself in the form of complete deliverance from Sheol. Thus in Psalm , the wicked have their portion "in this life," but, "As for me, I shall behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness" the American Standard Revised Version "with beholding thy form" ; and in Psalm , the wicked are "appointed as a flock for Sheol," but "God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol; for he will receive me" same expression as that regarding Enoch, Genesis ; compare Psalm It will be remembered that when Jesus expounded the declaration, "I am the God of Abraham," etc.
The idea comes to final expression in the declaration in Daniel of a resurrection of the just and unjust So, no babies, not now. No charming orphans of any age.
No pregnancy scares, no miscarriages, no foundlings, no street-wise kid who needs a good home. Did I leave anything out? If so, fill it in, then answer no I'm sorry some readers are disappointed I'm not taking the series and the characters in this direction, but I'm not. Repeat: I. I don't agree, and I write the books. When will Eve and Roarke have a baby? Nora has said repeatedly that a baby would signal the end of the series.
In her opinion, a baby changes everything for the better and the focus of the series would change radically. In no way does this mean Nora thinks a mother can't be an excellent police officer or attorney or any other type of professional. It does mean that many of the things readers love about Eve and Roarke's life together would change i. Judgment in Death. Penguin Publishing Group.
Visions in Death.
Topical Bible: Immortal
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