11 December 2009

Vos: 'Supernormal' Resurrection

The basic thesis of Geerhardus Vos' The Pauline Eschatology (1930) is that in considering the structure of Paul's thought we ought not to view eschatology as that which has to do with the very end of time, last things, the final 10% of a systematic theology text. Rather, eschatology has been launched back into the present and pervades every dimension of soteriology. Eschatology is the presence of the future, now--it is not just eschat-ology but esch-arti-ology--in Vos' helpful words, the kingdom is here provisionally, though not yet absolutely (258-59).

Here's some good stuff on the resurrection, a theme running through the whole book.

Bodily the resurrection certainly is, and every attempt to de-physicize it, so often inspired by a dislike of the supernatural on its material side, amounts to an exegetical tour de force, so desperate as to be not worth losing many words over. . . . There is not a simple return of what was lost in death; the organism returned is returned endowed and equipped with new powers; it is richer, even apart from the removal of its sin-caused defects. The normal, to be sure, is restored, but to it there are added faculties and qualities which should be regarded supernormal from the standpoint of the present state of existence. . . . According to 1 Cor 15:45-49 believers shall bear after Christ the image He Himself obtained in his own resurrection.

--Geerhardus Vos, The Pauline Eschatology (Princeton University Press, 1930; repr., P&R, 1994), 154-55

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