13 June 2010

Gaffin on 'Natural' vs 'Spiritual' (1 Cor 15:42ff)

So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural [psychikos] body; it is raised a spiritual [pneumatikos] body. If there is a natural [psychikos] body, there is also a spiritual [pneumatikos] body. Thus it is written, 'The first man Adam became a living being' [Gen 2:7]; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. --1 Cor 15:42-45
Richard Gaffin comments:
It continues to be necessary to point out in the face of widespread and persistent misunderstanding that 'spiritual' does not refer to the make-up of the resurrection body, to the immaterial substance of which it is composed. Rather, that adjective is Paul's single label of choice for the resurrection body with its glory because it most adequately and appropriately describes the body that has been perfected with the effects of sin entirely eradicated by the activity of the Holy Spirit. In view is the transmuted but genuinely physical character of the believer's resurrection body, the eschatologically transformed physicality of the believer's person by the Spirit. The work of the Spirit with and in the believer reaches its culmination in the resurrection of the body.(The Glory of God, p. 141)
This is the second volume in the Theology in Community series edited by Robert Peterson and Chris Morgan and published by Crossway. I find just about everything Dr. Gaffin writes refreshing and illuminating; this is the most instructive piece in the volume, for me. He has actually helped me turn a big corner in my understanding of Paul and eschatology and resurrection, especially in conjunction with Greg Beale, but that's another post.

Thanks for this, Dr. Gaffin, and keep it coming.

And thanks for the good series, Drs. Peterson and Morgan. You're serving us well. And it's great to see a Reformed Presbyterian who wrote a dissertation on Calvin and a Baptist with a PhD from Mid-America Baptist Seminary work together on theologically serious stuff, united together in a love for the gospel, Christ, and the church.

No comments: