Monday, July 10, 2006

Tatian on Resurrection

Although I have not yet formed my beliefs regarding resurrection and have set aside all manner of decision until I have read The Resurrection of the Son of God by Tom Wright (which will be the essential and pivotal foundation wherewith my beliefs about resurrection will be formed and solidified), if I were to state my current thoughts, they would echo precisely what a Christian of the second century once said...
For just as, not existing before I was born, I knew not who I was, and only existed in the potentiality of fleshly matter, but being born, after a former state of nothingness, I have obtained through my birth a certainty of my existence; in the same way, having been born, and through death existing no longer, and seen no longer, I shall exist again, just as before I was not, but was afterwards born.
--Tatian, Address to the Greeks, 6
Tatian believed (and said this not of himself alone, but of "we"--many other Christians), that a person only exists when he/she has a body. He/she does not exist before birth and once dead, will exist no longer until that day Yahweh raises him/her up corporeally to judgment.

This is exactly the way my thoughts run. I do not believe in an eternal soul. And neither do I believe in a heaven or hell outside resurrection. (I'm not entirely sure I believe in heaven or hell anyway...but that's tangential.) Only Yahweh is eternal. Therefore, if man be eternal, it can only occur through Yahweh making man to be so above and beyond mankind's current state in creation. Thus resurrection and the glorification of creation itself.


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