The Creed – The Resurrection of the Dead, pt.2

Tonight we are concluding our discussion of the Nicene Creed. Please read Chapter 8 of Luke Timothy Johnson’s The Creed: What Christians Believe and Why it Matters. (You will have to read Chapter 9 on “Creedal Christianity” on your own.) 

In the Nicene Creed, we affirm the “resurrection of the Dead.”  The Apostles (Baptismal) Creed makes it explicit that “Resurrection” means a physical resurrection of the body itself.  In the Greek philosophical tradition, the body is seen as a prison for the spirit, and at death, the spirit is finally liberated. When we die our body is left behind allowing our souls to ascend heavenward.  But Christianity is different. We view the body as something good and carefully formed by God. Gen. 2.  Paul writes that our body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit intended to glorify God. 1 Cor. 6:19-20.  He will later write that although we may groan in this tent, our hope is not to be unclothed, but to be fully clothed in the glory of the Resurrection. 2 Cor. 5:1-5. Our hope is not a disembodied soul, but a perfectly embodied soul.  The Church sees the human body, which Christ himself took on, to be something good but which will be transformed in the life to come. 1 Cor. 15:25-49. The body isn’t something to be carelessly discarded, but to be renewed.  If you have the opportunity today, please read Paul’s extended discourse on the nature of the resurrected body in 1 Corinthians 15. If you have additional time, I have attached Rufinus’ A Commentary on the Apostle’s Creed concerning this affirmation. (para. 41-48) (pp.78-86)(Rufinus quotes extensively from 1 Cor. 15.) Rufinus was a 4th century Italian monk and his writing gives us a unique insight into the beliefs on this particular issue of the church in Late Antiquity, and hopefully, his commentary may address your questions as well.

SCHEDULE:  Tonight we conclude “The Creed”. February 28 is Shrove Tuesday and we are not gathering here. March 7 we begin C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce.  If you need a book, please let us know.   

Dinner is at 6. The menu is BBQ pork and mashed potatoes. Discussion at 6:45. Hope to see you here.

Therefore prophesy, and say to them, “Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel.   And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people.  I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”

Ezekiel 37:12-14

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