Andy Miller III
Do We Have Souls? Dr. Steve Blakemore Do We Have Souls? Dr. Steve Blakemore

Do We Have Souls? Dr. Steve Blakemore

May 12 2022


Do humans have souls? How do we think about what constitutes a human? I had a chance to catch up with Dr. Steve Blakemore on this subject. I learned a lot here and I think you will too.

YouTube - https://youtu.be/wjXUv5lAU-s

Audio - https://andymilleriii.com/media/podcast

Apple - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/more-to-the-story-with-dr-andy-miller/id1569988895?uo=4

Here’s a link to Steve’s podcast - https://rumble.com/v12dr6v-the-resurrection-makes-us-all-firsthand-disciples-of-christ.html?mref=23pt7&mc=5snh8

Five Steps to Deeper Teaching and Preaching- - I’m excited to share some news with you. Recently, I updated that PDF document and added a 45-minute teaching video with slides, explaining this tool. It's like a mini-course. If you sign up for my list, I will send this free resource to you. Sign up here -www.AndyMillerIII.com or Five Steps to Deeper Teaching and Preaching.

Today’s episode is brought to you by two sponsors:

Bill Roberts is a financial advisor, who has been serving the retirement planning and investment needs of individuals, families, non-profits, and churches for 25 years. He is a Certified Financial Planner and accredited investment fiduciary. Bill specializes in working with Salvation Army employees and officers by helping them realize their financial goals. You can find out more about Bill’s business at www.WilliamHRoberts.com


AND

Wesley Biblical Seminary - Interested in getting going deeper in your faith, check out our certificate programs, B.A., M.A.s, M.Div., and D.Min degrees. You will study with world-class faculty and the most racially diverse student body in the country. www.wbs.edu

Transcription:

Audio file

MTTS- The Nature of Personhood with Dr. Steve Blakemore.mp3

Transcript

Andy

This is the more to the story podcast with Doctor Andy Miller.

We hope you guys enjoyed today's conversation.

Andy

Welcome to the more to the story.

Andy

Podcast and the.

Steve B. .

Thinking is good for you podcast.

Andy

So we are glad to come together today 'cause I think this is actually was originally my idea to bring Steve on my podcast, but I think that there's a.

Andy

Say that I'm hopeful that this will be something you can use on your podcast too, with your odds, and I hope that our audiences come together because we've come together at Western Biblical seminary.

Andy

We've come together in this room and I think our audiences have a lot in common.

Andy

Yours is much more philosophical, intellectual, and you know, just this really stout group.

Andy

So I'm hopeful that, you know, maybe some of the good things.

Andy

Your audience will rub off on mine and me.

Steve B. .

Well, I I think you're being too generous and too presumptive.

Andy

Maybe, maybe probably.

Andy

Probably it's a little thankful for this opportunity to come together.

Andy

This both of our podcasts are sponsored by Wesley Biblical Seminary, where we are developing trusted leaders for a faithful church.

Andy

And so we're thankful our opportunities.

Andy

We have to serve students who are here.

Andy

We in case you don't know, we can be fully online.

Andy

You could do all of your degrees except for a Doctor of Ministry fully online and one day it makes us distinct is we don't have what's called asynchronous classes.

Andy

Our classes are Poly synchronous, so we have some students who are here right now taking classes in our facility.

Andy

Then we have.

Andy

A function where they're on lines on live zoom with other students and then within 48 hours people will watch a class if they can't be there.

Andy

Live with that class and take it in as opposed to just like watching lectures and never engaging face to face or zoom to zoom with a professor, don't you think that's a good way of going about this type of theological education?

Andy

In our time.

Steve B. .

Well, I think it's the best way to go about theological education in our time, especially since so many people cannot relocate, right?

Speaker 3

OK.

Steve B. .

Because they're working or they're already in ministry or what?

Steve B. .

Uhm, and the thing that makes it the best is that the students actually have the.

Steve B. .

Like they have the option for real life time engagement with their colleagues in the class as well as the instructor and it's the.

Steve B. .

Next best thing to being.

Steve B. .

In physical proximity to one another, because we can actually be.

Speaker 3

Right, right?

Steve B. .

In conscious proximity to one another and have that dynamic filter into the whole learning process.

Andy

And that even intersects.

Andy

With what we're going to talk about today?

Andy

Interesting enough, and so one other thing I want to add to.

Andy

We're offering something really distinct this fall as we with our undergraduate program and we're kind of testing.

Andy

This out, where instead of just buying classes per credit hour or coming in where you would like, you know have a certain fee for so many credit hours.

Andy

We have a subscription model, so for $300 you can sign up and take as many classes as you want in that period.

Andy

So $300 a month you can sign. So go to dubbed. Also we have lay programs and initiatives and opportunities for people to audit classes, so that's a lot on Wesley Biblical Seminary. But now I want to talk about something really important with you. Steve as our philosophical.

Andy

Theologian on our staff like it and our faculty like, there are certain things that we just really depend on you for.

Andy

And we brought some matters to your.

Andy

Mentioned a few months ago actually, and you presented on it.

Andy

I thought it be worth my audience to have a chance to hear from you as you think about what constitutes a human.

Andy

Sometimes it's called theological anthropology.

Andy

What makes up the essence of who we are and?

Andy

This is often really.

Andy

Confused like we talked about or people of body and soul body.

Andy

Told in spirit, some people suggest we're just people of just mad or just bodies.

Andy

So help us think of what are the kind of classical ways that we think about what constitutes humanity.

Steve B. .

So first of all, let's let's make something very clear to our audiences.

Speaker 3

OK.

Steve B. .

This is not a kind of abstruse, abstract, recondite, ethereal, contemplative, contemplative issue, right?

Steve B. .

It really in the modern world.

Steve B. .

Is about as basic as you can be.

Steve B. .

When it comes to this question, do human beings have any aspect of our exist?

Steve B. .

Since that will that will be able to.

Steve B. .

To continue in existence after the death of our.

Andy

Bodies, right? This is huge.

Steve B. .

In modern cognitive science as it's called, which includes consciousness studies in humans but also artificial intelligence.

Steve B. .

But in modern consciousness, cognitive science or brain studies.

Steve B. .

They have noted that whenever a person is in a particular state of consciousness, even a religious state of contemplating God or or worshipping or having any sort of thought whatsoever, there is a portion of your brain that quote UN quote lights up that becomes intensely.

Steve B. .

Active during that period.

Steve B. .

Of mental conscious activity, right?

Steve B. .

So the the question then for the for the materialist, for the person who believes that human being can just be reduced down to all of the material stuff that makes us up.

Andy

Or just cells were just moist?

Andy

Robots are just just made up of materials.

Steve B. .

We're at.

Andy

All of reality is just material.

Steve B. .

Yeah, we're atoms, molecules, cells.

Steve B. .

We're just physical stuff, that's all we are for those kind of people.

Steve B. .

The argument then goes aahe.

Steve B. .

We now know that when the brain is active here.

Steve B. .

It is causing.

Steve B. .

This idea, right?

Steve B. .

It is causing this state of consciousness.

Steve B. .

So if the brain is causing that state of consciousness or that even that thought to occur to you if the brain is doing that when the brain is no longer functional, i.e., at physical death.

Speaker 3

Right?

Steve B. .

Then you don't have anymore consciousness left.

Steve B. .

So for the Christian believer the real the real challenge then is to.

Steve B. .

How do we articulate the Christian doctrine?

Steve B. .

Biblically, based doctrine of the human soul.

Steve B. .

In light of modern day insistence that there's no such thing as consciousness that could transcended bodily death and continue on in some sense, so that's where it's at stake.

Speaker 3

Right?

Steve B. .

So something very fundum.

Steve B. .

Mental to the Christian faith is at stake because if yeah.

Andy

Do we have souls?

Andy

I mean, that's that.

Andy

That's kind of like the if you're like, oh, let's break this down, really, we're saying, do we have something about us that exist beyond our physical bodies?

Andy

Like, do we have souls?

Andy

I mean, it's this is a question that everybody needs to think about at some point.

Andy

I keep going.

Andy

I interrupted you a little bit.

Steve B. .

No, no, that's good.

Andy

I just wanted to like break that down.

Steve B. .

Yeah, that's good.

Steve B. .

So the only way I would change it is instead of saying, do we have souls?

Andy

OK OK, thank you.

Steve B. .

Is I would say this.

Steve B. .

Is there something about us that is spiritual right, not reducible to a material or a fixed physical function?

Steve B. .

Is there something about us that's spiritual, yeah.

Andy

Right, right Soul can bring up all kinds of ideas.

Andy

What people might have like, like it might be like some sort of a movie.

Steve B. .

Like almost Casper the Casper, the friendly ghost kind of outline of you.

Andy

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3

Right, right, right.

Andy

But there there's something, yeah, like spiritual, something beyond the physical world is a part of our.

Steve B. .

Existence there are these people who want to reduce us down to.

Steve B. .

Physical functions that we are just basically meat machines.

Andy

Right, right?

Andy

Well moist robot moist yeah.

Steve B. .

Robots, we they're. They're of course called reductionist's. OK, because they they take something as wondrous and as complex as human consciousness, right? Our the fact that everybody.

Steve B. .

Is conscious of themselves right? So reductionist's want to deny that that consciousness is anything other than.

Steve B. .

The product of a of an activity in your brain.

Steve B. .

Synapses firing electrochemical processes at work, that that's what produces what we think of as our conscious identity.

Steve B. .

OK, if if that's the case, then.

Steve B. .

Then the Christian belief that there is like not only life afterlife after death, but also the possibility of resurrection from the dead as soul is reunited with body.

Speaker 3

Right, right?

Steve B. .

All of those things go out the window right, and therefore if there's no such thing as something, that's me.

Steve B. .

That will exist after my body is dead.

Steve B. .

If there's no such thing as me, essentially somewhere now, then even the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for the sins.

Steve B. .

Of the world makes no sense because if if when every human being dies.

Steve B. .

There's no judgment.

Speaker 3

Right?

Steve B. .

There's no consequence.

Steve B. .

You die proof, that's it.

Steve B. .

So there are a lot of Christian doctrines that are tangled up in this question about whether or not something that we could call the soul.

Steve B. .

Is real so.

Andy

We this is connected then to the even idea that we have.

Andy

Like when we think about.

Andy

To be absent from Paul second Corinthians 5/8 to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. The various concepts that we have like.

Andy

Like this, the existence and you can go back to my podcast where I talk about heaven.

Andy

I have a three part series on Heaven where I kind of layout some illustrations of this, but to be absent from the body is present with the Lord in the intermediate state like before the resurrection body, and we're recording this the day after Easter.

Andy

We celebrate Jesus resurrection and that is ultimately like.

Andy

Looking forward to the opportunity of our the the promise of our own resurrected bodies, but kind of like the.

Andy

The structure of that is of the time frame is if our if we die a natural death before Jesus return like our souls are with Jesus or this spiritual entity.

Andy

Whatever it is that is us in eternity, then comes back in the after the resurrection of the dead and comes back with our bodies.

Andy

OK, I might be getting us off track, but you you?

Andy

Talked about reductionism, sometimes called.

Andy

What else is that comma monism?

Andy

Sometimes, what else?

Andy

Is it called?

Steve B. .

Well, that would be a form of monism, and that monism is the belief that there's only one reality.

Steve B. .

Totally, that's all all encompassing, and that's physical material reality.

Speaker 3

OK.

Andy

Or materialism yeah.

Steve B. .

That's all there is.

Andy

So then then then the second area is like where what you're talking with the Christian, the Orthodox consensual Christian tradition of existing in his body and soul.

Andy

But but let's talk about like other ways that we can think about that or other other terms, like sometimes is called dualism, right?

Andy

And that's not helpful to 'cause everything that connects us to Plato, and we think that there might be a conflict between.

Andy

But talk.

Andy

To us about.

Steve B. .

That, well, let's let's, let's go back.

Steve B. .

Quickly, so we have this new scientific.

Steve B. .

Insight that our brains are actually doing something specific in every state of our mental consciousness on mental awareness.

Speaker 4

OK.

Andy

Right?

Steve B. .

Even when you pray.

Steve B. .

Your brain lights up so.

Steve B. .

The Reductionist's say, therefore your thoughts about God are the product of your brain theory. Your idea that you're in God's presence.

Speaker 3

Right, right, right.

Steve B. .

That's just a feeling that your brain is giving you so in reaction to that, Christian philosophers and Christian theologians.

Steve B. .

Hat began to offer different ways to understand the Christian doctrine of the soul.

Steve B. .

That could that could be harmonized if you will with some of the scientific insights.

Steve B. .

So the first what we're talking we've been talking about so far is reductionism, right?

Steve B. .

So there is this one Christian philosophical.

Steve B. .

It's not just for Christians, but Christians.

Steve B. .

Some Christian philosophers have embraced it.

Steve B. .

They call it non reductive physicalism.

Speaker 3

OK, it's just.

Steve B. .

And in this view, everything about our consciousness is really.

Steve B. .

It really is produced by our brains, so our minds, which they then equate our minds with our soul.

Speaker 3

Right from like.

Andy

It's like when they look at soul and scripture.

Andy

They would say that harmonic.

Steve B. .

Yeah, so they they think that's just mental, conscious, right?

Steve B. .

And so.

Steve B. .

God made us, as I say in my classes over and over again.

Steve B. .

God made us biologically spiritual and spiritually biological.

Speaker 3

Very embodied people.

Steve B. .

Right, we're not angels, and we're not apes.

Steve B. .

Human beings are something in between and the the nonreductive physicalists say OK.

Steve B. .

Within the Christian faith, we can affirm that we are physical creatures through and through, but there's something about the way that the physical processes of our body work, that it produces these non material minds and they say mind equals.

Steve B. .

Soul, these are synonyms.

Steve B. .

It's very important to keep in mind that for people who talk this way, the mind and the soul are a synonym.

Steve B. .

OK, so soul simply means your capacity for consciousness.

Steve B. .

And it can be spiritual consciousness.

Steve B. .

Now the non reductive physicalist say, then the advantage of this is it really emphasizes the importance of the Christian doctrine of the resurrection of the body.

Steve B. .

I because we are meant to be embodied creatures, and I say bravo, yes, you're right.

Speaker 3

Right, right?

Steve B. .

Yeah, the Bible does teach that, and that is what we are essentially.

Steve B. .

However, for the non reductive physicalist.

Steve B. .

Since our minds equals soul, let's remember synonyms.

Speaker 3

Right, right?

Steve B. .

Since our mind soul is the product of our bodily process for the non reductive physicalist.

Steve B. .

When we die, our conscious state of existence.

Steve B. .

Goes out of existence completely.

Andy

Up until the resurrected body.

Steve B. .

Until the resurrected body, however, and what they say is God, who knows everything about you keeps this copy of your consciousness.

Andy

Downloads it, it's in the cloud.

Steve B. .

And downloads it into the resurrected body.

Steve B. .

Interesting from his eternal cloud, right?

Steve B. .

Problem with that for me is this.

Steve B. .

A copy of me.

Steve B. .

Is not me.

Andy

Right, interesting, nothing.

Andy

Nothing continues with it.

Steve B. .

If there's no continuity right between me and the copy.

Steve B. .

Uhm, there was a really interesting movie by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Steve B. .

Called the 6th day, it was about cloning and the downloading of consciousness into cloned bodies.

Andy

Interesting, I've never heard it.

Steve B. .

And there's one character.

Andy

Never heard of it.

Steve B. .

There's one character in the movie she is.

Steve B. .

She is the wife of this Doctor Who developed his consciousness downloading technology and she has died several times.

Steve B. .

From the same disease that he's drastically, drastically trying to cure.

Steve B. .

And this woman that's his wife.

Steve B. .

She's dying again and he wants to download her consciousness again.

Steve B. .

He says, oh, don't worry, I'll bring you back and she starts crying.

Steve B. .

She says don't do it.

Steve B. .

She says I am not wow the person that you married.

Steve B. .

I'm just a copy of her.

Steve B. .

And he's right, that's right that that secular movie is right.

Steve B. .

A copy of me, even if it's an exact copy of me that contains all of my memories.

Andy

It's not you.

Steve B. .

All of my successes, all of my failures, even if it's a copy of me and my relationship with Jesus.

Steve B. .

If when I die, everything about me ceases.

Steve B. .

And there's just, uh, a copy left then that resurrected body that resurrected body is not me.

Steve B. .

Personally, right?

Steve B. .

So that's a real Phyllis theological problem.

Steve B. .

I find with the Christian approach to non reductive physicalism, I know that's a lot.

Andy

So so people have let me see if.

Andy

I can summarize quickly or.

Andy

I'm wrong so reductivism is this idea that we're just like the physical aspects of the world and then some Christians have come along and I know somebody somebody, but my professors through the years have said, OK, well there's a Christian way we can think of this, but it's non reductive physicalism and so they're suggesting that there's a way to think through this where we have this.

Andy

Whatever it is, that's our essence when we die.

Andy

Maybe poofs out, but it'll come back to the resurrected body and the problem with that for you is continuity.

Andy

It doesn't represent like the.

Andy

It's not us.

Andy

There's a copy of us is not as something needs to continue.

Andy

So that leads us to what the?

Steve B. .

So there's no continuity of existence between me.

Steve B. .

Death me post death right?

Steve B. .

And there's no absent from the body present with the Lord.

Steve B. .

Yes, unless they take that exegetically to mean.

Steve B. .

Well, since we'll have no experience of time.

Steve B. .

When we're soon as we die, and then the next, the next thing we know is we're resurrected with the Lord so no continuity is the problem.

Speaker 3

Yeah, yeah.

Steve B. .

So there's another a philosophical theory that some Christian philosophers who might admire greatly.

Steve B. .

William Hasker is one of them.

Steve B. .

They've developed this philosophical framework.

Steve B. .

They call it emergent dualism.

Steve B. .

They take the same starting point as the nonreductive physicalists and they say.

Steve B. .

There's something about us.

Steve B. .

The way that God has constituted our physical bodies that our physical bodies produce out of themselves, a field, an energy like I hate to sound new agey, but it's kind of like an energy field of consciousness.

OK.

Steve B. .

And as an energy field of consciousness it takes on.

Steve B. .

A life of its own.

Steve B. .

It's still been produced by the body.

Steve B. .

So that when the body dies.

Steve B. .

This energy field of consciousness will continue to exist even though it emerged emergent emerged out of the bodily functions, especially the brain chemistry functions of the human physical makeup therefore.

Speaker 3

Right, right?

Steve B. .

And the analogy that they use is the analogy of a black hole.

Steve B. .

In astrophysics, a black hole is conceived of, or at least thought to be a star of some kind that has collapsed in upon itself, so much so that the matter of the star no longer exists.

Steve B. .

But there's still this huge gravitational field.

Steve B. .

It still exists, which was the product originally.

Steve B. .

Of the of the mass of the star, and so in they're saying the field of consciousness could be analogous to this idea of the black hole gravitational field that continues to exist even when the star that produced the gravitational field has collapsed in upon itself.

Steve B. .

And is no more, so they have adopted that version of the soul as something that emerges out of the body.

Steve B. .

There are two things I find wrong with.

Steve B. .

That OK?

Steve B. .

First of all, just like the non reductive physical.

Steve B. .

They equate mind and soul synonymously.

Steve B. .

The soul is nothing but our human spiritual consciousness.

Steve B. .

So that idea of equating mind and soul is is a move that we should not make.

Steve B. .

You know 'cause there's something more to the soul in my.

Steve B. .

View to the.

Steve B. .

Story, yeah, more to the story, yes, and as you think about the more to the story.

Steve B. .

Remember thinking is good for you.

Steve B. .

So there's two quit.

Steve B. .

There's two issues, number one.

Steve B. .

To equate mind and soul.

Steve B. .

Is is in a sense, reductive?

Steve B. .

About what the dynamics of the soul are, the second thing relates to the equation of mind and soul for the emergent duelist.

Steve B. .

They give no explanation of what it could possibly be.

Steve B. .

That would so organize the human body and so enable it to function physically as it does so that it would be able to produce this field of consciousness.

Andy

Right, they're not able to explain how those two things.

Andy

Come together, yeah.

Steve B. .

Yeah, so you look at material stuff.

Steve B. .

There's nothing about all of matter that we know.

Steve B. .

That would say O matter can self organize in order to produce this kind of effect, right?

Andy

Hints, it's kind like the emergent dualism that, like you're saying, like there's nothing in the material world that says something should emerge from it.

Steve B. .

Exactly, yeah.

Steve B. .

So when they say and the argument goes well, the human body becomes complexly organized.

Steve B. .

So that this feature emerges.

Steve B. .

But my question is how do you account in the 1st place for the complexity of organization of the human body?

Steve B. .

What accounts for that?

Steve B. .

It can't be just material principles alone because.

Steve B. .

People like Aristotle were right, matter does not self organize.

Andy

Again, yeah, yeah.

Andy

So you have to move beyond.

Andy

Yeah, just it kind of gleans back into materialism.

Andy

OK, I know some folks might be.

Andy

Saying, oh Andy, this is going too deep if you have to go back and listen to it again, that's fine.

Andy

You could there's a 32nd button you can go backwards and listen, but I think like this again, this is getting into the idea of like what is it about?

Andy

US that continues.

Andy

Just remember how important all this is as we're.

Andy

Working to is.

Steve B. .

OK, keep going OK, the other thing and and with emergent dualism.

Steve B. .

If it functions in the way that it just describes.

Steve B. .

How is it that we are immediately?

Steve B. .

The image of God.

Steve B. .

If there's not something quote UN quote given to us?

Steve B. .

That in eight yeah.

Andy

It's always being added.

Steve B. .

So so that that's another theological issue for me.

Steve B. .

Yeah, sure.

Steve B. .

So now in contrast to that, you mentioned this already.

Steve B. .

And there are multiple.

Steve B. .

Multiple Christian philosophers who embrace this idea.

Steve B. .

Richard Swinburne is among the most well known of them.

Steve B. .

They they embrace what they call substance dualism now once again, with substance dualism.

Steve B. .

What they do is they equate the mind or our consciousness with the term soul, right?

Steve B. .

And that's all that the term soul means, our mind or our consciousness.

Steve B. .

OK, which includes our spiritual consciousness, right, everything but in substance dualism.

Steve B. .

What you have is a body.

Steve B. .

That operates on the principles of the material world, right, right, and then you.

Steve B. .

Have this soul.

Steve B. .

Which is somehow associated with your body.

Steve B. .

Right, it's associated with it.

Andy

Yeah, it's OK.

Steve B. .

It's almost like you have a small version.

Steve B. .

I I call it Casper, the friendly ghost ISM.

Steve B. .

OK.

Steve B. .

You have Casper the you may be too young to remember that cartoon actually, but Casper, the friendly ghost you know is.

Andy

See, I do remember it very briefly, yeah.

Steve B. .

Like this, this outlined ghostly figure.

Steve B. .

So the idea is that somehow we have this soul in us that's kind of driving our bodies, right?

Steve B. .

But we are not really our bodies.

Steve B. .

We are really our souls.

Steve B. .

But for the Christian the the relationship between.

Steve B. .

The this connection.

Steve B. .

Between the soul and body is essential, but ultimately our body is quite secondary.

Steve B. .

Our physical existence is quite secondary to what we really are now.

Steve B. .

People who are listening today will say, well, yeah, of course, that's what I believe.

Steve B. .

That's what the Bible teaches.

Speaker 4

Hold on.

Steve B. .

No, the Bible doesn't actually teach it in those terms.

Steve B. .

This idea of substance dualism has been around for a while.

Steve B. .

It started with Plato, but in the 17th century. In the 1600s, Rene Descartes, who was a Catholic philosopher, he brought it to bear.

Steve B. .

And he was the one who actually reintroduced this thought rigorously into contemporary Christian theology that we are basically essentially our souls, right?

Speaker 3

I think therefore I am.

Steve B. .

Yeah we are.

Steve B. .

We are our souls.

Steve B. .

That's what we are.

Steve B. .

My identity is just my soul and my body is just the place where my soul is located.

Steve B. .

While I'm on this this earth now the other thing about substance dualism is it feeds too quickly into a false understanding of salvation.

Steve B. .

So that we think oh, Jesus came to save my soul.

Steve B. .

So when I die, the real me.

Steve B. .

Leaves the body and goes to be forever with Jesus and some sort of new realm of existence we call heaven.

Speaker 3

Right, right?

Steve B. .

Now, that's not to deny that when we die, we go to be with Jesus, right, right?

Steve B. .

But if we take the Bible seriously, just as you've already alluded to.

Steve B. .

To the doctrine of the physical resurrection of our bodies and the recreated new heaven and new Earth, in which we are once again fully integrated.

Speaker 3

Body and soul.

Steve B. .

Body soul, everything that makes us what we are all of that is what's redeemed.

Steve B. .

And they're also in substance dualism.

Steve B. .

While I think they're in substance dualism, there's always this big question.

Steve B. .

OK, well, if the mind is an immaterial substance.

Steve B. .

And your body is a material substance.

Steve B. .

How does your mind?

Steve B. .

Your soul, how does it cause your body to move like how does my non material me 'cause my material arm to go?

Steve B. .

Hey I want to make a point how does that so there are all these these big questions.

Speaker 3

Right, right?

Andy

Now I would think this idea.

Andy

Of substance dualism also is probably what.

Andy

I maybe I heard a lot.

Andy

I'm not saying that the people who taught these type of things to me or heretics, but it was just this idea that when you die, you just go to be with Jesus and there.

Andy

Wasn't an emphasis.

Andy

Or really any teaching on the resurrected body the the general resurrection at the end of the world as it is in my denomination, like in my denomination, we say we believe in.

Andy

Immortali sold the resurrection resurrection of the body.

Andy

General judgment into the world.

Andy

Well, it's almost as if the resurrection of the body wasn't.

Andy

Mentioned there, I mean, it wasn't really talked about, 'cause it's like you just kind of exist in this ethereal non physical reality, but it misses the real physical nature of like this body.

Andy

This some form of this hand this like as NT Wright talks about, like a kind of a trans physicality of the new heavens and new Earth.

Andy

OK, I'm I'm maybe getting this off track.

Andy

A little bit but but I just highlight this isn't why this is pastoral, like every pastor needs to think about this 'cause you're gonna preach funerals, right?

Andy

You're gonna deal with people like?

Andy

Where am I?

Andy

Where my family member now?

Steve B. .

Yeah, and the answer to that question is if they know the Lord they are with the Lord, whatever that.

Steve B. .

Means that's enough.

Andy

We, yeah we don't.

Steve B. .

That should be enough for us.

Andy

We don't know much.

Andy

More than that, yeah.

Steve B. .

We know that we're with Jesus and if we trust Jesus for salvation now we can trust Jesus for the not knowing, Amen.

Steve B. .

If Jesus is good now, Jesus is good in the intermediate state, Amen.

Steve B. .

The other thing that substance dualism lends itself.

Steve B. .

Two is A is a bad form of Christian spirituality.

Steve B. .

Because if I am really my inner soul.

Steve B. .

My mind, my mental consciousness, my intentions.

Steve B. .

That is the real me and I'm not really my body right then it doesn't need to do this, but it often has fed a very bad form of Christian discipleship and spirituality, in which people can think well, wait a second in my heart.

Steve B. .

I'm right with Jesus, right?

Steve B. .

And so whenever I do these things with my body.

Steve B. .

In my heart I'm still right with Jesus.

Andy

People separate that right, yeah?

Steve B. .

You know the thing about it is Paul tells us to do away with the flesh.

Steve B. .

He doesn't mean do away with the body, he means to bring your bodily desires under the control of the presence of God within all of your existence.

Steve B. .

Yes, so that good works lived outwardly.

Steve B. .

In New Testament terms are not something additional to faith.

Steve B. .

Because we are bodily, spiritual and spiritually bodily biologically spiritual.

Steve B. .

Spiritually biological.

Steve B. .

Because that's the way God made us.

Steve B. .

Obedience with my body.

Steve B. .

Is not something additional to being saved or having faith obedience with my body.

Steve B. .

And doing good works in my body is what faith looks like.

Steve B. .

It's the, it's the manifestation of faith in a biologically spiritual, spiritually biological person, so substance dualism.

Steve B. .

While it has a certain appeal to us because it doesn't have this problem of saying, OK, well, how does how does my soul continue to exist?

Speaker 3

Right?

Steve B. .

Right, it's not as complex as emergent dualism, right?

Steve B. .

It has its own problems, but substance dualism, sort of.

Steve B. .

Is this?

Steve B. .

Immediate kind of appeal to Christians, interesting.

Andy

One way that I think this kind of comes up in my denomination has been when people just say save souls just say.

Andy

Now I have like a kind of theological charity.

Andy

When I hear that type of statement like I I recognize the good of what's being said there, that we want to acknowledge the eternal nature.

Andy

Of somebody's existence, and so therefore we want to emphasize those things that are eternal.

Andy

But often it can lead to some of the challenges that we've already talked about.

Andy

Like we, we forget about the reality of the physical world, and it can neglect Nexus.

Andy

So so do you say go save souls?

Andy

Use those words.

Andy

Should we not say that?

Steve B. .

So when we use the word.

Speaker 3

Soul, yeah.

Steve B. .

The word soul is one of those wiggly words.

Speaker 3

Right?

Steve B. .

Right, it can be.

Steve B. .

It can have this sort of.

Steve B. .

This sort of morphing meaning, so in one sense, while I am not a substance, do list, I don't believe I am simply my soul.

Speaker 3

Right?

Steve B. .

Sort of a hanging around in the location of my body.

Steve B. .

Neither am I an emergent do list.

Steve B. .

And I'm certainly not a non reductive physicalist, but.

Steve B. .

I would say that.

Steve B. .

We could use.

Steve B. .

We could use loosely speaking.

Steve B. .

To say you know what he or she, that's he's a good soul, right?

Speaker 3

Right, right, it's.

Andy

A it's a it's a way of talking about something.

Steve B. .

It's a way of talking, but it's not.

Andy

That's yeah yeah.

Steve B. .

It's not theologically precise, so I I always talk about, not the salvation of souls.

Speaker 3

Right?

Steve B. .

I talk about the salvation of persons.

Speaker 3

Right, right?

Steve B. .

Jesus didn't die to save this non material part of me.

Steve B. .

Jesus died to save everything that I am and everything that I am bought body and soul.

Yeah right yeah.

Speaker 3

Right?

Steve B. .

That is my personhood right?

Steve B. .

Yes, so I talk about we need to be saving persons for Jesus Christ through Jesus Christ by the grace of God in Jesus Christ.

Steve B. .

We need to be telling them about this whole salvation for their whole person.

Speaker 3

Hey man.

Steve B. .

He may, so that's the way I.

Steve B. .

Try to get our students here to begin to think.

Steve B. .

Think about these kind of concepts.

Andy

That's great, I think for the excursus there, so we haven't got to what you.

Andy

The term that you find the most helpful yet I know you might want to go through a few other problems.

Andy

We might be. I want to get to the the last application .2. So what is the? What's the kind of term that you find to be most helpful and accurate and think?

Andy

About the human constitution, well, actually.

Steve B. .

I have listed what I think of the three dominant approaches that I find inadequate and part of the reason I find them inadequate is number 1.

Steve B. .

Substance dualism doesn't really speak to the unity issue, right?

Speaker 3

Right?

Steve B. .

How am I one thing?

Steve B. .

Emergent dualism has the problem with it, while it affirms the continuation of the.

Steve B. .

This mind is whatever it doesn't.

Steve B. .

It doesn't gives us no account for how in the world this spiritual entity could emerge out of this physical stuff, right?

Steve B. .

Right non reductive physicalism fails to account for both.

Steve B. .

How does it?

Steve B. .

How do these conscious states emerge?

Steve B. .

And what in the world would there mean that a copy of me right is resurrected?

Steve B. .

When I was when I was actually started at Wake Forest University, after I left, I'd been in ministry for about five years and I graduated in Asbury and got a great education there at the seminary and the college.

Steve B. .

But when I.

Steve B. .

Went to Wake Forest University.

Steve B. .

I began to read more broadly in philosophy, theology and various Christian traditions.

Steve B. .

And I came across the writings and teachings and the theological and philosophical insights of Thomas Aquinas.

Steve B. .

And in Thomas Aquinas, I found a concept of soul.

Steve B. .

In relationship to body that was very helpful and it's called.

Steve B. .

Here's a big word.

Steve B. .

Hylomorphism HYLOMORPHM.

Andy

And you win the spelling.

Andy

Bee Ding Ding Ding Ding.

Andy

Ding hylomorphism use in a sentence.

Steve B. .

And it it simply says this the soul.

Steve B. .

Is not simply a synonym for my mind or my consciousness because there is something non material.

Steve B. .

That is also spiritual and is the source of life in my material existence.

Speaker 4

You will.

Steve B. .

You call that the soul, which is the form that is the informing, organizing, empowering function, giving purpose, giving life, giving presence to the material stuff that becomes my body, right?

Steve B. .

So that's the form of the body.

Speaker 3

Right?

Steve B. .

But the term form soul means all of those things.

Andy

Now this is kind of connected to the ideas of Aristotle form function.

Steve B. .

Yes, form and matter of form and matter and and function is function is an expression of form right?

Speaker 3

OK.

Steve B. .

So you're right, so form and function are are are linked to one another, so the soul then is this gift from God, which is woven into.

Speaker 3

The body.

Steve B. .

Our very physical existence.

Steve B. .

It's not my mind.

Steve B. .

It's not my consciousness.

Steve B. .

It's not even my ability to think, but the soul produces everything about my body.

Steve B. .

That makes my body capable.

Steve B. .

Of hosting or being related to consciousness being related to a mind that will exist, right?

Steve B. .

So when I'm when I am, when I am born.

Steve B. .

I am a fusion of this spiritual dynamic of the soul, which makes me able to be what I am now.

Steve B. .

I find this far more consistent with the with the large scope of Christian of Christian thought that.

Steve B. .

That first of all, you can even harmonize it with something like Genesis Chapter 2.

Steve B. .

Sure, right?

Steve B. .

God breathes into this man that he had formed, but he breathes into this man his own spiritual life, right?

Steve B. .

And it's in that.

Steve B. .

Breathing that Adam becomes Nefesh a living being, not a living soul, nefesh means a living being.

Speaker 3

Right?

Steve B. .

This dirt doll becomes a spiritual entity bearing the image of God, right?

Steve B. .

So I find hylomorphism and the hylomorphic view of the soul much more amenable to Christian teaching overall than any of these other three options because there's something at the very beginning that comes from God.

Steve B. .

It comes to us through our parents, but it comes from God.

Steve B. .

To shape my body and my physical existence, but also enable my mental consciousness, my rational thinking and my spiritual.

Steve B. .

Ability to relate to God.

Steve B. .

All of that comes from the beginning.

Steve B. .

It doesn't emerge later.

Steve B. .

And it's not something distinct from my body, but it's something that enables my body to be the kind of body that it needs to be for me to be biologically spiritual and spiritually biological.

Speaker 3

In spirit yes yes yes.

Steve B. .

Neither in Angel as in like substance dualism, but not in.

Steve B. .

Ape, sort of like non reductive or reductive physicalism.

Andy

Nice soul mate theology here he made him a little them a little lower than the angels, crowned him with glory and honor.

Steve B. .

Yes, exactly.

Steve B. .

And so the other thing I would say about this is the more.

Steve B. .

That we discuss.

Steve B. .

In contemporary science about the function of DNA and genetics and the epigenome, what we now have discovered is that the DNA is a molecule.

Steve B. .

And it's a molecule that has on it.

Steve B. .

All of these paired amino acids.

Steve B. .

But that's a physical thing.

Steve B. .

It's not the source of life, it is simply a communication mechanism because expressed into every cell of your body.

Steve B. .

Is informtation.

Andy

Hmm, interesting interesting.

Steve B. .

Inform Haitian right and it is this process.

Steve B. .

Nobody knows what life is scientist, molecular chemist chemists.

Steve B. .

None of them can explain how life arises.

Right?

Steve B. .

Much left describe what life is, but the more we discover about the human genome.

Steve B. .

I have begun to become convinced that this hylomorphic, biblically interpreted, view of the soul that there's something that comes from God that enables us to be the kind of physical spiritual creatures that we are from the beginning.

Steve B. .

This is not only more.

Steve B. .

Adequate for biblical and Christian theology, but it actually has a resonance with what we are learning now about genetic science that this information that is communicated this process of life that is infused through the DNA.

Steve B. .

Material molecule.

Steve B. .

Is information life giving information?

Steve B. .

It can't be reduced to the DNA molecule and it's immaterial, so I find it for apologetic purposes.

Andy

Right, it's not anything in itself.

Andy

Yeah, yeah.

Steve B. .

I have engaged any number of atheists.

Steve B. .

Scientists on this whole thing and I said, have you never understood?

Steve B. .

The Christian doctrine of Hylomorphism and how it fits with what we understand going on in genetic science and its kind.

Speaker 3

Oh, awesome.

Steve B. .

I never thought about that.

Steve B. .

I'll have to rethink some things.

Steve B. .

So does that make any hope that makes sense?

Andy

Interesting, yeah I love it.

Andy

I love it now.

Andy

You have a real kind of practical way that this works its way out in some of the.

Andy

Challenges our world is experiencing right now.

Andy

Like even the challenges of transsexualism, transgenderism and transhumanism, I do, we don't have too long 'cause we've it takes a while look, folks.

Andy

It takes a while to unpack some of this stuff, but it is worth it for us to work through to get to this idea of like what the Bible describes, how the Bible doesn't say.

Andy

You know, after Luke does his introduction and I'm going to give you an adequate accounting and I've really looked into this.

Andy

This is hylomorphism.

Andy

This is the the discipline of philosophy and we can then take that discipline to observe the universe and observe what's going on in the universe and then use that as a way to.

Andy

OK, this explains it has explanatory scope beyond what we what we see in Scripture, but it's not not incredibly clear.

Andy

At the same time, it probably does the best at taking all of these various things and put them together.

Andy

So talk to us about the I, I know I I probably said something I wanted to get you.

Andy

I want to talk about some of the trans.

Steve B. .

Yeah, yeah, yeah yeah, that's great.

Steve B. .

Well, let's think about this.

Steve B. .

Just a

Steve B. .

Moment if we are made by this hylomorphic soul from God, right front, that means from the very beginning God gives us something that makes us biologically.

Steve B. .

Have a biological identity?

Steve B. .

Yes, that's directly related to the spiritual identity.

Steve B. .

He wants us to have.

Steve B. .

Right, and So what does the Book of Genesis say?

Steve B. .

Says God created man, male and female, right in the image of God, he created them.

Andy

Male and female.

Steve B. .

OK, so if you take like genetic science?

Steve B. .

And you weave into it.

Steve B. .

This Christian theology of Hylomorphism.

Steve B. .

We say wait a minute to exist in the world.

Steve B. .

Is to exist as one of two kinds of human beings genetically, but also spiritually.

Steve B. .

It doesn't mean that men have a higher spirituality or women have a lower or women, or more spiritually, it means we are just designed physically to be biologically spiritual before.

Speaker 3

Right, right?

Steve B. .

God and spiritually biological.

Steve B. .

What transgenderism has done.

Steve B. .

Is it has taken a jump to say, wait a second, right?

Steve B. .

The idea that we have some sort of and Christians who embrace it, they take the idea that somehow someone's mental consciousness.

Steve B. .

Someones mental sense of identity is all their soul is and therefore who am I to say who that person is really on the inside?

Steve B. .

It's like a it's like a it's like an abused version of substance dualism.

Steve B. .

What I am really on the inside is what I really am who I understand myself to be emotionally, subjectively, inwardly.

Steve B. .

That's who I really am and my body.

Steve B. .

Is not related to that.

Andy

It's a separation.

Andy

It's a rejection of the unity between body and soul.

Steve B. .

That's why many people have said modern day Christians who embrace transgenderism.

Steve B. .

And defend it for other people are basically guilty of a kind of Gnosticism where spiritually we are what we really are and our bodies are just quite subsequent or irrelevant to our real identity, right?

Andy

Interesting so so then like I I was going to go on the next.

Steve B. .

And when it comes to oh, go ahead.

Andy

Do you want to say anything else about transgender?

Steve B. .

No no I.

Steve B. .

Don't, that's true.

Andy

So the transhuman this is.

Andy

This is the interesting thing.

Andy

Then you've been the.

Andy

Only person I've heard really talk.

Andy

About this and I forever reason.

Andy

Maybe it's like we're filled up with all the issues of the sexual revolution and they're they're front and Center for sure, and the life of the church United Methodist Church is like as we're talking right now is like it will be splitting here in the next few.

Andy

Other denominations are dealing with that, so it's right that we think through that.

Andy

But you you're kind of looking down the Pike and you see transhumanism being another way that this uncritical way of looking at, well, bad theology of the body, is a concern.

Andy

So what's what's this issue with transhumanism?

Steve B. .

Well is simply what it says.

Steve B. .

And endeavour to transcend.

Steve B. .

Our now limited humanity and it's built upon a basically materialist view.

Steve B. .

Of human existence and transhumanism says this, since we are just the product of random evolution, right?

Steve B. .

Or there are some Christians who embrace transhumanism and they say, since we are the process.

Steve B. .

We are the product of theist IC.

Steve B. .

Yeah evolution now that we have become conscious of ourselves and of able to develop technologies.

Steve B. .

It is perfectly right for us.

Steve B. .

This way Christians argue perfectly right for us to begin to develop technologies that would enable us.

Steve B. .

To undo death.

Steve B. .

So that death will be undone so that the limitations of our human existence will be undone.

Steve B. .

Essentially what they're saying is and some of the versions of transhumanism talk about uploading your consciousness into some digital construct and then downloading it into a new biological entity that is also infused with various sorts of cyber nanotechnology which enables.

Speaker 3

Right?

Steve B. .

The digital view to then really continue to exist in a physical body that will no longer be subject to death, and people say, oh, that's just science fiction.

Steve B. .

No, this stuff is going on as a matter of fact, any of you want to get in touch with me, I'll be glad to share with you.

Steve B. .

The timeline of development.

Steve B. .

With the transhumanist movement from the early 20th century until today, and this is the new and great challenge that Christians are going to have.

Steve B. .

To face.

Andy

Is it kind of an argument against though?

Andy

OK, well, you know people have developed medicine through the years.

Andy

I mean, we might not be here, you know, before there was a sense of like even germ theory.

Andy

Isn't this just the next step?

Andy

In that Steve Yep.

Steve B. .

People do argue that way.

Steve B. .

Here's the here's the limitation though.

Steve B. .

First of all, two things.

Steve B. .

If God made us in his image biologically spiritual and spiritually biological, and he says I have a will for your lives and this world, the way I made it.

Steve B. .

And even though this world is fallen and death has entered this world, I am using death to be a discipline over your life so that you will have to come to the end of yourself and look beyond yourself and say, is this all that life means?

Steve B. .

So for Christians who say, well, we've we've created technologies to cure diseases.

Steve B. .

This is just one other step.

Steve B. .

I say wait a second.

Steve B. .

You are denying some fundamental realities theologically that are deeply.

Steve B. .

Biblical so that argument fails on that debt.

Andy

Death that death.

Andy

Is a theological reality that God is put into the world that we.

Steve B. .

Yeah death death.

Steve B. .

Put it.

Steve B. .

God put it there and he's using it right and it's the last enemy he will be removed by Christ, right?

Andy

Right death will die.

Andy

Yeah yes.

Steve B. .

So if you live forever in this body, you don't need that doctrine or the resurrection of the body, right so?

Speaker 3

Anything you say?

Steve B. .

Christian transhumanists tend to reduce the idea of resurrection of the body down to a metaphor.

Steve B. .

Now second.

Steve B. .

So that's that's one thing theologically, the second thing, however, is we need to make a strong distinction.

Steve B. .

A category distinction between technologies that are.

Steve B. .

Therapeutic and restorative.

Steve B. .

Versus technologies that are intent on transcending and changing our humanity.

Andy

OK.

Steve B. .

Doxia so penicillin enabled us to fight off infections right to be able to live fuller lives in our bodies, right, right as we were created, you could say that.

Steve B. .

About other things, like even deep implants, a brain implant.

Steve B. .

Plants and that give Electro like electric.

Steve B. .

I hate to use the word shock.

Steve B. .

But impulses right?

Steve B. .

The people that help control Parkinson's tremors.

Speaker 3

Yeah, yeah.

Steve B. .

OK, that's restorative therapy.

Steve B. .

It's not trans sending our humanity, so when people make that argument.

Steve B. .

I just say.

Steve B. .

You've made a category error.

Steve B. .

There's a difference between therapies that are restorative.

Steve B. .

And healing and technologies that are intent on creating making us into different kinds of beings.

Steve B. .

That's what transhumanism means, a new kind of being that emerges out of the frail fall.

Speaker 3

Right?

Steve B. .

The frail weak.

Steve B. .

Cute humanity that we now have.

Andy

Wow, this is so intense and so helpful Steve.

Andy

Thank you so much and I want to encourage folks to think about next fall fall.

Andy

In case you're watching this 10 years from now on YouTube.

Andy

And I I'm.

Andy

In fall of 2022 will be teaching a class and Steve's teaching. A class will be will be offering class. Steve will be teaching a class.

Andy

On death and dying now, this is a philosophical course and likely dealing with some of these issues, like dealing with the reality of death, how death is important, but.

Andy

Also, a practical course in dealing like how we preach funeral sermons, how we deal with people and counsel people when they're losing a loved one.

Andy

So this is like anything else, you want to say about that class, but people could audit it and we'd encourage you to do it.

Steve B. .

No, I would just say this and I'm not bragging about myself at all because I'm an inadequate vessel. But the students that have taken this class across the 22 years that I've taught here at Wesley Biblical any number.

Steve B. .

Of them noted this class as one of the Seminole classes that helped them in pastoral ministry that helped them no longer be afraid of death.

Steve B. .

No longer be afraid of talking about death.

Steve B. .

No longer be afraid of.

Steve B. .

Of facing death and dealing with dying people so it does have this real practical benefit to it, even though I try to dive into some deep waters.

Andy

Yeah, and this would be a class that you could audit, so those of you already graduated seminary, but maybe this would be a great one for you to step in and just participate in this class.

Andy

There's a lot of other things.

Andy

I'm sure that we've both generated a lot of questions, but thank you so much for coming on and explaining kind of the distinctions in the human constitution and how that's working its way out in some of the issues we're dealing with the sexual revolution.

Andy

But then secondly was even coming down the Pike, preparing us to be able to come up with arguments to defend the hope that we have, and the hope that.

Andy

We have is in our resurrected bodies.

Andy

Right, right.

Andy

And so this is a new heaven and a new Earth will be no more.

Andy

Tears, no.

Andy

More crying than no more.

Andy

Pain no more death.

Steve B. .

You're full blown, resurrected personhood and your body perfectly transformed.

Speaker 3

Hey man.

Steve B. .

To be like Jesus resurrected body, I mean that's our that's our glorious hope, yeah.

Andy

Trans physicality is a helpful way I've.

Steve B. .

Exactly, not transhumanism but trans.

Speaker 3

Right?

Andy

All these trans is.

Steve B. .

Transcending the limitations of of our physical existence, but only as a gift of God's grace.

Andy

Yeah, thank you so much for checking out the Mortis Story podcast and the.

Steve B. .

Thinking is good for you podcast.

Andy

We're really glad.

Andy

To have you or would you subscribe or share this with somebody?

Andy

That would help us spread the news and I just want to encourage folks.

Andy

If you can, go to Andy Miller at third com. If you sign up for my email list, I will send you a free 45 minute teaching and document. That's five five steps to deeper teaching. Don't mean I'm not saying it very well. Five steps.

Andy

To deeper teaching and preaching, I think you'll really enjoy that. So check that out, andymiller.com. God bless you.


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