Download PDF by Paul Badham: Christian Beliefs About Life After Death

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By Paul Badham

ISBN-10: 1349030139

ISBN-13: 9781349030132

ISBN-10: 1349030155

ISBN-13: 9781349030156

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It may also however, and perhaps better, be taken as in principle the result of tensions and problems within Judaism itself. ' 125 If we look at the New Testament without the a priori supposition that all first century Jews must have believed in the physical resuscitation of our corpses, we find considerable evidence pointing to a much more spiritual understanding of a future life than the New Testament has been given credit for. In the only categorical statement Jesus is reported to have made about the resurrection state, he described the pharisaic position as 'quite wrong' 126 and described resurrection life in terms of being 'like angels in heaven.

60 Streeter's suggestion has been taken up by Archdeacon Michael Perry in his work The Easter Enigma in which he argues that the appearances of Jesus can be understood as veridical hallucinations, telepathically induced in the disciples' minds by Jesus' surviving soul. 61 The advantages of this theory can best be understood by considering some of the findings which have been made about such phenomena by the Society for Psychical Research. M. Tyrell analysed 1684 reports of 'Appar-itions' gathered by this society.

But is the notion of retributive justice valid? Do we still believe that a moral order requires that there be a balance between punishment and sin? I suggest that such ideas find few defenders today. To most of us, punishment seems better' defended as a means to reform the offender or as a deterrent. Punishment is seen as a regrettable necessity, not a good cancelling out an evil to restore a moral balance in the universe. Hence I believe that the notion of raising a man from the dead simply that he might be punished for the evil he committed during his life seems an obnoxious doctrine to most people today; especially since eternal punishment must of necessity be infinitely out of proportion to any conceivable crime.

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Christian Beliefs About Life After Death by Paul Badham

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