REFORMATION THESES #25-26
Thesis #25 of 95. Since the soul and spirit are immortal the human psyche cannot be confined to the physical brain
Thesis #26 of 95. For the soul/spirit that leaves the human body when the brain dies is itself an intellectual entity with a memory of its bodily existence
Luke16:25 – Abraham said (to the rich man in Hades), Child, REMEMBER that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; consequently [νῦν] he is being comforted here whilst you are in agony
Rom7:22-23 – I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man but I perceive a different law in my bodily members warring with the law in my mind and bringing me into captivity to the sinful law that is in my bodily members
It may be stating the obvious to some, but if one believes in an afterlife then our motivations whilst in human flesh potentially derive from two sources: the brain (that wondrous organ in our head that is nevertheless heading for the grave) and the internal “psyche” or whatever you wish to call the intellectual, memory-retaining spiritual entity that leaves the body after death – for it is itself an intellectual memory retaining entity (Lk16:25). So, within fallen man there are two psychological motivating forces in tension as Paul teaches in Romans chapter 7. They have opposing laws or governing principles: “For I am gratified by the law of God in my inner man, but I perceive a different law in my bodily members warring with the law in my mind and bringing me into captivity to the sinful law that is in my bodily members” (Rom7:23). Clearly our “bodily members” are not laws to themselves – Paul is referring to the bodily senses as they are processed through the brain.
The point the apostle is making which few have grasped is that our sinful inclinations derive from the procreated intellectual vessel, not the eternal spirit, “inner man” or “heart” as it is elsewhere described. As creationists better understand, the spirit/soul has been provided by God and is governed by the spiritual faculty we know of as conscience. I say “spiritual” for it is not identifiable within the brain itself; indeed, it has only relatively recently been clearly ascertained which part of that organ is responsible for processing the conscience’s responses [note#1].
A spiritual faculty indeed, for as Paul himself affirms in Rom2:14-15 (NIV/NASB not the KJV), the conscience witnesses to the Law that God has placed in the “heart”/inner man/spirit, enabling many who are devoid of a particular creed to do by nature what God’s Law would wish them to. [The KJV amongst others obscures that facet of natural law in Rom2:14 – the Greek will not permit it]. But as a result of the Fall, the instincts of the brain itself no longer accord with God’s law as reflected in the conscience. The fleshly organ’s instincts have become concupiscent, i.e., lustful for the things pertaining to this currently disordered world (1Jn2:16).
I refer to this issue a lot for it pertains to what the Christian is being saved from (Rom7:24). As for what such salvation is for, it is in order that as the first fruits of God’s new created order (Jam1:18) we might, through an interest in the Saviour’s blood and a purified conscience, serve the living God even whilst in human flesh (Heb9:14). That in turn is so that those predestined to the role become conformed to the image of God’s Son (Rom8:29), with souls ready to be incorruptibly reclothed and maritally associated with Him in the ages to come (Rev19:6-7).
Note #1 – The “lateral frontal pole prefrontal cortex” appears to be responsible for the processing of moral decisions and empathetic responses. Amongst mammals, only humans possess this feature which is not the conscience itself (for that is spirit) but the area of the brain in which its promptings are processed. It is an area of the brain that has been found to be clearly and visually underdeveloped in the case of certain psychopaths that have been studied, for in their case there is less to process.
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