You’re a Soul Man (Seriously)

11673999364_2d9346a45a_oIn school, I am studying about the soul and how it relates to the body. While most of the things I’m writing for school would bore most people (sometimes myself included!), my reading has reinforced some important things the Bible says about the soul, and we all should be reminded of such truths. Here are some:

  1. You have a soul. (See Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7; Matthew 16:26; James 5:20.)
  2. While you cannot observe your soul empirically, you can observe its effects directly: Your human soul makes you different from non-living things, accounting for your rationality and willing as well as your body’s nutritive and sensitive capacities. (See Genesis 35:18; Leviticus 26:15; Deuteronomy 11:18; Proverbs 24:12; Luke 10:27.)
  3. Your rational capacity (including the will) is not totally determined by natural laws. That is, you can make decisions for yourself—you can initiate causal chains. (See Matthew 22:37.)
  4. Without your soul, your body is dead. (See Genesis 35:18; James 2:26.)
  5. With the exceptions of times when you are unconscious, your soul is always in the process of turning toward Christ or away from Him; you have control over which way your soul turns. (See Deuteronomy 4:9; Deuteronomy 11:13; Psalms 84:2.)
  6. At least the rational aspect of your soul is immortal. When the Lord returns, your body will be reconstituted in some way, and so the aspects of the soul accounting for sensation and nutrition may be either changed or no longer necessary. (See Matthew 10:28; Matthew 18:8; 1 Corinthians 15:52; 2 Corinthians 4:17.)
  7. Your soul will spend eternity in either heaven or hell. (See Luke 16:19-31; Psalms 23:6; Matthew 10:28; 1 Thessalonians 5:23.)

Every part of this is controversial nowadays, but the controversy largely stems from number 3 and number 6 above. Many people find it hard to believe that the human being has a separable, rational principle. Why would this seem hard to believe? For those who believe in large-scale evolution and that there is nothing real except for material objects, it is contradictory to believe in the soul as the Bible describes it. However, there are good reasons, even independent of what the Bible says, to believe that each human being has a rational principle that is not totally governed by natural laws, and that it is associated with life that is above nature. For a brief discussion of this point, see my article, What You Said When You Were Under.

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- 2017