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God Is a Physical Being

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by JAL, May 17, 2020.

  1. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    What do you mean by God has a body? I am in some sense two parts (a living sentient soul and an unconscious body) although both tangible in my view.

    God is just the (tangible) divine Soul. He has no unconscious body, at least not by default, although Christ acquired such at the Incarnation.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  2. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    What evidence do you have for the supernatural? I'm not saying you have to prove it 100%, but can you name any facts of Scripture that at least would seem to be impossible to explain in physical terms? Not sure what I'm overlooking here.
     
  3. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Maybe post 41 would help?
     
  4. PaulCyp1

    PaulCyp1 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Nothing physical can be perfect, or infinite, or eternal, all of which describe God.
     
  5. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    Can you answer my question first rather than firing two back ???
     
  6. Lost4words

    Lost4words Jesus I Trust In You Supporter

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    Correct, God is indeed Spirit. :oldthumbsup:
     
  7. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    You asked:

    "Jesus presented the evidence, do you believe His words?"

    Yes I believe the words of Jesus.
     
  8. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    He invited Peter to join Him walking on water.

    He then made it plain that his sinking was due to lack of faith.

    Are you gong to argue that somehow attitudes are particles that can render one bouyant?
     
  9. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    By physical I basically mean tangible. The human soul is spread throughout the human body, in my view, and sufficiently tangible to impact it, but:
    (1) God usually keeps it hidden from instruments of detection such as natural sight. Presumably this would preclude our ability to spray-paint it into visibiity.
    (2) Unlike the natural body, the soul isn't a manufacturer of blood - no more so than an angelic soul. To claim that the soul bleeds is just as unlikely as claiming that an angel bleeds. Human blood can be replaced without altering your identity. Your soul IS your identity, and therefore God won't likely allow some of it to bleed away from the rest of you.

    Here's what you need to know. For both exegetical and empirical reasons, the soul is almost certainly physical. All the data points utterly in that direction, when stacked up against the theory that the soul is immaterial. Let's start with the empirical data. Basically, I'm going to paraphrase Tertullian's argument that body and soul, in order to interact, must both be tangible. Indeed, thought is a physical, electrochemical process in the brain. That's a fact of both science and daily experience. That alone is enough to conclude a tangible soul. But let's look at some specifics.

    Part I. The body impacts the mind.

    Tangible impact is the ONLY way for me to influence your mind.
    (1) For example suppose I want you to know what I'm thinking. How do I get my thoughts into your mind? Simple. I blow air at you - I speak to you. Suddenly YOU begin thinking on the same topics that I myself was thinking. If the mind were intangible, I would be unable to tangibly impact your mind.
    (2) Suppose I want your mind to fail a math test. How do I accomplish that? Simple. I merely spike your food with alcohol or drugs, thereby tangibly impacting your mind.
    (3) Suppose I want to reduce your cognition to a vegetative state. How to do it? Simple. I merely strike your brain with sufficient force to impart brain damage.
    (4) As a toddler, your mind probably didn't squander much time dwelling on the opposite sex. Then at the age of puberty hormones kicked in, making a tangible impact on your mind. Suddenly it became difficult for you to STOP thinking about the opposite of sex. The proportions and distributions of your thought-content radically changed.
    (5) A huge percentage of your thought-content consists of information physically imparted to your mind via all the five senses. This is a tangible process.

    None of this makes ANY SENSE on the assumption of an intangible mind. That assertion appears to be incredibly stupid, incredibly self-contradictory, in light of the data. Before moving on to Part II, let me clarify the FUNCTION of the human body, with respect to the mind. After all, given that thought-currents self-propel by free will, why do we need the unconscious body? Technically we don't NEED it (angels certainly don't have one) but it serves a cognitive PURPOSE delightful to God. How so? The brain organizes the mind's thought-currents, helping to channel and route them in ways somewhat conducive to sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, sexuality, marriage, education, emotional balance, conscience, and so on. God takes pride in His creation! As He should!
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  10. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Following up on post 189:

    Part II. The Mind Impacts the Body

    (1) Suppose my bladder is full. When and where will it be released? The mind has a significant degree of impact on that event. By the mere exertion of self-propelling free will, my mind tangibly constricts my bladder, until a moment of my choosing.
    (2) Suppose my mind, as an act of free will, makes a conscious choice to reflect on - to dwell on - a tragic event of my own past. Suddenly my eyes begin filling with tears. My mind has physically induced a flow of matter in my orbs.
    (3) Or suppose my mind, as an act of free will, chooses to reflect on an upcoming crisis event (such as a job interview or an important speech). My heart begins pounding, and sweat pours down my arm-pits.
    (4) Or suppose my mind reflects on an embarrassing event, or on an event that makes me angry. My cheeks might turn red and my body temperature might rise, as if my blood had begun to boil.
    (5) Suppose my body is sitting in a chair. I want my body to exit the chair, get in the car, and head to the job. How do I accomplish that? Simple. My mind makes a free choice to exit the chair, and suddenly, as a result of self-propelling free will, my body begins moving.

    In all these cases, the mind has tangibly pushed, pulled, dragged, or otherwise impacted the body. None of this makes ANY SENSE on the assumption of an intangible mind.

    Next, I will provide a plausible exegetical basis for the tangibility of the human soul. However, a couple of important points to bear in mind.
    (1) The inner man is associated in Scripture with the term pneuma. In the initial two parts of this series, I have made a plausible argument that the human pneuma is tangible. This provides inductive evidence that angels (angelic pneuma) are tangible, and that the divine Pneuma is likewise tangible.
    (2) There was no burden of proof on me. Tangible objects are known to us everyday on a firsthand basis. That's all we know. It's not a magical claim. There is a HUGE burden of proof on those who would assert that the mind is an intangible substance.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  11. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    .

    Part III. An Exegetical Basis For a Tangible Soul

    Following up on posts 189 and 190, I will now provide a plausible exegetical argument that the soul is tangible. Bear in mind that I already examined these two titles:
    (A) The Holy Spirit/Ghost as immaterial substances
    (B) The Holy Breath/Wind as material substance
    and provided an exegetical basis for title-B, I did this in posts 34 38 43 51 61 116. Thus since the divine Pneuma appears to be tangible, it stands to reason that the human pneuma is likewise.

    My case trades on Paul's usage of the term flesh (sarx). That term occurs 150 times in the NT, and is consistently used in the same ways found in English today. Whenever it is used as a literal term to designate existing substance, it consistently refers to a tangible body, almost always a body of cellular protoplasm such as the bodies of animals, humans, and insects. And yet that's the same word that Paul chose to designate the sinful mind !!!! If Paul had wanted to convey an immaterial sinful soul, the word "flesh" is the absolute worst possible choice because it literally screams matter. For example no Platonist would ever refer to the immaterial realm as the "realm of flesh" for the obvious reason that flesh screams matter. And for those who haven't checked, the pairing of words "sinful nature" doesn't exist in the NT. Paul always uses the term flesh except that in Romans 7 and 8, as we shall see, he uses the terms "flesh" and "body" somewhat interchangeably.

    After all, the tangible soul is spread throughout the entirety of the human body, and thus intermixed with it perhaps as closely as a cup of milk diluted with water. You wouldn't find any need to distinguish the two, you'd just say, "I had a glass of milk today." In other words the merging of the two substances essentially into one substance allows us to regard the human body as a living body. From this perspective, it is your BODY that is evil, it is your BODY that sins, it is your FLESH that sins - not the unconscious part of course. As always, materialism offers greater fidelity to the text than immaterialists. Platonic translators have difficulty with Paul's term flesh and typically render it as "the sinful nature." Only the materialist can really take Paul literally at his word.

    And before embarking on a look at Romans 7 and 8, there is a parallel passage of significant weight - James' discussion of the untameable tongue. Equally decisive. James make it clear that the tongue is "a restless evil, full of deadly poison". He is at pains to persuade us that:
    (1) Rather than the "mind" controlling the "body", the evil tongue itself is often in control, steering the human body into evil like a rudder veers a ship.
    (2) Rather than the tongue being a dead, unconscious piece of matter controlled by the mind, he likens the tongue to a living animal with a mind of its own which, as such, needs to be tamed.

    It would be heresy for James to classify unconscious matter as evil. In point of fact, if materialism is true, the tongue is not unconscious matter, at least insofar as intermixed with a tangible soul.

    Without more ado, let's take a look at Romans 7 and 8.

    Paul cries out in Romans 7, "Who will rescue me from this body of death?" (verse 24). Notice Paul did NOT say, "Who will rescue me from this sinful immaterial mind?"

    As for regeneration, does it take place in an immaterial mind? Is that what the Holy Breath targets with regenerating Life? Or does He target the physical human body? According to Rom 8:11:

    "And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you."

    Now, if this be true, your "sinful nature" actually has a physical shape. It is the shape of your body. That's what Paul confirmed at verse 3:

    "God [sent] his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh".

    In what sense did Christ come in the likeness of sinful flesh? Did Christ arrive tainted with sin? Obviously what Paul is saying is that Christ came in a distinctive physical shape - the same physical shape as the sinful nature (the flesh).

    Verse 10:
    "Your body is dead because of sin."
    Physically dead? Did your heart stop? No. He means spiritually dead, that is, unregenerate. This proves that God regenerates the body, not some immaterial soul. This is clear from the very next verse, already cited above:

    [He] will also give life to your mortal bodies (verse 11).

    Verse 13 confirms the entire schema:

    "For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live."

    Misdeeds of - the body? My body is what actually sins? But didn't the theologians teach us that it is our immaterial mind that sins? Those theologians haven't been listening to Paul. They've been listening to Plato.

    Let's roll back to chapter 7:

    "For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death" (7:5).

    Why didn't he say, "the sinful passions at work in our immaterial minds?" Is he really saying that my actual members are alive? That they consciously indulge in sinful passions? Take a look at Col 3:5:

    "Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry."

    Put them to death physically? No. Spiritually. Foster in them the regenerating/sanctifying Life of Christ in order to quicken them. This means your body is not a mere machine. It is a moral agent in need of sanctification.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  12. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Addendum
    In my last post I explained that a tangible soul spread throughout the body allows for the concept of evil members such as James' concept of the untameable evil tongue. So if God is going to sanctify you, where will He apply His sanctifying holy Fire? To an immaterial mind located - nowhere? Let's consider an example. When Isaiah went up to the temple and saw God's face, he suddenly became self-conscious of his evil lips and evil tongue. The obvious solution is to apply the divine Fire directly to his mouth:

    "5“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

    6Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal [of Fire] in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

    Enough said. In terms of physical dynamics, the text speaks loud and clear.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  13. A_Thinker

    A_Thinker Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That hasn't been demonstrated ... only claimed ... and poorly justified.

    OTOH, this thread features successes at poking significant holes in your theory, ... which you have failed to adequately address.

    You may believe that God is physical, ... but it is only a belief ...
     
  14. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Unsubstantiated remarks. Ignored.
     
  15. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Wow. The 24 elders pre-existed the universe? The order of Melchizedek pre-existed the universe? The universe could not have come out of nothing then. Unless you can explain that.

    Saint Steven said:
    Does that assume that the nothingness that God "used" to create the universe is the same "nothingness" of which he consists (consisted) of? There was nothing here before he created it, but most likely there was something where God was prior. Unless he first had to create himself. (not likely)
     
  16. A_Thinker

    A_Thinker Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As for me, I will defer to Paul ...

    2 Timothy 2

    23 But reject foolish and ignorant speculation, for you know that it breeds quarreling. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome, but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, and forbearing.
     
  17. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Doesn't travel infer material? A thing that moves from one place to another.

    Saint Steven said:
    John 3:8
    The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
     
  18. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Whoa there guy. One thing at a time. First, my understanding of how this "miracle" transpired. The divine Word is tangible substance distributed throughout the universe. The divine Word was already in the water when Peter stepped out. On every step, at the instant Peter's feet hit the water, the divine Word simply solidified Himself in that foot-sized region as firm footing.

    Next, let's discuss the psychology of the event. In my understanding God often tests us by placing a demand on our conscience, in this case an admonition to make an effort, by free will, to self-sustain faith in God. Self-generated faith is easier when there's plenty of inspired Faith at hand. They work in tandem. Unfortunately in our spiritual immaturity (any lack of personal and/or corporate revival), we have precious little inspired Faith.

    Anyway in Peter's conscience was an obligation to self-exert faith by free will. It was no easy task, especially in his immaturity, and he was finding himself in a losing battle. As his faith buckled, the divine Word chastised him by desolidifying the firm footing, perhaps gradually. Peter lost his firm footing, and began to sink.
     
  19. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    I think what is being challenged here is the assumption that the spiritual realm is not material. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not solid. Like that car you didn't see coming, that put you in the ditch. - lol
     
  20. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Hebrews 11:1
    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
     
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