Bodily resurrection now

21 07 2009

9781556351952Michael Gorman makes a great point about the present experience  of “bodily” resurrection in the following quote (it’s there in the second half of the quote, which I have emboldened).

What do you think?

To begin with, the resurrection of Jesus is itself also something in which we can participate, first of all existentially […] and then also physically […]: In Romans 6 Paul seems to draw metaphorically on the language of death and resurrection to depict the end of one way of life and the beginning of a radically new way of living. But Paul’s language is more than metaphorical; he is speaking about participation in the activity and story of God that centers on Jesus’ resurrection. In fact, in a very important sense, believers’ present resurrection is bodily, because it involves the re-orientation of bodily existence away from Sin and self and toward God and righteousness. Thus we may say that believers’ present resurrection in the body anticipates their future resurrection of the body. (Reading Paul, 106)

Posted by Con Campbell




5 responses

21 07 2009
Present resurrection? « Castle of Nutshells

[…] Tags: christ, destiny, Eschatology, Jesus, Paul, resurrection, Romans trackback Con Campbell posted this Michael Gorman quote: To begin with, the resurrection of Jesus is itself also something in which we can participate, […]

22 07 2009
Mike Taylor

Interesting. There’s something going on in 1 Corinthians with the resurrection body and how you should treat your body now – particulary in chapter 6 with the whole sexual immorality thing. I’m pretty sure its related to our bodies being resurrected, that is – it doesn’t matter what you eat, but it does matter with whom you sleep – because your body is going to be resurrected. I’m not sure how its all connected and would love your thoughts on it.


22 07 2009
Neil Foster

Thanks Con, very interesting. My only caveat would be that while this is a nice rhetorical point, Paul himself is careful not to go too far down the “already risen” line. In 1 Cor 15:53 it is clear that it is only in the future that “this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality”. But it is good to be reminded that there is also a fundamental continuity between our present bodies and our glorious future ones.

22 07 2009
Con Campbell

I think that’s right, Neil. And Gorman doesn’t go too far in my opinion, but helpfully reiterates the connection between the present and future.

Mike, it’s an interesting question. I need to think more about this, but I suspect that because sexual immorality violates marriage, it has resurrection significance because we are to be married to Christ. That’s why Paul quotes Genesis 2 and mentions being joined to the Lord (1 Cor 6.16–17). What do you think?

23 07 2009
Mike Taylor

yeah – could be. It speaks of us being one SPIRIT with the Lord, paralleling the one FLESH of Gen 2. So maybe the problem is a misunderstanding of Spiritual body – which fits with the whole problem with spirituality in general which seems to be prevalent in Corinth. Its hard though, because those verses use body, flesh and spirit very similarly.

The connection seems to be that our future resurrection means that our bodies are members of Christ now, and we aren’t to make those members one flesh?/body?/spirit? with a prostitute.

What’s also intriguing is that comment that the body is for the Lord and the Lord is FOR the body – presumably those same present bodies which are involved in sexual immorality.

But this goes on a significant tangent from your original post.

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