Saturday, April 11, 2009

Gordon Fee on the Holy Spirit 2

Having just finished Gordon Fee's, God's Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul, I thought it might be cool to do a series of posts featuring quotes from the book on the Holy Spirit.

In this quote, Fee comments on 1 Corinthians 6:19–20, "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body." (NET)

The message of this text needs to be resounded repeatedly in the face of every encroachment of Hellenistic dualism that would negate the body in favor of the soul. God made us whole people; and in Christ he has redeemed us wholly. According to the Christian view there is no dichotomy between body and spirit that either indulges the body because it is irrelevant of punishes it so as to purify the spirit. This pagan view of physical existence creeps into Christian theology in any number of subtle ways, including the penchant on the part of
some to 'save souls' while caring little for people's material needs. Not the immortality of the soul, but the resurrection of the body, is the Christian creed, based on the NT revelation. That creed does not lead to crass materialism; rather it affirms a holistic view of redemption, which is predicated in part on the doctrine of creation--both the physical and spiritual orders are good because God created them--and in part on the doctrine of redemption, including the consummation--the whole of the fallen order, including the body, has been redeemed in Christ and awaits its final redemption. (137)
Fee correctly speaks against the dichotomy between "body" and "spirit." Gad has created us body and spirit and He is redeeming us body and spirit. Thus we can't just talk about "saving people's souls" while neglecting their physical needs.

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