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House Divided Chapter Seven The Resurrection of the Dead Amillennialist Robert B. Strimple Vs. Full Preterist David A. Green Part 9 Genesis 3:19

House Divided

Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to

When Shall These Things Be?

Chapter Seven

The Resurrection of the Dead

Part 9 Union in Christ’s Death and Resurrection

 

David A. Green

Copyright 2009 and 2013 All rights reserved.  No part of this book (or article) may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher or author of this chapter/article (Vision Publishing or David A. Green), except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Strimple Argument #9: If we’re not going to be resurrected physically,

then the physicality of the resurrection of Christ was redemptively

meaningless. If the resurrection of the dead is non-physical, then

Christ could have been raised non-physically only. Then the physicality

of His resurrection was merely a “brute fact” of history (330).

 

Answer: We can see the fallacy of this argument if we apply Strimple’s

logic concerning the resurrection of Christ to the Cross of Christ:

If we’re not physically crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20), then the physicality

of the crucifixion of Christ was redemptively meaningless. If the

crucifixion of believers is non-physical, then Christ could have been

crucified non-physically only. Then the physicality of His crucifixion

was merely a “brute fact” of history.

 

Like all futurists, Strimple knows that the physical work of Christ in

His crucifixion was to be spiritually reproduced in His people (spiritual

crucifixion with Christ); but then like all futurists, Strimple assumes

that the physical work of Christ in his resurrection was to be physically

literally reproduced in His people. Part of the reason for this assumption

is that the resurrection of His people is future in Scripture and

“bodily.” But what is missed by futurists is that the crucifixion of His

people is not altogether past in Scripture, and it is also bodily.

 

“Our old man was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might

[in the future] be annulled. . . . ” (Rom. 6:6)

 

For Paul, the past and ongoing crucifixion of believers with Christ

will be consummated in the future annulment/abolition/destruction of

the body of sin.” No futurist contends that our bodies are now spiritually

crucified with Christ and that our bodies will be literally crucified

with Him in the end of world history. In neither case (past crucifixion or

future crucifixion) is bodily crucifixion with Christ literal, even though

Christ was literally-physically crucified in His flesh-and-bone body.

In the same way, from Paul’s perspective, the resurrection of Christ’s

people with Him is past and future, and bodily. And in neither case

(past resurrection or future resurrection) is resurrection with Christ literal-

biological, even though Christ was literally-physically resurrected

in His flesh-and-bone body. (I will discuss the meaning of “bodily” crucifixion

and resurrection with Christ below.)

 

Jesus was unique in the physicality of His resurrection (just as He

was in the physicality of His crucifixion) because He was God’s one and

only body of sacrifice for sin and justification. In this sense there is discontinuity

between Christ and believers. But there is perfect, spiritual

continuity. Because we have been justified through Jesus’ physical, sacrificial

body, we now—like Jesus—bodily die to sin and bodily rise to

walk in newness of life while still in our physical bodies (Rom. 6:4).

Now we do not die alienated from God as Jesus did for our sakes. We

do not die forsaken under God’s wrath as Jesus did for our sakes. We do

not die a futile death and go to Hades as Jesus did for our sakes. Jesus

 

suffered that penalty in order to save us from experiencing it.[1] Because we

put our faith in Him, we will never be the objects of God’s wrath. Adamic

Death and Hades will never separate us from God or from His City. As

Jesus and John taught, though our physical bodies die in the new covenant

world, we “never die” “from now on” because we have already (in

our physical bodies) been given eternal life through His body of sacrifice.



[1] This is not to say that Jesus suffered torments in Hades. Jesus descended

into Hades to preach the gospel to the dead saints (1 Pet. 3:19; 4:6) in anticipation

of their imminent liberation (their resurrection into the kingdom). In a

manner of speaking, Jesus went to Hades/Sheol to distribute to His elect the

keys” out of their Hadean place of waiting (Rev. 1:18).

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