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Joel Green – What are They Saying About the Soul?

Off on Friday night to hear this public lecture at BCNZ by biblical scholar Joel Green. I’ve referred to some of his work in my thesis so it’ll be nice to put a voice to the articles. More details at Bible College of New Zealand – Events – Joel Green – What are They Saying About the Soul?

Green’s got an article online over at Catalyst that touches on some of what I’m expecting him to talk about. It’s available at Catalyst: Body and Soul, Mind and Brain: Pressing Questions. From that article he raises some of the following questions:

  • Is there anything about humans that our mechanical creations, our innovations in Artificial Intelligence, will be unable to duplicate?
  • What view of the human person is capable of funding what we want to know about ourselves theologically — about sin, for example, as well as moral responsibility, repentance, and growth in grace?
  • What portrait of the human person is capable of casting a canopy of sacred worth over human beings, so that we have what is necessary for discourse concerning morality and for ethical practices?
  • How should we understand “salvation”? Does salvation entail a denial of the world and embodied life, focusing instead on my “inner person” and on the life to come?
  • How ought the church to be extending itself in mission? Mission to what? The spiritual or soulish needs of persons? Society-at-large? The cosmos?

Some good questions, especially the ones about mission. One of the good things about teaching the course “Humanity and Hope” last year was the space to ponder how the combination of our understandings of eschatology and of Christian anthropology shapes our activism.

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