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LEHRE UNO W EHRE
MAGAZIN FUER E v.-LuTH. H OMIl.ETIK
THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY.THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY
Vol. XVI March, 1945 No.3
The Lord's Prayer, the Pastor's Prayer. G. H. Smukal ......... _._ ...... 145
I Believe in the Resurrection of the Body. w. F. Beck ...... _ ......... _ ... 153
Sermon Study on Heb.12:1-6. Theo. Laetseh ........... _ .......... _ ..... _ ......... 169
A Definite Need in the Field of New Testament Textual
Criticism. w. Arndt _._. ____ ._ ............................ _ ................ 180
Outlines on Gospels Adopted by Synodical Conference ............ _... 187
Theological Observer ........................... ................................ _ .... c ••••• _ ••• _ ••••• 199
Book Review _ ........................................ _ ................................... _ .. _ ..... __ .. 212
Ein Prediger muss nlcht aJlem wei-
den. also dass er die Schafe unter·
weise. wie ale rechte Christen sollen
seln, sondern such daIleben den Woe!-
fen we ren. dass de die Schafe nicht
angrcifen und mit f "lll;cher Lehre ver-
fuehren und Irrtun J~1Jehren.
E.s lst kein Ding, das die Leute
mehr be! der K1rche bebaelt delU1
die gute Predigt. - Apolouie. An. 24
If the trumpet give an uncertain
sound, who shall prepare hJrnselt to
the battle? -1 COT. 14;8
Published for the
Ev. Luth. S. od of Mis:;ouri, Ohlo, and Other States
CONCORD PUBLJSBING BOUSE, Sf. Louis 18, Mo.
I'BIIHD IN 0'. 8. 4.
I Believe in the Resurrection of the Body 153
measure of our gratitude. We must warn against the vain r epeti-
tion of the Lord's Prayer and against the disdainful criticism offered
by the vainglorious Pharisee against the brevity of the model
prayer, which punctures and deflates his airy and breezy verbiage.
We must warn against the complaint that the Lord's Prayer is too
comprehensive for concentration on the desire to be expressed.
We must warn against the errorists who hold that prayer is a means
of grace by which God imparts to us His mercies. We must
rather remind our congregations that prayer is our sacrifice and
offering to God and our means of exercising power with God.
Power with God! In gratitude for grace and mercy received,
in view of the world's needs and the Church's wants, in the con-
viction of our utter dependence on the Father, for the solution of
our pastoral and personal problems, let us pray, let us pray more
than we ever prayed before. It is not a new thought that the
world is"ruled by the Christian through his fervent prayer. Who,
then, should be most powerful but the pastor? You pray the First
Petition , and what happens? God's nanle is hallowed! Is not this
wonderful? You pray the Second Petition, and what happens?
God's kingdom comes! Is not this amazing? You pray the Third
Petition, and wha.t happens? God's will is done. Is not this
glor ious? Most certainly, your prayer influences the course of tlns
world and the progress of your congregation and the affairs of your
home. Our prayer is the solution to the mystery of history every-
where. Power with God! G. H. SMUKAL
(To be continued)
I Believe in the Resul"rection of the Body
The upper house of the Convocation of Canterbury, Church of
England, has decided to delete the phrase "resurrection of the
body" at cremation ceremonies. One bishop said that young people
scientifically trained are "not so much indignant as amused at the
phrase." Whenever they reach these words in the Apostles' Creed,
they must experience a limp in the tongue.
A similar expression of doubt in regard to the resurrection
of the body appear ed last Easter within the American Lutheran
Conference. It was issued by C. J . Soedergren, D. D., "author of
a number of books on exegesis, former professor at Augustana
Theological Seminary," in an article, "R esurrectio Carnis," in the
Augustana Quarterly, April, 1944, pp. 111-126. (This ar ticle will
be r eferred to here as S.) Soedergren speaks of the resurrection
of the flesh as a " 'doctrine' frightful in content and fateful in con-
sequence," "the 'eschatology' of thousands to this very day" (S: 112) .
"the mater ialistic doctrine espoused even now" (S: 113) . It is due
154 I Believe in the Resurrection of the Body
to a "traditional bias" (S:121). He raises the question "But is not
the resurrection of the 'flesh' possible?" and answers it: "All
things are possible with God which are in harmony with His nature
and in line with His will. But is it necessary? Is it r easonable?
To both questions we answer, 'No.' And is it Scriptural?"
He urges that the truth is likely to be hidden from "the theologians
and Bible teachers"; "whether ... the disembodied soul misses
'this muddy vesture of decay' and must come back for the remains,
is an open question today .... The things that are seen are tem-
poral; only the things that are not seen are eternal. Matter is not
reality. Only spirit is substantial" (S: 123). "Many passages point
in the direction of at least a new surmise" (S: 124).
The partial state)TI.ent in Eccl.12: 7 is quoted: "Then shall the
dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto
God who gave it" (S: 126) . If this is to disprove the resurrection
of the body, it is only by an a1'gumentum e silentio. We might with
equal validity argue from the verdict of God in Gen. 3: 19: "Dust
thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return," that both soul and body
will turn to dust and never become alive again.
Our bodies, when we die, do turn to dust. They seem to
crumble back into the same indistinguishable elements, principally
the atoms of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen; these approximate
neutrality, that is, they are undifferentiated by their origin in this
or that human individual. Human bodies may be much like
snowflakes: Not any two of billions of them, we are told, are alike;
yet when they melt, they become drops of water, not one of which
can be shown to differ from the other. Isn't this what God means
when He says, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return"
And what is matter? All matter is nowadays said to be elec-
tronic in its substructure and essentially the same. According
to physical theory the human body in its ultimate elements may
be as intangible as diffused electricity. "Eddington says that if the
adult human being could be compressed to its actual extent, it
would form a spot so tiny that we should need a microscope to
see it. And physicists think that even this all but vanishing rem-
nant of extension can be resolved into totally nonexistent force."
(Common Sense about Religion. McVeigh Harrison, 1931. P . 321.)
But God breathed into our particular dust "the breath of life."
And there is the difference. God has put eternity into the hearts
of these forms of clay (Eccl. 3: 11). They dread death. Huxley,
the skeptic, wrote, "I find my dislike to the thought of extinction
increasing as I get older. It flashes across me at all sorts of times
with a sort of horror that in 1900 I shall probably know no more
than I did in 1800. I had rather be in hell." The inner being of
I Believe in the Resurrection of the Body 155
man rebels at the prospect that in a few years, perhaps in a few
days, his warm body will be dead, loathsome, immovable, rotting
in darkness. Olin Alfred Curtis says, "I will in my thinking and
feeling make no terms with death. I hate death; I hate it
everywhere - in garden, and meadow, and swamp, and forest-
everywhere; it violates every noble thing in me; I long for
a world where there will be no dead thing, where every created
thing will just live, live, live forever!"
If we think clearly, we shall not speak slightingly of the body:
"That which is in the grave is only the slough that has been cast
off by the liberated soul" (S:114). We shall look in vain for
approval for this estimate of the body in such words as these of
Paul: "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent
from the body and to be present with the Lord" (2 Cor. 5: 8). The
Bible also says, "All flesh shall see the salvation of God" (Luke
3: 6), and it calls the body of the Christian the temple of the Holy
Ghost (1 Cor. 6: 19) .
This body is more than an accident, a garment, a temporary
prison house of the soul. Michael, the archangel, contended with
the devil over the body of Moses (Jude 9). Would he have
struggled for that body if that body had no value, if it was to be
only the food of worms, if it was to be scattered to the four winds
and never to be restored again?
From the beginning it was not God's intention to have the
soul live permanently without the body. God intended man to
be both soUl and body. "And the Lord God formed man of the
dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;
and man became a living soul" (Gen. 2: 7). Man is soul and body,
not just soul. Alone, the soul stands there like the man of the
house who calls himself "my family." There is something essen-
tially incomplete about the soul until it is united with the body.
Adam and Eve had both body and soul; death was injected into
both; Jesus redeemed both. To complete God's plan of salvation,
it is necessary for the body to be raised and to be established with
the soul in glory. That is why "even we ourselves groan within
ourselves waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our
body" (Rom. 8: 23) . Not only the spirit of man, that "vital spark
of heavenly flame," is to shine in heaven, but the censer, too, from
which there rises the incense of worship, is holy to the Lord and
is to be preserved forever.
The truth about our bodies in heaven has elements of mystery
in it (1 Cor. 15: 51) that will not be solved by human thinking.
Nature knows no real resurrection. Despite all medical efforts
at resuscitation, no organism once really dead is ever revived. The
seventeen-year locust and the butterfly are only analogies, not
156 I BeJieve in the Resurrection of the Body
examples. But the resurrection of the body is one of the elementary
truths of Christianity (Heb. 6: 2) . And elements of mystery in
this doctrine should not obscure clear Biblical statements in regard
to the r esurrection of the body.
"Flesh and Blood Cannot Inhel'it the Kingdom of God"
The meaning of "flesh" is given in Rom. 7: "When we were
in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the Law, did work
in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. . . . I am carnal
[ =fleshly], sold under sin. . . . I know that in me (that is, in my
flesh) dwelleth no good thing. . . . I see another law in my mem-
bers, warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into
captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 0 wretched
man that I am! Who 'shall deliver me from the body of this death?
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So, then, with the
mind I myself serve the Law of God; but with the flesh the law
of sin." "Flesh" is the bearer of the sinful impulse. "Blood" is
a synonym since it mobilizes the energy of the flesh in the hot
pursuit of sin. Our flesh is sinful by birth (John 3: 6). It is
opposed to God and destroys itself: "To be carnally minded is
death. . . . The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not
subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be. So, then, they
that are in the flesh cannot please God" (Rom. 8: 6-8) . That is
why "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither
doth corruption inherit incorruption" (1 Cor. 15: 50). These words
of Paul do not deny the resurrection of the body, but merely the
possibility of the entrance of our sinful body into the heavenly
We put off "the body of the sins of the flesh by the circum-
cision of Christ, buried with Him in Baptism" (Col. 2: 11,12). Now,
we are born of the Spirit (John 3: 6) . And "they that are Christ's
have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts" (Gal. 5: 24) .
Those who are in Christ Jesus "walk not after the flesh, but after
the Spirit ... . Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be
that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Rom. 8: 1,9) .
"A Spiritual Body"
"It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body" ( 1 Cor.
15: 44) . Soedergren (S: 120, 121) says on this passage: "This
spiritual body inhabits our material body in this life, is conterminous
with it, but also independent of it, leaving it at death and con-
tinuing to serve as the habitation and medium of the immortal self.
Early writers called it the 'astral body.' .. . It was these disem-
bodied celestial bodies in which Moses and Elijah appeared and
conversed with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. These
I Believe in the Resurrection of the Body 157
were the bodies of Abraham, Lazarus, and 'Dives' in Hades, the
body in which the penitent robber joined Jesus in Paradise, and
the body in which Paul, 'absent from' his body of flesh, hoped to 'be
at home with the Lord.''' Replying to these statements, we have
to say that according to them the resurrection takes place at death.
Then it is something already past. We let the Scriptures speak:
"Hymenaeus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred,
saying that the resurrection is past already, and overthrow the faith
of some" (2 Tim. 2: 17, 18) .
The exegesis of other passages on the resurrection is forced
by Soedergren to harmonize with this Tendenz: "'The hour cometh
when all that are in tombs shall hear His voice and shall come
forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and
they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment' (John
5: 29). The passage may refer to a resurrection out of Hades.
This possibility merits further attention. In such case it would have
no reference to the decomposed bodies. And again - as in the
quotation from Daniel- 'they' are not in any earthly tomb. Only
'the handful of dust.' . . . Weare at least not compelled (unless
it be by warped predilection) by these words of Christ to bury
our faith with a dead body in the grave" (S: 115) . The "resurrection
out of Hades" is "the final resurrection of immortal souls" (S: 116).
" 'H by any means I may attain unto the resurrection from the
dead' (Phil. 3: 11) . . . . The words contain no reference to any
material body" (S: 116) . The other passages, such as Rom. 8: 10,11,
are interpreted in the same way. "Scripture teaches clearly:
. . . (3) a resurrection of the soul at the dissolution of the material
body; (4) a final resurrection of the dead in Hades-possibly
a resurrection at the end of each dispensation - for judgment"
(S: 111). This number (4) leaves us reaching into thin air for
The meaning which Soedergren assigns to "spiritual" we see
more clearly in the following : "'But rather fear Him who is able
to destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna).' Matt. 10:28.
This can mean the spiritual or celestial body of 1 Cor. 15" (S: 116).
"There is no Scripture to the effect that the physical body or our
present form of existence is to be the object of future punishment"
(S: 124). "Spiritual" in the words "it is raised a spiritual body"
accordingly means "bodiless." The adjective in "spiritual body"
has completely crowded the noun out of its tent. The word "body"
is abused to mean an airy, immaterial variety of spirit without flesh
and blood. "The true 'body' is not this temporary garment of
'dust,' but the invisible body, the 'celestial body' of 1 Cor. 15"
(S: 124). Could we face Paul with such an interpretation? Would
he have used "body" if he didn't mean "body"?
t58 I Bel' ~ in .• ~ Resurrection of r Bod
A aro,.w. 1jJUXLXOV is a body filled and controlled by the 'llUltTt, the
sensory and earthly life. A aroJ.tIX It'VEUf.t<:rl;Lxov is a body filled and
controlled by the IT'VEUJ.tct, the Holy Spirit. For in 1 Cor. 2: 14 the