1 Kings 18: What's the deal?

2 years 7 months ago - 2 years 7 months ago #9411 by SarahsKnight
Where Elijah meets with the widow and son and after some time the Bible says that the son grew so ill that he eventually had no breath in him (I am using the Modern English Version), and Elijah presents the son before God and pleads that God allow "the child's soul to come back to him". And so it did, and the child revived. I admit, this is a very good passage for traditionalists who believe in the immortal/eternal soul to back up their argument. It's actually kind of weird how I don't recall ever hearing them use it. Was the child actually even dead yet? Or close to it?

If conditional immortality is true, and we ARE souls rather than just possessing one in a physical outer shell that is the body, then why does the story here in 1 Kings 18 use this kind of wording - let the child's soul return to him? Because that makes it sounds an awful lot like the traditionalist view of death and life - an immortal, disembodied soul either leaving the body to go to another plane of existence, or returning to the body so that the person can walk around again in physical form. How can we explain this one as conditionalists without making it seem like a huge stretch?
Last edit: 2 years 7 months ago by SarahsKnight.

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1 year 10 months ago #9502 by DTM
Replied by DTM on topic 1 Kings 18: What's the deal?
There is a difficulty here, but it doesn't have to do with the issue of eternal torment (ECT) vs. conditional immortality (CI) positions. You seem to be conflating ECT with dualism (a person has a body and soul which are distinct entities) and CI with physicalism (a soul is what we are, not something we have). But that's a false correspondence.

There are physicalists who believe in ECT and dualists who believe in CI.Thus, one may believe that the soul lives on after the body dies, but not necessarily believe that it always lives for eternity after the body dies. Therefore, this passage poses no problem for the CI position and no support for the ECT position. That's why no one uses it in the CI/ECT debate.

It does pose a challenge to physicalists, but that's a different discussion altogether. And I'll let a physicalist weigh in on that.

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