The Future Resurrection of the Body: Part I
Before tackling Patrick's view on the future resurrection of the believer I think it's best to lay out in proposition form what I consider to be the substance of Patrick's arguments:
1.) First, discussions on the afterlife are problematic to begin with since we know so little about existence after death (granting there is such a thing).
2.) Furthermore, the Bible does not offer any detailed discussions concerning life after death and the common perceptions of this post-death existence have more to due with the influence of such literary works as Dante's Inferno.
3.) What the Bible does offer is" essentially a 'negative theology'" about the afterlife.
4.) And though Paul takes up the issue of future bodily resurrection in 1 Cor. 15, Rom. 6ff offers a better guide to Paul's thoughts on the believer's body where he uses it as a symbol for what the believer has become who who they currently are (personality).
5.) Based on this observation, the hope of salvation after death should be understood as the redemption of our personality, that which constitues who we truly are. Resurrection of the body is simply a way of affirming that after death, God will make us "whole."
This is, in brief, what I see as the substance of Patrick's arguments for resurreection as a metaphor for "wholeness". Now, on my reading of Patrick, he does not appear to dogmatically believe that the afterlife will not be an embodied one but rather he seems to remain somewhat agnostic asserting that we do not know how wholenesss "will feel, look, or take place." Yet the subsequent post does suggest that Patrick leans away from viewing the afterlife as embodied. However, contra Patrick, I think a plausible case can be made for the hope of the resurrection of the body as something that goes beyond the symbolic and/or metaphorical. This is what I want to explore in the next few posts. Any comments and/or criticisms, as usual, are always welcome.