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  1. Why is it necessary that we are a body and soul? If we take Lewis’s model and say we are a soul in possession of a body can we not still praise God with our body? Would we not still be called to care for our body? If God has given us a physical body we would, it seems to follow, be called to be stewards of that body, just as we are called to be stewards of the other resources God has provided.

    Need our body be any more fallible than a car that we drive? We would never say that a car is fallible if it’s driver decided to run it into a person, and we need not say a body is fallible is a person uses it to overindulge themselves. If we give no motives to the physical body which we possess, then we can still ascribe to ourselves all moral agency.

    Also, in a situation in which I was at a hospital undergoing a procedure, I would feel much comfort in thinking that regardless of what happened to my body it would not change who I am. If, for instance, I must have a leg amputated it does not affect my essence (soul), but would be more akin to having a tire go flat on my car; I would be comforted knowing that, when this car dies, I will be given a new car that cannot break, and that the flat tire, while currently impeding my ability to drive properly, does not affect whether I am a good driver or not.

    Also, does a soul/body dichotomy preclude any involvement of our body in the act of worship? I agree that dancing, clapping, walking, fasting, and numerous other activities can serve as a vehicle for worship, but they are not necessary; a quadriplegic is no more or less able to worship God because of their physical body. Is not worship’s physical manifestation merely the overflow of our souls awe for God and His goodness?

    This leads into two dangers I see in saying that we are a soul and a body: a materialistic, deterministic view of life; and an unhealthy preoccupation with the body. These are by no means necessary consequences of the belief that we are a concurrent soul body, but I do think this belief lends itself to these sins. First off: if we are, as the author states, “biological and energetic and rational and emotional and sexual and relational and spiritual… within the context of a physical human being, never as ethereal entities.”, then it seems natural that our bodies make up the essence (or at least a portion of) of us; if this is true, then, when we die, we either cease to exist as we currently do, or we gain a new body, and if we gain a new body our very essence has changed. Secondly: if our nature is tied up in our physical body, then instead of focusing on matters of the heart (mental, emotional, rational, spiritual), we can focus on matters of the body, which are, by nature, fallible. As it is said in Ecclesiastes: “All are from the dust, and to dust all return”; this is true of our physical bodies just as much as it is true of physical treasure; God is clear in Matthew 6, that we should not “lay up for ourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal”, but rather we should “lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven”. As Christians should we not focus on the things which God focuses on? In Samuel God makes clear that the physical body is not a primary objective when He says: “Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart”. What God truly desires in us are, as the psalmist put it: “a broken and contrite heart”. So is it then wrong to focus on the matters of the heart, and trust that if your heart is truly seeking God that He will guide you, and provide for you, in the proper use of your body? I believe that this trust in His provision is exactly what He proscribes in Matthew 6 when He instructs us to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”.

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